In our recent post, COVID-19: Giving Back to the Community, we outlined some ways that individuals can make positive changes in their community. It’s not just individuals who are giving back, though. Companies are finding out-of-the-box ways to give back and support the healthcare workers who are risking their health to fight on the front lines against this virus.
Perhaps AMO’s Chief Operating Officer, Benjamin Bradley, put it best when he said, “At this time, every company needs to look at the crisis and see what they can do to help.”
And AMO is doing just that. We are using our international connections to make a positive impact on the local healthcare system and using our platform as a top clinical experience provider to push for healthcare reform at the state and federal government level.
For details on how AMO is giving back during COVID-19, continue reading below.
We’re Securing Personal Protective Gear for Local Hospitals
It’s widely known that there is a shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals in the U.S. Without these pieces of equipment, healthcare professionals are at a significant risk of contracting COVID-19. The safety of our healthcare professionals is critical in the fight against COVID-19; the U.S. already suffers from a lack of physicians and nurses, and every healthcare worker that gets sick is removed from the workforce, making our community less safe.
In response to the local equipment shortage, Bradley and our Partnership Director, Daniel Rivers, worked together to leverage AMO’s global connections to source PPE for our Chicago partner Saint Anthony Hospital. With Rivers’ connections in China, the two connected the hospital to a distribution company that has been importing PPE to the U.S. for the last decade. Through this connection, Saint Anthony Hospital was able to purchase 50,000 masks, with no additional fees paid to AMO.
Bradley and Rivers are now working to connect other local hospitals with distributors who can provide NIOSH and FDA approved N95 and N99 masks.
We’re Advocating for IMGs
In addition to leveraging our connections to help keep our healthcare workers protected and safe, we created a petition to urge states to allow U.S.-based, pre-resident international medical graduates to provide medical assistance in the U.S. under the supervision of a licensed physician.
We understand the difficulties many IMGs face as they begin the process of becoming licensed U.S. physicians. It is lengthy with requirements that include additional years of training and multiple exams. As a result, there are an estimated 65,000 unmatched medical graduates who are living and working in the U.S in non-clinical roles, many of whom would like to volunteer to join their colleagues on the front lines.
For healthcare professionals with training and licenses from other countries, it can be challenging to see the country’s physician shortage, unable to help. Such unforeseen circumstances require temporary exceptions to be made so that those willing and wanting to help can do so.
Interested in giving back during COVID-19? Sign our petition!
We’re Helping Educate Future Physicians in a Safe Setting
As mentioned above, becoming a licensed professional in the U.S. is complicated. AMO helps by providing clinical experiences that allow individuals to meet residency application requirements. While we understand the seriousness of this pandemic, we feel continuing medical education is important. Halting medical education at this point can have detrimental effects on the healthcare workforce in the future.
In response to this, we are still offering clinical experiences in safe, vetted locations. Many of our sites are still open and looking for students in the upcoming months. Because the safety of our visitors, precepting physicians, and those they treat is always the priority, we are in constant communication with our rotation sites to ensure that each available site has sufficient PPE on hand and has implemented a screening process to avoid patient contact with those known or suspected to have COVID-19. In an effort to keep all parties safe, we updated our policy regarding clinical experiences. Future visitors can read more about these changes here.
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