GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A professor at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids is calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to help obtain vaccines for faculty and staff that work at the school’s simulated medical center.
Under the supervision and instruction of professors like Bridget Chin, the simulated medical clinic gives students hands-on experience treating real people, called simulated patients. As such, the students were among the first to get the vaccine, receiving the same priority as other health care workers.
But Chin said the faculty and staff didn’t make the cut.
She is calling for change, saying the vaccine is a much-needed extra layer of protection for those teaching and training future physicians.
“With direct patient care, it’s impossible to teach somebody an abdominal exam or how to listen to the lung properly or palpate (while staying safe),” Chin said. “You can’t distance yourselves and so that’s why it’s important.”
While some faculty members may have access to the vaccine through practicing medicine elsewhere, Chin is most concerned about helping her colleagues who do not have such access.
“I’m not too worried too much about myself,” Chin said. “I’m more worried about the administrative staff and the simulated patients. I think they should be on the list to get the COVID-19 vaccine as a priority in order to help the medical students and all of Michiganders.”
Chin sent a letter to Whitmer’s Office Thursday, asking for help in obtaining vaccinations for everyone in the building.
“I am pleading that you, Governor Whitmer, will recognize the significance of keeping our MSU Medical School safe and help us receive vaccinations for our faculty, simulated patients and staff as soon as possible so that we may continue training future doctors for our great state of Michigan. The alternative would be devastating,” Chin wrote in the letter.
As Chin hopefully awaits a response from Whitmer, News 8 also reached out to the governor’s office on her behalf. A spokesperson responded with the following statement:
“As Governor Whitmer has said previously, it’s her solemn vow that every Michigander that would like a vaccine will be able to get one, but we have to be patient as more vaccines become available and processes continue to improve. Governor Whitmer appreciates outreach from her constituents on such a critical matter.”