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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

Future doctors splitting time between class and clinics, volunteering to lead vaccination efforts

Students say they never imagined they'd go through medical school during a global pandemic. But they're taking it in stride and volunteering for five clinics a week.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Many medical students are at the forefront of vaccinating people from all around our community.

But what are these students actually experiencing on a day-to-day basis?

"None of us have imagined that this happened with our clinic," said Vaishnavi Aradhyula, Executive Director for the Community Care Free Medical Clinic.

These medical students imagined saving lives as they started their first year of medical school, but they never imagined doing so during a global pandemic.

"I always imagined myself like chaos, chaos is what I thrive in. I love chaos. Never did I expect chaos on this great of a magnitude throughout the country," said Katy Stibley, Director of Provider Recruitment for the Community Care Free Medical Clinic.

The University of Toledo students are working their hardest to vaccinate as many people as possible. 

They're part of the Community Care Free Medical Clinic. 

"We are the first student-run free clinic that is a vaccine provider," said Aradhyula. 

It means countless hours of school work and volunteering.

"We're full-time students. We have like three or four lectures a day in the morning. And as a clinic, we're doing five vaccination clinics per week. I'm normally at like two or three per week. It's busy, but I love it," said Brian Hibbard, the Co-Director of Volunteer & Recruitment with the Community Care Free Medical Clinic. 

Add on top of that, trying to live a normal life. 

"Me personally, I have a 4-month-old son. Other than, you know, nursing all the time -- he's a little chunk. But I have the best husband in the world who loves to take care of him when I'm here. But yeah, in our free time, we're here," said Stibley. 

But at the end of the day, these students say it's why they got into the medical field. 

"We've gone through a lot of challenges during this opportunity to vaccinate people. And I feel like just handling it with grace and being able to adapt and move forward is what really drives us to get through every single clinic every week," said Aradhyula. 

"What we love most is people and that's why we're doing this," said Stibley.  

It's an opportunity to mold themselves into our future doctors. 

The students say they can't do a lot with medicine right now because they're only first-year medical students, but they're doing what they can in order to help as much as possible during the pandemic. 

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