Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Miss England Is Returning to Her Career As a Doctor to Help Fight the Coronavirus

Miss England is trading her crown for scrubs to join healthcare workers on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.


Before taking home her crown, Bhasha Mukherjee was a junior doctor specializing in respiratory medicine at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire. After competing in the Miss World pageant on behalf of England in December 2019, the 24-year-old decided to leave Pilgrim Hospital and travel the world for various humanitarian efforts, according to CNN.

Mukherjee's first ambassadorship was with the Coventry Mercia Lions Club in India, where she helped to donate stationery to schools and provide financial aid to a shelter for abandoned girls, she told CNN. The beauty queen was just four weeks into her mission when news broke that COVID-19 had become a global pandemic and was spreading viciously back in her home in the UK, she explained.

Soon, Mukherjee started receiving messages from her former co-workers updating her on the worsening situation at the hospital, she told CNN. At that point, she felt an overwhelming urge to "come back home" and "go straight to work," she shared with the news outlet. "I felt a sense of this is what I'd got this degree for and what better time to be part of this particular sector than now," she continued.
Miss England Is Returning to Her Career As a Doctor to Help Fight the Coronavirus
Miss England Is Returning to Her Career As a Doctor to Help Fight the Coronavirus

So, Mukherjee flew back to the UK on April 1; she's now self-isolating for 14 days before she returns to the hospital, she told CNN.

Even though Mukherjee's speciality is in respiratory medicine, she told CNN that doctors at her hospital are currently being rotated to wherever they're needed—a trend that's been happening all over the world in countries that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Britain's health ministry, for instance, recently asked 65,000 former nurses and doctors to return to work, according to Reuters. The country is also planning to deploy final-year medical students to help with the health crisis, the news outlet reported. (Related: Here's Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus and Immune Deficiencies)

The situation in the U.S. isn't that different. Physicians and nurses from around the country are being asked to come out of retirement to help hospitals in need, according to NPR. In New York, some medical schools are allowing fourth-year students to graduate early, reports ABC News. The state has also loosened its licensing rules to give newly graduated medical students the ability to manage patients without a medical license (as long as they're under the supervision of a licensed physician and working as part of an accredited residency program).

Given these circumstances, Mukherjee told CNN she knew it was time to put her skills to use. "It was incredible the way the whole world was celebrating all key workers, and I wanted to be one of those, and I knew I could help," she shared. "There's no better time for me to be Miss England and helping England at a time of need."

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. As updates about coronavirus COVID-19 continue to evolve, it’s possible that some information and recommendations in this story have changed since initial publication.

We encourage you to check in regularly with resources such as the CDC, the WHO, and your local public health department for the most up-to-date data and recommendations.

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