Medical Colleges Are Getting Flooded With Candidates

Isabella Tincher dreamed of becoming an architect since childhood when she loved building little paper houses for her toy animals.

All of that changed when the 23-year-old took a short-term job last summer taking the temperatures of people who came to a Houston hospital to be screened for Covid-19.

She said she had often served as a Spanish interpreter, helping patients’ families find the safety rules for visiting. Ms. Tincher said she was impressed with how comforting the doctors have been to many nervous patients, even when they don’t speak the same language. “The doctors showed so much empathy, especially during these difficult times, I thought it was something I wanted to take part in and push myself to do,” she said.

This summer, she will be launching Columbia University’s Postbac Premed Program, which helps students catch up on science qualifications so they can apply for medical school.

Ms. Tincher is among a wave of college students who say the Covid-19 crisis has inspired them to pursue a medical or public health career, or to shape their interests in these areas. The bravery of the frontline workers and the importance of communicating health information have stimulated their decisions, they say.