LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Walking across the stage and into a lingering pandemic.
"It kind of puts everything into perspective," said Allison Boynton, who graduated Monday from Touro University as a doctor of osteopathic medicine. "For me, going into emergency medicine, it just made me want to do emergency medicine more."
Boynton said the past year, her final year as a Touro University student should have meant doing clinical rotations at local hospitals. But for three months, Boynton said she and other students were sidelined - asked to stay at home and do virtual rotations.
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"It was that moment where I was like, 'wow like this is really hard like I don't want to be at home. I want to be there. I want to be in the action. I want to be helping out," she said.
Touro University CEO Shelley Berkley said the pandemic changed the way the school delivered its educational services to students.
"The students adapted beautifully and what makes me so proud is that they recognized from the beginning, this is a very unusual situation," Berkley said.
Berkley said the students rolled up their sleeves, put on their scrubs and got to work in community health - administering COVID tests and vaccines and delivering PPE and groceries to people in need.
"My students can truly say that they helped save lives during the pandemic and truly say that they're prepared for a career in health care," she said.
Touro University hosted an in-person graduation ceremony at the Thomas and Mack Center Monday. About 200 students graduated and more than 1,000 people attended.