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Some of the final year GEM students at their NHS induction at Morriston Hospital.

Some of the final year GEM students at their NHS induction at Morriston Hospital.

Final year medical students from Swansea University are joining NHS staff in the fight against Covid-19.

The first group of students have now been inducted as doctors after the General Medical Council offered early provisional registration to those who wanted to sign up to begin their duties.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Head of Graduate Entry Medicine at Swansea University Medical School, said the students were being contacted individually by the GMC in the next week to invite them to apply for early pre-registration.

She said: “Swansea Medical School is proud of its excellent final year students, most of whom have already volunteered to work clinically in the NHS as medical student assistants. They are ready to graduate, having passed their final examinations on the Graduate Entry Medicine Programme.”

Participation is voluntary and is only being offered to students who have completed the requirements of the programme they are studying on, passed the relevant summative assessments and the mandatory components of the programme.

Student Alex Ruddy admitted he was filled with a sense of nervous duty but said: “This is our calling, and although it has arrived at an unexpected and unpredictable time, we will not be ignoring it."

He added: “We are all concerned about the pressures facing the NHS. Perhaps most concerning for us are the pressures staff are now under to deliver effective care for patients whilst putting themselves, and their loved ones, in very real danger every day.

“However, despite entering the profession during a global pandemic, we have trained for this moment and above any sense of personal fear or anxiety I think we are all eager to apply ourselves and help at this time of immense need. “

Zack Balaban added: “Yes I am graduating a few months early, but this is what I have been training for the past four years. My course mates and I are in a position where we can make a tangible difference to our NHS - it's what we signed up for."

The new recruits taking up work in the NHS will become interim Foundation Y1 doctors (FY1), entering the two-year UK Foundation Programme which forms the bridge between medical school and specialist/general practice training, immediately. They will also be able to choose where they go to work.

Professor Hawthorne added: “We wish them all the best in their future careers as doctors and hope they will keep in touch with us.”

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