Medical residents

New Doctors Prepare For Residency Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Apr 10, 2020
Courtesy of Lauren Grant

For fourth-year medical students, spring is normally the time for an important rite of passage. They finish  classes and find out where they’ll spend the next several years doing their residencies.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned all that upside down.

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

Every year, for the past 15 years, a group of first-year medical students in St. Louis, Missouri have climbed on board three yellow school buses and headed north. 


Fourth-year students at a Tennessee medical school wait for residency letters telling them where they will finish their medical training. Tennessee is one of several states with too few residency positions for the graduates of its medical schools.
AP

Last year, 369 students graduated from Iowa medical schools, but at least 131 of them had to finish their training elsewhere because Iowa had only 238 residency positions available.

The story was the same for at least 186 students who graduated from Missouri medical schools and 200 who studied at Tennessee schools. States such as New York, California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania were happy to take them—all four states took in more residents than students they trained.

Nick Dawson/Flickr