University of Arizona medical students gear up for workforce as U.S hits 1 million COVID deaths

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:38 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Nearly 120 graduates received their diplomas from the University of Arizona College of Medicine on Thursday. This as the nation reaches one million deaths from the Coronavirus.

The graduates will be heading off to start their residencies 63 hospitals in 28 states.

“It’s definitely significant. We’re here to treat a wide variety of diseases and a wide variety of patients but it definitely speaks to the importance of what we are doing today,” recent graduate Ethan Bryce said of today’s events and the deaths due to COVID-19.

Bryce is gearing up to begin his new job at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, ready to bring a fresh pair of eyes to his future colleagues. “They do have some burnout. They’ve been through a lot. So being able to remind them why they went into emergency medicine for me or whatever the specialty is for my classmates. I think that’s something that can reawaken the joy of medicine in them.”

Bryce’s fellow classmate Cassandra Villa is also ready for the challenge as she preps for her move to Baltimore. She noted today’s symbolism and the industry’s need for more workers.

“I think that this gives everybody an awakening about what is going on and how much healthcare can be taxing. I don’t think a lot of people had that understanding prior to this. But I feel like that’s coming to light more now given everything we’ve gone through in the last couple of years,” Villa said.

The graduates just took their Hippocratic oath during the ceremony and said it wasn’t lost on them that they are entering into an industry that needs more people just like them.

If you missed the ceremony, you can watch the livestreamed event here.

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