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Health & Science

UT Medical Students Get "Matched"

With Congress pushing for health care reform, many would-be doctors know that their profession is facing some big changes. Still, the uncertainty hasn't taken the joy out of one of medical school’s most important rituals: Match Day. Carrie Feibel joined fourth year students from the University of Texas at Houston.


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“In general we’re all very excited just to graduate and get ready for the next step but I think at the back of everybody’s mind is what’s going to go on in Washington and how is this going to affect our future and our patients’ futures.”

Sebastian Villarreal wants to become a neurosurgeon. But he’s nervous that health care reform will mean doctors will lose even more decision-making power.

“I don’t want to see a bureaucrat or a representative in Congress or an appointee by the president dictating care between the patient and the doctor, that is my biggest concern.”

Kelley Babcock acknowledges that her medical career could be very different from that of her father, a dermatologist in San Antonio. Still, she feels her timing is just right.

“I can imagine it must be very frustrating for doctors who have already been practicing ten, fifteen, or twenty years and who have expected a certain lifestyle. And all of a sudden that might change. I feel very grateful that, you know, I kind of won’t know that. I will know it just, you know, in its new phase. It won’t be a sort of disappointment or anything. I didn’t go into this for the money.”

The white envelopes were passed out, and 224 students ripped into them simultaneously. Babcock had chosen 20 different surgical residencies, some in places as far as West Virginia or Vermont. But the envelope held the name of just one residency — the so-called “match” generated by a computer program. For her proud parents, the envelope also held a real gift.

From the health, science and technology desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.

Members of the graduating class of 2010 gather before Match Day
Members of the graduating class of 2010 gather before Match Day

Pictures courtesy of UT Health Science Center at Houston

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