Before medical school, Sara L., now a fourth-year resident, worked for 6 years as a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While there, she focused on hemorrhagic fevers, and she went to West Africa several times to assist in outbreaks. Indeed, until recently, Sara was one of only a few hundred people in the United States who was trained to work in a biosafety level 4 “spacesuit” laboratory, which requires the same personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for working with Ebola. As the current Ebola epidemic exploded, and after careful deliberation, Sara sought and secured a position with an international aid organization, got approval from her residency program's leadership, found coverage for her time away, and 6 weeks later, was set to deploy. Then she got a call from her institution's risk-management department with disappointing news: the institution would not support her deployment.
Rosenbaum L. License to Serve — U.S. Trainees and the Ebola Epidemic. N Engl J Med. 2014 Dec 17.