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For Maura Morgan, the most frustrating thing about the COVID-19 pandemic was being unable to do something about it.

In March, as a third-year medical student, Maura was removed from the clinical setting per guidance from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the association that oversees U.S. medical schools. “When we were taken out in March, my fellow third-years and I were so disappointed. We wanted to stay and help, and we couldn’t,” she said.

Now, as a fourth-year student, Maura has been given the chance to make up for lost time. When Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine offered fourth-year students a COVID-19 elective course, Maura was among the first to sign up. In addition to learning about the health system’s pandemic response, part of the course experience is to administer coronavirus vaccine to vulnerable populations in congregant settings. Although her shifts vary, the steady stream of patients doesn’t. “It’s been exciting to be back and making a difference,” she said. “I felt so helpless last March, but now I feel I am actively fighting this pandemic.”

Maura Morgan, MD Class of 2021