I had dinner in my backyard with two of my former students as they finished up medical school. We were ten feet apart at separate tables wearing masks. As we looked back over the recent weeks to grasp the depth of sea change within healthcare, I could not help but think: “What is going to happen to bright young men and women like these? Their futures could be in peril.” While I faced other challenges, this period is unlike anything we’ve dealt with before. Established physicians and healthcare systems are struggling to stay solvent while caring for patients with a death toll and paths of destruction unprecedented in our lifetimes.
A few years ago when I was writing recommendations for these students, I was absolutely certain they would change the world of healthcare. I now wonder how the world will change the future of these graduating students, one at Johns Hopkins and the other at Harvard Medical School. Representing the top two medical schools in the US, they are poised to respond substantively to the new healthcare disasters ahead of them. Will we be able to leverage them to take on that challenge?