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March 27, 2020

Mass. medical schools expedite 2020 graduation amid coronavirus crisis

Photo | Grant Welker UMass Medical School

Massachusetts medical schools are allowing their students to graduate three months earlier than usual this year, a move that could inject 700 additional physicians into the healthcare system during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins said in an announcement on Thursday.

“Graduating medical students are ready: let’s get them to work,” Collins said.

UMass Medical is joined by the Tufts, Harvard and Boston University medical schools in the move. Typically, graduating students begin their residencies on July 1, said Collins.

"The spread of COVID-19, now a global pandemic, calls for bold approaches to increase our medical resources quickly to combat this disease,” Collins said. “Hospitals are near the brink of being overwhelmed as ever-increasing numbers of patients seek care, while increasing numbers of clinical staff find themselves in self-quarantine after being exposed to the virus.”

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