U of South Florida Health to send 12 physicians to Puerto Rico

Tampa-based University of South Florida Health revealed plans to send a dozen of its physicians to Puerto Rico to relieve rural physicians on the island for the first time since Hurricane Maria hit late last month, according to CBS-10 News.

During the month of October, the 12 physicians will travel to Puerto Rico in groups of three or four and spend a week on the island. They will bring supplies and medicine and provide medical care to those still on the island.

Asa Oxner, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine at USF Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, said she never had a second thought about signing up to volunteer in Puerto Rico.

"To me the decision was made a long time ago. To go help people who don't have all the privileges we have here, that is what is important about being a doctor," Dr. Oxner told CBS-10 News. "When [the hurricane] happened in Puerto Rico, right in our backyard ... it was a natural thing that we had to do."

USF medical school also said it would allow approximately 200 medical students from Ponce (Puerto Rico) Health Sciences University to finish their semester in Tampa, pending approval by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

LCME officials will reportedly issue a decision on the proposed plan "as soon as this week," CBS-10 News reports.

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