One hundred twenty-two students in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University received their diploma two months early on April 8, and nearly half have raised their hands to be deployed to the front lines of the fight against Covid-19.
They shared their achievement via a “Facebook Live” ceremony Wednesday so families, friends and loved ones were able to see the students receive their MDs and take the Hippocratic Oath.
“I’m excited to do anything I can to help. This is the job. This is what we all went into medicine to do,” said new graduate Dr. Hailey McInerney.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order April 4 allowing for early graduation among senior medical students who met all academic requirements.
Of the 122 graduates, 49 of these students will join the ranks at Stony Brook University Hospital as Assisting Physicians on Monday, April 13. Fourteen will join the ranks at NYU-Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, where they completed their third and fourth year clerkships and/or matched there for their residency.
The new doctors will be under the supervision of attending physicians, addressing the growing number and complexity of patients being admitted to the hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.
All the graduates have taken a required Covid-19 preparedness course for two weeks of academic credit, and the students have been hired for six-to-eight weeks within the hospital system.
“This class has had such strength and solidarity over the past weeks and years and I couldn’t have done without you all,” said new graduate Dr. Kristen Nancy Schaeffer.
New graduate Dr. Anthony Schramm thanked his family as well as his “fellow classmates who are some of the brightest young minds in medicine who are eager to join the front lines in the COVID response. You inspire me and I’m extremely honored to be part of this group.”
“We celebrate the accomplishments of 122 outstanding Renaissance School of Medicine students; women and men who will be advancing their careers as inquisitive, compassionate and caring physicians,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Dean, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “Their humanity and devotion to the principles of medicine have been truly inspiring.”
Dr. Kaushansky co-presided over the virtual graduation ceremony with Dr. Latha Chandran, Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs.
“More than 50 percent of our graduates will immediately be working to help handle the Covid crisis affecting all of us. A special thanks to all of you who opted to work right after graduation,” said Dr. Chandran.
A group of more than 20 nurses and respiratory therapists from SUNY Upstate Medical University, one of three sister SUNY medical schools that includes Stony Brook, are also arriving today at Stony Brook University Hospital to help treat patients afflicted by Covid-19.
They are expected be welcomed by Stony Brook Medicine staff lining up with signs and cheers, while also practicing social distancing, to say thank you to their new teammates in this ongoing fight.
The nurses begin working Friday, April 10, and will help with the staffing of 300 additional hospital beds, including 180 additional ICU beds, that have been set up at SBUH to treat COVID-19 patients.