DETROIT (AP) — Hundreds of new health care graduates from Michigan State University are available to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the school said Tuesday.
State officials have made a desperate plea for health professionals as the number of cases rises each day. MSU said the state has created a temporary license for nurses who are typically required to first take a national exam.
Doctors from the colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine also can work ahead of their medical residencies, which start in July, MSU said.
“They’re highly useful,” Dr. Aron Sousa, interim dean of MSU College of Human Medicine, said about the graduating physicians. “They can write orders, they can do diagnoses, they can meet with patients, they can help with all kinds of things. They’d be really useful to a hospital that’s over its peak capacity.”
All of MSU’s medical students are also currently taking an online course about COVID-19, Sousa said.
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The number of coronavirus cases reported statewide surpassed 7,600 Monday, with 259 dead. Most of those cases and deaths are in southeast Michigan.
The state’s medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said Michigan needs nurses and acute-care doctors.
“Adding more than 350 medical professionals to the health care workforce at this critical juncture will make a substantive difference in combating this virus,” said Dr. Norman Beauchamp Jr., executive vice president for health sciences.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness including death.
—News 8’s Jacqueline Francis contributed to this report.