Early LSU Health grad to serve locally on front lines of COVID-19 – Shreveport Times

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Young medical school graduates around the world are joining the front line fight of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The same is true for recent LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine graduateDr. Gabriel Sampognaro, who is making an early transition from medical school to serve alongside other LSU Health doctors during the coronavirus outbreak.

Though orthopedic medicine is Sampognaros area of practice, his assignment during the pandemic, places him in an LSU Health emergency room.

Dr. Gabriel Sampognaro(Photo: Submitted Photo)

With everything going on with the coronavirus, basically the school halted our rotations, Sampognaro said. We were unable to go to school. Everything at that point, things were changing by the minute. What was Tuesday at 8 p.m. was not the same by Wednesday morning. It got to the point where it looked like we were not going to be able to finish our rotations.

"In your fourth year, most people have finished their rotations anyway and met all of their requirements. I was finished and had a few electives left but it wasnt a required rotation so, I just choose to forgo that rotation basically. People who had not met all of the qualifications yethad the opportunity to finish them online.

Had it not been for the coronavirus outbreakApril 30 would have been Sampognaros graduation day, but that date was moved up to April 13.

People, especially students who matched at LSU Shreveport for residency, who went to LSU Shreveport for medical school, were able to start applying for their (medical) license early in order to help out with the coronavirus, Sampognaro said, adding, he expects to receive his license sometime in early May.

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Once he receives his license to practice medicine, Sampognaro will receive emergency room training to prepare for the time hell help out at LSU Health in a new area of medicine and a new and different time in the medical field.

We were offered start dates of May 1 and June 1, Sampognaro said. I will work in the emergency room up until July 1 and then after that will start my orthopedic residency.

A big part of a medical school graduate's life is the longstanding Match Day tradition and celebrations. But how does one celebrate during the COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 changed the way Americans carry out their daily routines. It also changed the way Americans honor longstanding traditions such as Match Day, a day when the National Resident Matching Program or NRMP, releases results to applicants seeking residency and fellowship training positions in the United States.

Sampognaro, like others around the world, made the most of his big day in his own special way.

"At that point we were able to congregate in groups of 10and not under full quarantine at that point, Sampognaro said. So, my wife, myself, my buddy from school and his wife, got together and had our own miniature Match Day at my house. Our wives printed out our letters and we opened them and read them; that was kind of special.

Graduating medical school is huge deal, especially for parents.

More: LSU Health Shreveport postponing its graduation until time when it's safe for large groups

Obviously, they are very proud of me, but you know were in quarantine and we cant go to see them. Especially my dad, hes 65 years old and my moms in her mid-50s, Sampognaro said. So, I definitely dont want to be around them. Weve talked a lot on the phone and well celebrate when we can all get together.

Navigating the new normal brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is difficult for everybody, but especially difficult for the heroes who serve on the front lines, the essential, working Americans.

Its a little different, weve never dealt with a global pandemic, Sampognaro said. I dont believe my parents were ever forced to stay inside with a quarantine. This pandemic is very serious, and some people are not taking as seriously as they should. But youve got to look at the extreme measures that have been taken with shutting down restaurants and businesses and see what it could have been had we not, and if people dont follow the rules weve been given.

Sampognaro has not been around the hospital much, except to get finger printed and to have a few documents notarized.

More: LSU Health Shreveport among first in US to offer nitric oxide clinical trials for COVID-19

Sampognaro said. It definitely wont be a normal day of walking into the hospital, thats for sure. Ill be joining the front line workers. I believe ER shifts are normally 12-hour shifts. I havent been told yet, but I believe I will be working 12-hour shifts in the emergency room. Its really cool, how all the different aspects of LSU medicine in all the different fields, have come together and are working to fight the virus. The orthopedics team at LSU has started doing some ICU training. At the (core) we are doctors and have the ability to learn what we need to learn. Everybody has come together for extra training to help fight this virus.

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Early LSU Health grad to serve locally on front lines of COVID-19 - Shreveport Times

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