Medical student Chiara Bonini, 26, had barely finished her final exam, before the young doctor was headed for the front line of Italy's coronavirus pandemic.
"I want to give a hand to my city that is living in this dramatic moment, and has a real need for doctors," she said of her hometown Bergamo, one of Italy's hardest-hit northern cities.
Bonini is one of thousands of Italian graduates taking up the government's call for urgent help tackling the deadliest outbreak of the virus in the world, reports CNN.
The European country hit the grim milestone over the weekend of 10,000 deaths, accounting for roughly a third of the 30,000-plus deaths worldwide.
With hospitals under extraordinary strain, Italy has expedited the procedure for medical school graduates entering the workforce -- cutting the hospital exam and increasing the number of doctors being recruited.
For many graduates, it will be their first professional job in an industry facing its biggest crisis in a generation. It comes amid the deaths of 50 doctors, according to Italy's national federation of doctors.
"The abrupt changes to the procedures for fresh graduates entering the workforce, marks a major shakeup of Italy's education system," said Dr. Alessandro
Grimaldi, Director of Infectious Disease at S.S. Salvatore Hospital of L'Aquila.
Currently, students are required to do a residency, where they specialize in a certain area of medicine. But according to Grimaldi, there are between 3,000 and 4,000 fewer residency placements available than the number of students, meaning many travel abroad to work.
So as the country enters its sixth week of lockdown, young Italian doctors are being catapulted to the health emergency's forefront.