The epidemic exposes some pretty serious issues in our medical system. Forty-six percent of the country’s doctors are older than 55. Parts of the country are seriously underserved. Even if medical students went into the field now, their training is incomplete, and they’d probably need supervision. More generally, the prohibitive cost to attend medical school is a disincentive to many college students. And while PA’s and RN’s can do routine treatment, there’s a lot about this particular outbreak that’s not routine. Only about 38,000 doctors are in critical care or emergency medicine, and a serious rise in the rate of infections will just overwhelm the supply. That’s why flattening the curve is so critical. It won’t reduce the total number of people who get infected, but it will prevent them from completely saturating our resources for dealing with the disease. My worst fear is being forced to choose between treating, say, a 35-year-old father of two young kids, and an 18-year-old. We absolutely must flatten the curve to avoid those kinds of awful scenarios.