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Graduating healthcare professionals can get to work sooner amid COVID-19 pandemic

doctors walking down a hallway
Luis Melendez

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is fast tracking hundreds of licenses for graduating nurses, medical doctors, and osteopathic physicians across the state.

Many medical facilities are experiencing a shortage of healthcare personnel due to COVID-19. Governor Gretchen Whitmer is trying to increase the number of healthcare professionals fighting the pandemic as soon as possible. The graduates have already completed their respective programs and are just going through the typical procedures before they can get to work.

Andrea Amalfitano is Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. He says normally students graduating from his program would have to wait until July 1 to begin their residencies, but now with the expedited licenses the new doctors can start practicing as soon as the hospitals can take them on.

"Out on the frontlines right now there are folks that maybe have to step away from patient care, because they’ve been exposed to somebody and have to self-quarantine," he says.

Amalfitano says more than 200 MSU students have matched with residency programs in the state and graduates have expressed a desire to help as soon as possible.

"Most of our hospital partners are located in southeast Michigan right in the heart of the storm if you will right now," he said. "And so that is where most of our graduates will be heading as they enter their residency years."  

On Monday, Whitmer took to twitter asking healthcare professionals from outside the state to consider coming to Michigan to help treat the constant growing number of COVID-19 cases here.

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MaKayla is a recent Michigan transplant hailing from Arkansas with a deep love for storytelling which has translated to a love for public radio. She loves being outdoors (and welcomes any recommendations for great hiking spots), cooking for her fiancée, and is a budding horticulturist. She is studying Mass Communication at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.
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