SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The so-called Fauci effect has hit Northern California as the UC Davis School of Medicine has had nearly 10,000 applications.

When the pandemic hit, COVID-19 forced communities on lockdown, sent thousands to the hospital and killed thousands more. But Jasmine Mayo didn’t run from it. The Lodi High School graduate ran toward it, wanting to help and willing to be on the frontlines.

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“It motivates me because every single day I can see that I can go to work and help people,” said Mayo.

First inspired in high school with Lodi Schools’ CTE Medical Assistant Program, Mayo applied to Delta College this year to become a nurse with the pandemic only pushing her more.

“I’ve had people cry to me with negative COVID tests. I’ve had people not be able to see their kids because of this, can’t go to work, can’t make money. It makes me want to become a nurse even faster,” said Mayo.

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Mayo is not the only one heading into the medical field in the middle of a pandemic. Allison Brashear, Dean of UC Davis School of Medicine, says they’ve seen a 40% increase in applications.

“There’s a need for more physicians in our country, but we also want people to go to medical school so they could be the future Dr. Fauci, so they’re interested in research,” said Brashear.

Schools across the country are seeing a 20% increase in applicants. UC Davis is seeing double that with 10,000 applicants to fill 130 spots.  It’s now been dubbed the “Fauci Effect,” as the nation’s top infectious disease specialist inspires students around the country to research medicine and make a difference.

“All the doctors and nurses out there, we’re all essential. It’s just important because we’re trying to help. We put ourselves at risk every day to help you,” said Mayo.

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