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What's It Like To Be A Doctor In Training During A Pandemic?


Medical associations warned of doctor shortages, even before the pandemic. Now they're even more concerned. The pandemic is a trial by fire for doctors in training. One of them is Alexia Mandeville (ph), who is in the middle of applying to medical school. She's working as a med tech in West Palm Beach.

ALEXIA MANDEVILLE: When one of my patients was passing, we played some nice '60s music and held his hand the whole time. So we just wanted to ensure that they're exiting this Earth with people next to them.


Andres Gould (ph) is starting med school this summer but is less confident about his career choice now. He's from Washington state. And the pandemic hit close to home.

ANDRES GOULD: The first case was in Everett, Wash. I guess once people were, you know, getting hospitalized and dying, that's when we started to feel more anxious.

MARTIN: Ashley Ross (ph) is just finishing her first year of med school. She's struggling because she can't do more to help those in need yet.

ASHLEY ROSS: We want to help people. We want to nurture. We want to try fixing things. And so you get stuck with this kind of, like - almost like an impotence.

INSKEEP: She's also concerned about her own safety.

ROSS: Looking at some of the hospitals and how they've treated physicians has definitely made me leery.

INSKEEP: If staff do not have protective equipment, she says, they have to think about their own safety as much as their patients.

(SOUNDBITE OF NILS FRAHM'S "KIND") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.