Some NYU medical students will be allowed to graduate early to join the fight against coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak has infected at least 61,000 people in the U.S. and claimed more than 800 lives. Now, one New York City medical school has made an unprecedented move to aid in the battle against the pandemic.

Located in the epicenter of the outbreak in North America, New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine has announced that certain students in the 2020 graduating class will be allowed to finish early to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

“In response to the growing spread of COVID-19, and in response to Governor [Andrew] 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,” NYU Langone spokeswoman Kate Malenczak told CBS News.

The decision is pending approval from the New York State Department of Education, Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, according to Malenczak.

In an email sent to students and obtained by emergency medical physicians at Brief19, the individual’s decision to graduate early will be voluntary and granted only if interested students meet the university’s graduation requirements and if they agree to work as a medical doctor at NYU’s internal medicine or emergency medicine departments. The email details that students will be paid as interns and that they will join the workforce as soon as April.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said “it’s all hands on deck” and thanked the university following its announcement. 

Faced with the growing crisis, Cuomo has called on “former” health care workers to rejoin the workforce in order to support health systems stressed by the coronavirus. On Wednesday, the governor announced that approximately 40,000 retired doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other medical professionals have signed up to bulk up the health care force.

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