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Meet Our New Residents

COVID-19 Challenges New Physicians as They Begin Their Medical Careers

When Maurice Turner, MD, was a young boy growing up in the San Diego area, his maternal grandmother would tuck him and his two older brothers into bed. Then she’d whisper into their ears, “I want you to become a doctor.”

His brothers went in other directions professionally, but Turner fulfilled his grandmother’s dream a month ago, receiving his medical degree from the Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program. Turner’s grandmother influenced even his choice of a medical specialty as he intends to become a geriatrician. “I was the only one who listened to her,” Turner joked.

Today Turner is one of the 80 first-year residents just getting started at Cedars-Sinai and facing vastly greater challenges than previous classes of residents. Even in normal times, residents would be making “a big jump” from medical school, when “all patient care they are involved in is reviewed by multiple other physicians,” said Mark Noah, MD, Cedar-Sinai’s associate dean for Medical Education.

Yet these are far from normal times. The COVID-19 pandemic first disrupted the final months of many of the new residents’ medical school educations, and now is altering their experiences at the medical center. For example, orientation, with its customary meet-and-greets, was turned into a mostly online exercise.

New Resident Maurice Turner, MD