Military-focused medical school sending new doctors out early because of coronavirus

More than 200 aspiring physicians and nurses will graduate early from a medical school that provides health care professionals to the military so they can join the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic.

The students, all active-duty officers in the armed forces or the U.S. Public Health Service, will have completed their requirements to be awarded a degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, located in Bethesda, Md.

“Our curriculum has a specific focus on threats like emerging infectious diseases and disasters that our military and Public Health Service forces are likely to encounter in the course of their careers,” Dr. Richard Thomas, president of the medical school, said in a statement. “This instruction is based on real-life lessons learned, is woven throughout the curriculum and incorporated into our medical field exercises.”

The graduates include physicians, family, mental health and women’s health practitioners and certified registered nurse anesthetists. The addition of 200 new medical professionals will help support the services following the decision to deploy several hundred military health care providers to the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort hospital ships, officials said.

“Our students are uniquely prepared to meet and address the readiness needs of the Department of Defense and our nation the moment they step out of our doors,” Dr. Thomas said.

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