Calli Morris graduated from FHC in 2012, and went on to get her undergraduate degree in chemistry at University of South Carolina. She is now in her last year of medical school at University of Missouri School of Medicine to obtain her MD. However, she is unable to work in hospitals due to a shortage of personal protective equipment.
“I am a medical student who is about to graduate in May and begin my residency training in pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s. Although I am done with all of my graduation requirements, myself and other medical students are feeling a significant burden on our education and the normalcy of our medical training due to COVID-19. All medical students are currently not allowed to be in the hospital on clinical rotations as we normally would be, so there is a lot of hands-on learning that students are missing out on because of this. The main concern there has been about having medical students in the hospital is that they do not want us using personal protective equipment (PPE) that is already hard to come by during the current times, since patients that medical students see also have to be seen by an attending physician, so they do not want this PPE to be “wasted” if not completely necessary,” Morris said.
Many of the struggles seniors at FHC are currently facing, Morris can relate to, as her own graduation has been cancelled. She also feels as if the odd circumstances people are under will affect her in her professional practice as a physician, and the people around her. This goes to show that even those braving the medical field have fears.
“More specifically for me, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused my Match Day celebrations and graduation to be cancelled, which has been really hard to cope with, as I have been dreaming of my medical school graduation since I was a little kid. Because I will be starting my pediatrics residency during a very strange time in history, I personally anticipate being very affected once I start working my first job as a physician at the end of June,” Morris said. “In addition to trying to learn how to work as a resident physician in a new hospital in a new city with a new group of brand new physicians like myself, I am also going to be worrying about the health and safety of my patients, my colleagues, and myself in the midst of this pandemic. And, to be quite honest, I am nervous and scared. I am nervous that, in addition to the people whose health is going to be affected by COVID-19, a lot of people, and children in particular, are going to end up missing out on important healthcare appointments, treatments, and procedures due to clinic visits being cancelled except for extenuating circumstances. Children are going to miss getting routine vaccines. Children with chronic illnesses are going to miss getting follow up testing that they need to monitor their condition. It’s just a really strange, and scary, time to become a brand new physician.”