Some NYU Medical Students Will Graduate Early to Fight Coronavirus

The NYU Grossman School of Medicine gave medical students the option to graduate early to assist in the fight against the coronavirus, the school announced on Wednesday.

NYU Langone's Tisch Hospital is where many pre-med students complete their residencies. NYU Grossman School of Medicine will be allowing medical students to graduate early in response to the COVID-19 crisis. (Staff Photo by Leo Sheingate)

The NYU Grossman School of Medicine is allowing fourth-year students to graduate three months early to combat the coronavirus, the school announced on Wednesday, March 25

69 members of the 122-person class of 2020 have volunteered to graduate early and begin their internships in New York City helping treat coronavirus patients, Senior Vice Dean Steven B. Abramson said in a press conference on Wednesday.

The directive came two days after New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo sought to address potential staffing shortages in New York City — the current epicenter of the virus — by asking for retired medical workers to come out of retirement. 

“NYS is preparing for potential staffing shortages during the #Coronavirus pandemic. We are seeking recently retired health professionals as reserve staff if the need arises,” Governor Cuomo wrote in a tweet.

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The decision to graduate students early was attributed to the Governor’s calls to employ more healthcare workers in New York City, according to a statement from the school.

“In response to the growing spread of COVID-19, and in response to Governor Cuomo’s directive to get more physicians into the health system more quickly, NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU have agreed to permit early graduation for its medical students,” a Grossman spokesperson told WSN in an email.

Governor Cuomo thanked NYU in a tweet on Wednesday and linked to a survey where schools of public health, medicine and nursing can submit information to potentially provide staff members and students as a supplement to the current healthcare workforce. 

The decision is pending approval from the New York State Department of Education and Middle States and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Abramson said on Wednesday he is confident the move will be approved and expects the newly minted grads to be working by early April. 

WSN has reached out to fourth-year medical students who were unable to comment at this time. This is an unfolding situation and we will update the story as necessary.

Email Emily Mason at [email protected]

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