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EXCLUSIVE I Decade after the pandemic: Cleveland’s hospital CEOs share their vision for how COVID-19 will impact jobs in healthcare for years to come

“Applications to medical schools, in the one year since COVID, have gone up dramatically. In some schools close to 50% increase.”

CLEVELAND — Job creation is one of the top priorities for Cleveland’s big three medical institutions. But the landscape is changing as we move through the pandemic. 

In a 3News exclusive, Senior Health Correspondent Monica Robins hosted an exclusive conversation with CEO’s from Cleveland’s hospital systems. They covered a wide range of topics, including the availability of COVID-19 vaccine appointments, to what we’ve learned from the global health crisis.

Here’s who we featured in the conversation:

  • Dr. Tom Mijalevic, Cleveland Clinic President and CEO
  • Dr. Akram Boutros, MetroHealth President and CEO
  • Dr. Cliff Megerian, University Hospitals President and CEO

During the virtual discussion, Robins asked the CEOs to share how they see Cleveland’s “medical mecca” changing. Is it going to get bigger? And has the pandemic inspired more young people to get into medicine and health care? Here’s what they had to say:

Dr. Mijalevic: “I would say that the answer to that is ‘yes and yes.’ I do believe that our organizations will grow. I am absolutely convinced that we are going to create a greater impact, not only in our immediate communities through job creation, but also, I believe, a global impact. This is an unprecedented collaboration by the entire community, our healthcare community here in Northeast Ohio. And I know that when we work together, we can really, really bring the impact to the world that we all desire to do.”

Dr. Megerian: “I think, an early harbinger of the interest in healthcare is seen now in applications to medical schools. In the one year, since COVID, they have gone up dramatically.  In some schools close to a 50% increase in applicants.  I'm starting to talk to my nursing school colleagues, we're seeing the same thing. So although we've dealt with that relative paucity of nursing and allied health professionals, potentially another silver lining of this may be a renewed interest in this field, uh, and getting more folks involved in it."

Dr. Boutros: "There's nothing more noble than caring for someone as really part of the frontline staff who provide not only medical care, but comfort and healing to the individuals and their family. Honestly, it's just the, one of the most gratifying things there is. And regarding the future, we try to attract people here by the Global Mart having the latest equipment or Cleveland Clinic being the best in the world for cardiac care or the cancer care center at University Hospitals. Those attract individuals, right? I think what we're working on right now is attracting industries. So, of all the things we're talking about is literally making Cleveland, a hub for innovation, for healthcare and technology. And, and by putting the power of these five institutions together, it is just an exponential opportunity before us. And if we don't do it, it will be our fault. If we do not reach greatness, in making Cleveland be the hub for everybody wanting to come here to start a new company, investigate new, therapeutics, it will be our failure. It will not be anybody else's because it's right before us."

You can watch the entire 52-minute conversation with Cleveland's hospital CEOs below:

More from Monica Robins with Cleveland's hospital CEOs: