Coronavirus: Military medical students graduating early to help

Graduation was moved up for more than 200 medical and graduate nursing students at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. They will immediately be deployed to support the military efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The students are all active duty officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Public Health services. The President of the Uniformed Services University, Dr. Richard Thomas, says he made the decision for early graduation when the national emergency was declared. "Our curriculum has a specific focus on threats like emerging infectious diseases and disasters that our military and Public Health Service forces are likely to encounter in the course of their careers," Thomas said in a release. "This instruction is based on real-life lessons learned, is woven throughout the curriculum and incorporated into our medical field exercises."

The students will have all completed all of their requirements for a degree and will be available for assignment within each military branch, the organization said. The graduates include physicians, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners in family health, mental health and women’s health.