Medical students at New York University could have the chance to graduate early in an effort to bring more doctors to the front lines of the battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
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.
According to a report by Business Insider, senior medical students at NYU have been given permission to graduate early so that they assist patients suffering from the Wuhan coronavirus in nearby hospitals.
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.
The desperate plea also advises that eligible students don't even have to have planned to go into an emergency or internal medicine.
"We ask for your help", the email said, according to the alleged screenshot. The Medical School and the University have agreed to permit early graduation for students who agree to begin working as an intern now.
Those who are interested in graduating early must meet all graduation requirements and fill out a survey by Wednesday afternoon, the email added. But in Italy, which has seen more deaths from the coronavirus than any other country, more than around 10,000 students could skip their final exams to head straight into the workforce.
Students would be entering practice as doctors in NY state, the epicenter for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, where 26,486 COVID-19 cases have been reported along with 271 deaths.
This infographic, provided by Statista, shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S.as of March 25.