“The professors and everyone are just kind of frustrated because they’ve put a lot of their life into this and it is very valuable to be taught face to face by an OB/GYN, someone who — her quote — has delivered over 8,000 babies. To be doing it on a zoom call is just kind of different, but everybody’s doing their best.”— Danny (Des Moines, IA)
This series illustrates COVID-19’s effect on Midwesterners — one person at a time.
“This semester we have what’s called our neonatology lab, which is basically babies: learning how to deliver, physical exam skills, and how to assess newborns. And that’s all supposed to be hands-on…
“When I had my first lab before this whole thing came crashing through the door, I was in there and we all did the whole delivery process on our own with the pushing and the proper steps, it’s all very hands on. There’s a fake baby that cries; it emulates different things; it can shake, not move, have different colors, and we would assess the baby and see these symptoms in front of you, but now I just watch a video of someone doing that.
“The professors and everyone are just kind of frustrated because they’ve put a lot of their life into this and it is very valuable to be taught face to face by an OB/GYN, someone who — her quote — has delivered over 8,000 babies. To be doing it on a zoom call is just kind of different, but everybody’s doing their best.
“Right now, I’m in this study period; I have my first of three United States Medical Licensing Exams in June. So that is really just having to be at home and study like 12 hours a day for eight weeks straight. Me being a DO Student (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), I have to take 2 of these tests, and with all the board material and actually paying for the test, it can cost about $1,600 to $2,000. Since the tests are normally administered to 30 students in the same room on computers, they might have to cancel or reschedule them through June. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can’t not study for it.
“One more thing about being a medical student right now is that I’m just a second-year student so I’m not doing rotations yet, but for students who are third and fourth years, all their rotations have been cancelled. This is two years you spend on the job learning person-to-person and being trained, and now they just have to do, like, online simulations. So when I talk about being unable to learn these things hands-on affecting me, it’s affecting third- and fourth-year students tenfold. On top of that, when we apply for residency they take those rotations into account; you get reviews from the doctors you worked under. And all these interactions with people in the field that might help you further your own career are now taken from them.
“This has really brought to light how our frontline workers aren’t being given the supplies to be safe themselves in all sorts of programs across the country. You’re telling them to re-wear a mask for a week, share them if they don’t have enough, and hospitals don’t have enough ventilators. It really just shows how unprepared we were and unprotected a lot of our healthcare workers are.”
Des Moines, IA