8 medical schools allowing early graduation to boost COVID-19 workforce

Here are eight medical schools that are allowing students to graduate early to join the healthcare workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list.

1. Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Health Sciences in Athens is graduating medical and nursing students early. The university said the class of 2020 will receive their degrees April 18, rather than the previously-scheduled dates of May 9 (Heritage College) and May 2 (nursing students), to allow them to join the healthcare workforce early amid the pandemic.

2. Sixteen fourth-year medical students at the Icahn Institute of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City will graduate early to help Mount Sinai Health System hospitals as they experience a surge of COVID-19 patients, the health system announced. Students will graduate on April 15 and then fulfill short-term healthcare positions before beginning their residencies on July 1. 

3. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry graduated its class of 2020 medical students about six weeks early. The university said the physicians can work immediately during the COVID-19 pandemic, either at the university's medical center or in other clinical practices but are not required to start working early.

4. Harvard Medical School in Boston has given fourth-year medical school students who have completed all their training and degree requirements the option of graduating early, according to the official news website for the university. The regular graduation date is scheduled in May, and those who choose to graduate early can do so before May.

5. One hundred twenty-two students in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University graduated on April 8, two months early. The university said some of the graduates will be deployed to the front lines amid the pandemic. Forty-nine students will join the workforce at Stony Brook University Hospital on April 13, and 14 will join the workforce at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.

6. Fifty-two fourth-year medical students at the University of Kansas School of Medicine volunteered to graduate early amid the pandemic, KCUR reported April 3. According to the radio station, the early graduates will be assigned to areas of Kansas with the greatest need and receive special permits to practice from the state board of healing arts.

7. The NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City is allowing students to graduate a few months early. Students who take the option to graduate early will begin working in NYU Langone's internal medicine or emergency medicine departments in April instead of the typical July 1 start date.

8. The University of Arizona College of Medicine — Phoenix will allow fourth-year medical students to graduate early, the university confirmed to Becker's. The university said 28 fourth-year medical students had met the early graduation requirements as of April 10.


More articles integration and physician issues:
Meet the 'Covidsitters': 350+ medical students supporting hospital workers in Minnesota
13 New York medical schools allowing early graduation during pandemic
NYU Langone tells ED physicians to 'think more critically about who we intubate,' get permission to talk to press 


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