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Medical students begin journey in healthcare during pandemic

Posted at 7:26 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 19:26:12-04

TAMPA, Fla.—They’re beginning their future in the healthcare industry during a global health crisis: first-year medical students. First-years at USF Health’s Morsani College of Medicine started orientation on campus last week.

For first-year medical student Kristina Rozova, the journey is just getting underway.

“I think it for sure just increased my passion and interest in the field,” said Rozova. “I always knew that physicians and all healthcare workers are so needed in our society, but I think this pandemic has really shown me just how important physicians and other healthcare workers are. I think it definitely fueled my fire.”

Classes will look different than years past. They’ll be wearing masks, have access to sanitation kits for cleaning and have reconfigured classrooms for social distancing. Faculty says they have evaluated the curriculum to see which classes needed to be taught in person and which could be done remotely.

“Whenever it is in person, we do have things like staggered entrance times so not everyone’s crowding together funneling in, and when they’re entering, there’s very clearly marked locations where you stand to keep that six feet apart, just like at a grocery store,” said first-year medical student Berwin Yuan.

Dr. Kira Zwygart, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Associate Dean of Student Affairs, says the transition now from a student to a doctor mentality may happen quicker. She says the pandemic may provide new learning opportunities as well.

“I think that much of the principles that we’ve been teaching, many of the instances of various studies or things that happened over the past three or six months are going to be examples in many of the courses,” said Dr. Zwygart. “It’s great because I think it really makes you learn more when you can tie it to an example you’ve kind of lived through.”