Amid skyrocketing unemployment, medical students report to frontline

Brittney Justice at her white coat ceremony
Brittney Justice at her white coat ceremony

By Jenny Ly
Medill Reports

More figures released from the Labor Department last Thursday shows the country still heading toward alarming economic conditions, as the new running total amounts to over 36.5 million Americans filing for unemployment claims.

While unemployment is soaring to historic records, it seems as though only one category has job security: essential workers.

Brittney Justice graduated on May 9, 2020, from Kansas City University and is starting her residency amid the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic. What would have been a normal, fourth and final year in medical school with clinical rotations and a chance to prepare for residency for medical students was stripped away, as medical schools across the country had to improvise due to COVID-19.

“It makes an interesting transition to residency,” Justice said. “Your clinical months got cut short which makes you nervous because you haven’t had much patient contact.”

Justice will begin her residency in the VA unit. She will then go over to the pulmonary ICU unit in August, where a lot of the COVID-19 patients will be admitted.

Photo at top: Brittney Justice, a recent medical school graduate, at the gold humanism award ceremony last year. (Courtesy of Brittney Justice)