University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix Will Allow Fourth-Year Students to Graduate Early

Those who qualify can begin serving as early as mid-April.

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix is offering early graduation for qualified fourth-year students who wish to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an email sent today (March 27), Guy Reed, MD, MS, Dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix, informed fourth-year students that the medical school will work with them to accelerate their graduation. Requests to graduate before the regularly scheduled date of May 11 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A College of Medicine Student Progress Committee will meet April 6 to consider the requests, and the newly-conferred MDs could begin work in a clinical setting by mid-April.

UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix graduating students at commencement event for Class of 2019.

“Given the extraordinary times in which we find ourselves, and the rapidly growing burden that the pandemic is placing on our health care system, we stand in admiration of our students who wish to pursue this option and will do our best to facilitate these requests,” Dean Reed said.

About 90 students are expected to graduate in the Class of 2020. Dean Reed said more than half of those students have completed their requirements, meaning about 50 newly-conferred MDs could begin service as early as mid-April.

To qualify, students must have completed all graduation requirements and submit their request in writing that details their rationale and planned service contribution, including start and end dates of service, nature of work, location and expected workload. They also must secure a letter from the director of the program they will be serving stating that the organization will assure appropriate licensure of their activities and provide malpractice insurance.

“We know that COVID-19 represents a particular risk for those on the front lines of patient care,” Dean Reed said. “Arizona does not currently have a critical shortage of health care workers, however, that could change in the next few weeks. The situation is extremely fluid, and we will rely on information from our hospital partners as well as the governor and the Arizona Department of Health Services about their needs.”

The UA College of Medicine – Tucson is considering similar measures.

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NOTE: Photo available upon request.

About the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Founded in 2007, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. By cultivating collaborative research locally and globally, the college accelerates discovery in a number of critical areas — including cancer, stroke, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular disease. Championed as a student-centric campus, the college has graduated 500 physicians, all of whom received exceptional training from nine clinical partners and 1,800 diverse faculty members. As the anchor to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which is projected to have an economic impact of $3.1 billion by 2025, the college prides itself on engaging with the community, fostering education, inclusion, access and advocacy. For more information, please visit phoenixmed.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).