The impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching, affecting every segment of society all over the world. The pandemic has also had an impact on medical students, many of whom had early, virtual graduation ceremonies. Students graduated early so that they would earn their MD degrees and thus be able to help combat the pandemic. Inside Higher Ed touts the bravery of medical students in facing COVID-19. The Association of American Medical Colleges summarizes the phenomenon of early medical school graduations. On the contrary, one medical student weighed in on why she did not want to graduate early. COVID-19 has also had an effect on USMLE tests, which has upended the normal progression through medical school and put medical students in limbo. A recent article in the Johns Hopkins student newspaper described the effect of the pandemic on medical students.
Here is a small sampling of medical schools that offered early graduations: Harvard, Columbia, Boston University, Uniformed Services University, Stony Brook, University of Kansas, University of Rochester and NYU.
The accrediting body for US medical schools issued a statement on early graduation.
David Brooks of the New York Times recently reflected on the rigor of medical training. In an opinion piece titled, The Age of Coddling is Over, he touted the value of rigorous training and its value in this time of great need.
Finally, the University of Virginia created a course to help its medical students reflect and learn about how art “shaped our understanding of plagues.”
–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consultant
Originally posted April 20; updated April 22, May 6, and June 10