CBS reports ‘The Fauci effect’ is leading to increased med school applications

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Applications to U.S. medical schools have greatly increased thanks to the country’s lead immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to CBS News.

Due in large part to an interest in the medical profession generated by the coronavirus pandemic, applications to med schools have increased by 18 percent this year, the Association of American Medical Colleges said in what academics are calling the “Fauci effect.”

“You see on the TV the health care workers and it’s obviously really taking a toll, but I think it also just underscores how important they are and the impact that they have,” said Rahi Patel, a University of Minnesota junior who is taking pre-med courses, told CBSMinnesota. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of that.”

Other factors are supposedly in play fueling the rise in med school applications in addition to the pandemic’s highlighting of medicine and science, CBS News reported.

“The quarantine has given more people the considerable time needed to fill out medical-school applications. The economic toll of the pandemic, which has cost nearly 10 million people their jobs, is also prompting some to seek a high-paying career, medical-school deans say,” the network said.

Dimple Patel, an associate dean of admissions at the University of Minnesota’s Medical School who is not related to Rahi Patel, said that applications there are up by 40 percent at the Twin Cities campus and 77 percent at the Duluth campus. She said that the application essays she reads often discuss the pandemic as well as health equity and social justice.

Meanwhile, applications to the University of California-Davis Medical School have risen 40 percent, with some 10,000 applicants for 130 slots. Applications to nursing programs are also rising, CBS News said.

“After 9/11 there was a huge increase in the number of young people going into the military. And now, we see a physician, Fauci nationally, and [Dr. Jeff] Pothof more locally, two physicians who are inspiring the next generation of young people to come and be part of the solution,” Dr. Mary McSweeney, assistant dean at the University of Wisconsin-Madison medical school, told local CBS affiliate Channel 3000.

Jesse Kelly, a host on streaming news network The First, said the deification of Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since the early 1980s, is misplaced.

“It’s not that our country has bad people. Every country has bad people. The problem is our country elevates and celebrates our bad people while reviling and destroying the good ones. A completely upside down culture,” he wrote on Twitter.

Many others agree with him.

Fauci has been regularly blasted — by the Trump administration and others — as having been wrong about a lot of things when it came to how he suggested handling the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.

In mid-July, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro penned an op-ed for USA Today in which he said the nation’s leading immunologist was “wrong about everything.”

“When I warned in late January in a memo of a possibly deadly pandemic, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was telling the news media not to worry,” Navarro wrote.

“When I was working feverishly on behalf of the president in February to help engineer the fastest industrial mobilization of the health care sector in our history, Fauci was still telling the public the China virus was low risk,” he added.

“When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also blasted Fauci, telling Fox News in July his state was through taking the immunologist’s COVID advice.

“Fauci said today that he’s concerned about states like Texas that skipped over certain things. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We haven’t skipped over anything. The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him,” he said.


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