By Shawn Knepper
Staff reporter

With the pandemic taking a toll on educational institutions and hospitals across the world, medical students are facing an uncertain future. As of May 6, more than 72,000 people in the United States alone and more than 258,000 worldwide have died from COVID-19.

Emily Sarnacki, Winfield High alumna, studies at the University of Kansas School of Medicine Campus in Wichita.

Sarnacki said, “KU School of Medicine actually has graduated 50 students early to help with these crazy times, and they were fourth year medical students who volunteered themselves. The function of them graduating early is to assist with the Kansas Pandemic Volunteer Health Care Workforce.”

Daelor Osen, Southwestern alum and medical student at Oklahoma State University, said, “It [COVID-19] has forced schools to utilize online education modules and other online resources as our main means of learning at this point. The main concern schools have is to still graduate students on time for residency, so it has caused schools to become creative about how to continue the process without interruptions in our education.”

Osen advises those concerned about the pandemic to not panic and to stay calm. “We can’t control anything in this life other than ourselves and our reactions to what happens to us,” said Osen.

Seth Topham, alum and student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Lawrence, is another student who is also well-researched about the pandemic.

Topham said, “With all classes being shifted online and with the school sending everyone home, there’s no doubt a lot of ructions of what this pandemic will bring. All we can do now is trust our medical advisers and keep practicing social distancing. The more we can do to flatten the curve, the best chance that we have to try to go back to life before the virus.”

Shawn Knepper reported on this story from his home in Winfield, KS.