Match Day is the fun, frenzied day when medical students nationwide learn which hospital has accepted them for residency — advanced training in their chosen specialty. At UCLA, the ceremony peaks in a mad scramble for the envelopes, with 170 aspiring doctors tearing them open with families and friends. Many videotape themselves and let distant loved ones listen in on cell phones during the emotional rollercoaster of an event. Here are some of the students waiting to meet their match:
Amy Patel. As a teenager in the Northern California community of Los Banos, where a small rural hospital offered the only medical care, Patel battled chronic pain from an autoimmune disease and admired her pediatrician as a role model. Now 26, she will pursue a residency in pediatrics with an intimate understanding of the fears and stigmas that sick children face—and empower her patients to make informed decisions about their health.
Jasmin-Ann Reyes witnessed some of her friends became pregnant as early as eight grade due to a lack of culturally appropriate education about contraception. Now married and 34, she is expecting her first child and pursuing a career in obstetrics-gynecology. After graduating in June with a dual M.D./master’s degree in public policy, she wants to work in healthcare administration and increase low-income women’s access to reproductive health resources.
Pooja Upadhyaya launched a global health non-profit called Mobilizing Health in 2009. She and her team helped 5,000 rural patients in India communicate with their local doctors through text messages. Midway through medical school, she also earned a master’s degree in public administration. Now 28, she is pursuing a residency in general surgery and aims to increase patients’ access to care by working to improve the healthcare system.