Steve Zylius / University Communications Natalie Chen celebrates upon learning she has been accepted to the radiology residency program at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

The day they became doctors

Graduating medical students learn where they’ll serve their residencies

After endless hours of intense studying and clinical rotations, soon-to-graduate UC Irvine medical students saw their dreams come into focus on Friday, March 15, when they found out where they’ll start their careers as doctors.

Annual Match Day activities take place simultaneously at all U.S. medical schools, involving about 16,000 graduating students. At UC Irvine, it’s an emotional, festive event during which the future doctors are summoned to a podium one at a time to open an envelope and read aloud – before hundreds of family members, friends and classmates – the name and location of the hospital where each will spend the next three to seven years as a resident physician.

As part of this tradition, each student, upon reaching the podium, places a dollar bill in a doctor’s satchel that belonged to Dr. Robert Brown, who received it from his father upon gaining his doctorate in 1951 from the osteopathic school that later evolved into the UC Irvine School of Medicine.

The bag now belongs to Brown’s daughter, Nancy Koehring, who will retire this June after 24 years at UC Irvine, most recently as director of graduate medical education. On Match Days, the student called to the podium last – who had to wait the longest to learn his or her fate – wins the cash accumulated in the satchel.

Once again, the UC Irvine medical school’s graduating class secured residencies in some of the country’s most competitive programs. P.K. Fonsworth, a PRIME-LC participant who concurrently earned an MBA, will be a psychiatry resident at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Greg Chinn, who already has a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in developmental biology from UC Irvine, will go to UC San Francisco as a resident in its highly rated anesthesiology program.

And husband and wife David Flick and Renee Marinelli will head to Hawaii together as family medicine residents at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. Before they leave this summer, Flick, who serves in the U.S. Army, will be promoted to captain.

This year, 99 UC Irvine medical students took part in the Match Day event.

 

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