Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

NYU medical students are graduating early to help with the fight against COVID-19

Instead of finishing school in July, at least 69 students at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine will graduate in April, starting their hospital internships early in order to help with the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In a statement, the school said it gave students the option of graduating early in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) "directive to get more physicians into the health system more quickly." New York City is being hit especially hard by COVID-19, with more than 20,000 confirmed cases as of Wednesday evening.

Steven Abramson, an executive vice dean at the medical school, told CNN the fact that so many students have agreed to help in this time of need is "awe-inspiring." One student, Gabrielle Mayer, said it was an "easy decision" to make, since she and her classmates have "the skill set that seems needed and valuable right now."

This plan must still be approved by the New York State Department of Education and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; if it goes through, students will start their internships at NYU-affiliated hospitals, and will "never be asked to do something that is above their level of competence," Abramson said.