While hospitals started prepping for the potential wave of coronavirus patients, stockpiling PPE equipment and setting up makeshift ICU wards, thousands of medical students across the country answered the call to step up and help fight COVID-19.
Back in March, when our numbers were looking bleak, the Victorian Government put out a call to the state’s medical schools asking for assistance. They had hoped that a number of final year students may be able to join the health workforce early and relieve some of the pressures on frontline doctors as Australia hurtled towards a peak in COVID-19 infections by May or June.
When the Melbourne Medical School put out the call, we received an overwhelming response from eager students willing to learn and help where they could. Within 24 hours a total of 1388 people had signed up.
This astonished the University’s head of medical education, Professor Steve Trumble, who said that the total enrolment of medical students was only around 1389, including one student who "never reads my emails".
Shipraa Kaul (BBiomed 2016), 25, who is currently finishing her final year was one of the students who responded. She said she was happy to be able to contribute and learn from the experience.
"I felt that it was a great opportunity for me to try and give back to the health system and reduce the load on other healthcare workers in case they needed it on the front line.”
The willingness of our students to aid in times of need is something we are extremely proud of and shows that the future of our health sector is in good hands.