Rutgers will become one of the first institutions in the country to facilitate an early graduation for students at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a University press release.
This will make approximately 192 graduates eligible to begin their residencies and work in the healthcare industry to help combat COVID-19, according to the release. The students would have originally graduated in May, but 154 students will now graduate on April 10 and the rest on April 21.
NJMS plans to hold a virtual graduation ceremony where students will recite the Hippocratic oath as a tradition for the doctors beginning their careers, according to the release.
“I have total confidence that our students are ready to help the cause,” said Robert Johnson, dean of NJMS, according to the release. “They have learned and trained at Rutgers and will be much-needed support in our nation’s healthcare system.”
These students were matched to residencies on March 20 and most are set to begin on July 1, according to the release. These residency locations include hospitals, which will make the decision on whether the students can begin earlier.
Of the total NJMS students, 62 were matched to New Jersey hospitals, according to the release. Fifty-eight students were matched to hospitals in New York, with 43 being in New York City.
“I am proud that Rutgers is able to do its part to act so quickly in the midst of the pandemic,” said Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, according to the release. “Many of our students have already been volunteering to support COVID-19 efforts and I know these soon-to-be doctors will be greatly appreciated as they enter the workforce.”
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and several other Rutgers schools that train healthcare professionals are considering taking similar steps, according to the release.