More than 100 graduating medical students at UC San Diego and thousands more across the country found out on Friday where they will serve their residencies.
The Match Day event was synchronized to noon Eastern Time, or 9 a.m. in San Diego, when the students opened their envelopes and learned their assigned hospitals.
At UCSD, 131 medical students have spent months on applications and interviews, and they submitted to the National Resident Matching Program a list of their favored hospitals, according to the school. The future doctors each visited more than a dozen medical centers around the country.
The hospitals submitted lists of students, and they were matched up by a computer algorithm.
UC San Diego medical student Pritha Workman, 33, was matched to UCSD (watch the video to the right). Workman grew up in Houston. Her mother was a nurse and that early exposure fostered her own interest in a career in medicine. Despite her initial interest, Workman decided to pursue a non-traditional path for a daughter of first generation Indian-Americans.
“My family’s Indian and medicine is a typical choice, but I wanted to do something different and chose to attend the U.S. Naval Academy for college.”
During her senior year at the Naval Academy, Sept. 11, 2001 happened. Workman postponed medical school and accepted a commission with the U.S. Marine Corps, eventually becoming an intelligence officer. Based out of MCAS Miramar, she served two tours in Iraq. After 6 years of active duty service, she decided to leave the Marines in 2008 and finally pursue that career in medicine.
In her second year, she gave birth to a son. In her third year, her husband, a Marine F/A-18 pilot stationed at MCAS Miramar, was deployed onboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan for 7 months. Throughout, Workman persevered and graduated on time in 2012. She deferred the Match process last year to coordinate careers with her husband.
Her husband, who just returned from another 6-month deployment, is now back in San Diego, where he expects to be stationed for at least the next couple of years. Workman’s expecting too: Their second child is due at the end of the month.
She was hoping remain in San Diego for her residency and was matched here. She aspires to be an obstetrician-gynecologist.
“I want to focus on women’s health. I think what I can bring to being a doctor is empathy. Women these days are juggling a lot of things: education, careers, families. Being a good doctor means recognizing the many stressors that affect a woman's overall health. I think I can relate.”
Match Day has been a medical school tradition since it began in 1952.
—City News Service and UC San Diego contributed to this report.