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Fighting for a Healthier Future: Stories of Academic Medicine on the Front Lines

The physicians, scientists, faculty, learners, other health professionals and staff at the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are defining the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic—and we are committed to improving the health of our communities every day.

Our nation’s academic medical centers not only are the training grounds for the next generation of physicians and other health professionals, they’re also at the forefront of discovery and high-quality clinical care—and we won’t stop fighting until we’ve cared for every patient who needs us.

Our hospitals care for COVID-19 patients now and will in the future, and our researchers are advancing medical knowledge by developing new treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines. Our goal is to prevent future epidemics.

This collection highlights the work academic medicine is doing in patient care, research and medical education to address the challenges the nation faces as it confronts the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Way Forward on COVID-19

A Road Map to Reset the Nation's Approach to the Pandemic

A comprehensive, coordinated plan to help member medical schools, teaching hospitals, and health systems respond to the pandemic.

Read the full road map

Woman wearing a face covering

Consensus Guidance on Face Coverings

A consensus statement designed to provide national guidance for the public on wearing face coverings to decrease the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read the Guidance on Wearing Masks

Patient Care

Hospitals partner with nursing homes to prevent and fight outbreaks

Academic medical centers support nursing homes with COVID-19 prevention and control.

Post-COVID-19 clinics help survivors recover

Months after contracting COVID-19, patients suffer from trouble breathing, memory loss, and more. Now some hospitals have created clinics to help patients heal.

Retired doctors want to return to work to fight COVID-19. Here's what they need to know

Despite critical workforce shortages in some hot spots around the country, physicians whose licenses expired long ago cannot just jump back into practice.

When everything changes: On the front lines of COVID-19

Providers working in the current outbreak face huge stresses, including fears for themselves and their families, yet they are inspired to keep serving patients.

Delivering more care remotely will be critical as COVID-19 races through communities

Even before Congress lifted restrictions on reimbursement for telehealth through Medicare, academic medical centers were expanding telemedicine services.

“Every doctor makes a difference”: Academic hospitals send teams to New York

As New York continues to grapple with thousands of COVID-19 patients, academic medical centers in less-hard-hit areas are sending physicians to help out.

“This is what we do”: Academic medicine mobilizes to prepare for COVID-19

From training front-line workers to activating their incident command centers, hospitals are preparing for a worst-case scenario — and hoping for a best.

Medical Education

“Itching to get back in”: Medical students graduate early to join the fight

Hundreds of new MDs are helping alleviate a dire shortage of health care providers in hotspots across the country.

Bright lights in a dark time: Medical students step up to help out

From sewing masks to unloading supplies, medical students are tackling tasks to meet growing needs during the COVID-19 crisis while learning amazing lessons.

“A terrifying privilege”: Residency during the COVID-19 outbreak

An intern describes getting coughed on, wading through confusing information, and feeling helpless yet essential. Life as a resident during the current crisis.

Research

Academic researchers investigate treatments amid urgent need

Researchers at university labs and hospitals are running trials to find drugs and other treatments to save patients stricken by COVID-19.

Collaborations that save lives

Medical schools are partnering with engineering schools to produce testing reagents, swabs, PPE, and more. Will these relationships endure beyond the pandemic?

Coronavirus testing: How academic medical labs are stepping up to fill a void

As a CDC test failed, academic labs across the country developed their own. Some tests are live, while others await FDA approval.

Here’s why we can’t rush a COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines saved humanity from countless scourges, like measles and smallpox. Producing a safe, effective vaccine is painstaking, as the risk of harm is real.

Health Equity & Public Health

Teaching hospitals help businesses and schools safely reopen — and stay open

New COVID-19 consulting services tap staff expertise to develop plans, visit sites, and educate employees to prevent viral spread.

Rural and at risk for COVID-19

The novel coronavirus is hitting remote areas where patients are poorer, sicker, and older hard. Here's how medical schools and teaching hospitals are helping.

Prison should not be a COVID-19 death sentence

Doctors who have visited San Quentin prison and other facilities explain why incarceration makes COVID-19 dangerous and how to protect inmates and communities.

COVID-19 and the opioid crisis: When a pandemic and an epidemic collide

Over 20 million people in the U.S. have a substance use disorder. During COVID-19, experts see signs of relapses, overdoses, and other worries. What can we do?

DACA physicians serve on COVID-19 front lines

Supreme Court ruling gives DACA medical students and residents temporary reprieve amidst a pandemic and physician shortages.

The new coronavirus affects us all. But some groups may suffer more.

The new coronavirus is worrisome for everyone. But for people who live with poverty, health inequities, and other woes, the outbreak could be especially brutal.