Medical schools, nursing programs see jump in applications amid pandemic

Medical schools, nursing programs see jump in applications amid pandemic

NEW YORK — The pandemic has led to more young people applying to medical school and nursing programs.

Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine has seen a 14% increase in applications this year over last year.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for health sciences, said prior to the pandemic, applications would go up about 5%, at most, each year.

Stony Brook’s jump in applicants is on par with a nationwide trend of increased enrollment at medical schools that CBS News reported in December was being driven by the so-called “Fauci effect.”

Some have credited the high visibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other health care professionals for having inspired many to enter the medical field.

“I think people see that health care workers make a difference,” said Kaushansky. “No matter whether you’re a nurse, or you’re a respiratory therapist, or whether you’re the person who transports patients, or you’re taking their X-rays, people know that we are as health care industry really helping people out.”

Applications are not just up for medical school and nursing programs, but for paramedics and EMTs as well.

For student Philip Massaro, the pandemic has reinforced his decision to go into nursing.

“As nurses we have very well rounded education and we really are the cornerstone for these patients,” he said.