Coronavirus Social: Residents Help Out Graduating Med Students on Twitter

Liz Neporent

May 16, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Coronavirus news isn't all gloom and doom. On social media this week, residents lent a hand to graduating med students, a nurse got engaged while fighting the virus on the night shift, and expectant dads were welcomed back into some delivery rooms in the United Kingdom.

Twitter Gives the Inside Scoop On Residencies

Choosing where to spend their residency years is a tough decision for new doctors — even in the best of times. Factor in COVID-19 and the inability to visit institutions or interview in person and it has become next to impossible. An ongoing Twitter thread between residents and prospective applicants aims to help.

"Let's make a thread w/ residents from different programs willing to answer Qs & give insight about program/city If ur a resident wanting to help out #MedStudents reply & RT," tweeted emergency medicine resident Walid Malki, MD.

Dozens of residents have already obliged, offering helpful advice and responding to questions from medical students hungry for inside info on the residency programs they're considering. Per Maki's instruction, the residents provide general facts plus details about the city and the program's current residents. They also invite students to direct message them if they want to start a dialogue or ask more specific questions.

Graduating med students do seem to appreciate the effort.

"Rising MS4 wanting to go into EM right here. Thank you for doing this... " one grateful student tweeted.


Nurses Get Engaged Amid COVID-19

Registered nurse Jason Heimes popped the question to certified nursing assistant Ashley Jensen in the Omaha Methodist Hospital's break room in the midst of their 12-hour, overnight shift. 

Heimes works directly with COVID-19 patients in the North Tower's Progressive Care Unit and Jensen is assigned to the Short Stay Unit on the South Tower's fifth floor, according to a post on the hospital's Facebook page, which received more than 300 likes. After a group of coworkers distracted Jensen for a moment, she turned around to find Heimes down on one knee, ring in hand, asking her to marry him, the Omaha Herald reported

The post was certainly popular among the page's followers who flooded the comments with congratulations for the happy couple.

"If we can get through this together and share those anxieties together through the pandemic," Jensen said, "we can get through anything."

Dads Are Back in Some of UK's NICUs

"The dads are back!! After MUCH discussion and negotiation we are so pleased to see the dads back in our neonatal unit! We were 1 visitor which meant a v hard time for both parents...everyone feeling better!!," tweeted Liz McKechnie, MD, a neonatologist at NHS England Leeds in the West Yorkshire region of the country.

Although Twitter users were quick to point out that the fathers of newborns aren't "visitors," no one disagreed it was happy news that dads can once again share in the birth of their children. And the news tracks with a Medscape Medical News report earlier this week that the UK has implemented its first tentative steps to ease out of coronavirus lockdown. 

Expectant mothers in the UK, especially black, Asian, and ethnic minorities, have been considered at high risk for coronavirus infection, which is what led to the clampdown on the number of people allowed in labor rooms. Other countries have also placed similar restrictions. Germany, for example, banned fathers for a time. So did Estonia. Some New York City hospitals attempted to restrict the admission of fathers during childbirth but the state department of health stepped in and required hospitals to allow one support person in labor and delivery settings.

Liz Neporent is Medscape's executive editor of social media and community. She has previously worked at ABC News National as well as other major news outlets. She's based in New York City and can be reached at or @lizzyfit on Twitter.

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