New York University is reportedly allowing senior medical students to graduate three months early so they can help overworked doctors fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The unprecedented offer was detailed in a Tuesday email to the class of 2020 as an option if the students “voluntarily agree” to begin working immediately as paid interns at NYU Langone Health’s Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine departments.
“With the growing spread of COVID-19, our hospitals inundated with patients, and our colleagues on the front lines working extra-long hours, we are still short-staffed in emergency and internal medicine,” the reads the email circulated on social media. “Burnout of our doctors has become a growing concern.”
The email was first reported by emergency medicine physicians at Brief19.com.
The early graduation would have students in the field as soon as April, as opposed to July 1 under the typical graduation track, though details around the expedited schedule were still being finalized.
Students would be entering practice as doctors in New York state, the epicenter for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, where 26,486 COVID-19 cases have been reported along with 271 deaths.
Interested pupils must meet all graduation requirements and fill out a survey to become eligible by Wednesday afternoon, according to the email.
The school was among many across the country to suspend in-person classes this month as the outbreak intensified.
The desperate plea also advises that eligible students don’t even have to have planned to go into an emergency or internal medicine.
“The Medical School and the University have agreed to permit early graduation for students who agree to begin working as an intern now,” the email goes on. “This is consistent with a national discussion regarding the early graduation of eligible medical students so they can join the healthcare workforce prior to the typical July 1 start date.”
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