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UCLA medical students brace for news at residency 'Match Day'
Date: 03/17/2010
Contact: Elaine Schmidt ()
Phone: (310) 794-2272
 
WHAT: 
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 climaxes in a mad scramble for the envelopes, with 150 aspiring doctors tearing them open with their families and friends. Many videotape themselves and let distant loved ones listen in on cell phones during this emotional rollercoaster of an event.
 
WHEN: 
Thursday, March 18 
  • 8 a.m.: Students and families arrive for check-in and breakfast. 
  • 8:45 a.m.: Welcome by Dr. Neil Parker, senior associate dean of student affairs at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 
  • 9 a.m.: Students at UCLA (and across the country) open their envelopes.
WHERE: 
Covel Commons, Grand Ballroom (third floor), 330 De Neve Dr., on the UCLA campus  
 
STORY OPPORTUNITIES:
The following students, and others, are available for interviews: 
 
Nishan Tchekmedyian, 27
Tchekmedyian intends to follow in the footsteps of his father, an Uruguay-born oncologist whose practice participates in the UCLA Cancer Research Network. But the Bruin family affair doesn't end there. Nishan completed a double major in economics and biology at UCLA; his brother Vatche, 25, is president of the third-year medical student class; brother Vartan, 23, produced the popular UCLA dance marathon that raised thousands for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; sister Allene, 21, is editor-in-chief of the Daily Bruin newspaper; and brother Raffi, 18, is a UCLA rower who also plans to apply to the medical school. Little sister Sareen, 16, is a ballerina in the Houston Ballet Academy and still weighing her college plans. Nishan's siblings, grandmother, great uncle and parents will cheer him on as he opens his Match Day envelope.
 
Tina Wu, 29
Wu learned to lead at a young age.  After her parents immigrated to Arizona from Taiwan, her father passed away when she was 6. To help her mother, she began selling candy and homemade bells at her elementary school. By college, she was working three jobs to support herself. In 2002, she co-founded Support for International Change, a nonprofit that trains volunteers to educate communities in Tanzania about HIV prevention. She was the first Global AIDS Fellow for the American Medical Student Association and plans to practice emergency medicine. Wu earned a business degree from Harvard University and was one of the final six contestants on the 10th season of ABC's "The Bachelor."
 
Thomas Laughrey, 33
Laughrey followed an unusual route to medical school. After high school, he worked as a U.S. Air Force firefighter and crash rescuer, and then taught adult education in a maximum security prison while serving in AmeriCorps. For the past five years, he has volunteered at the Riverside Homeless Clinic and with the Flying Samaritans at a Mexican clinic. Raised in the Inland Empire, he will pursue a career in emergency medicine. 
 
Jacqueline Newton, 24
Newton is no stranger to community health work. The daughter of Vietnamese immigrants who live in Costa Mesa, she has provided health care to poor people in Guatemala, managed the student-run UCLA Homeless Clinic, evaluated the effectiveness of an HIV prevention program for Chinese sex workers, and created health education materials for runaway youth and taxi workers. Her goal is to practice primary care and infectious disease while developing health prevention programs for communities.
 
 
MEDIA CONTACT:  
Elaine Schmidt, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations
310-794-2272 (office) | 310-597-5767 (cell) | eschmidt@mednet.ucla.edu  
 
PARKING:  
Due to campus construction, parking for oversized media trucks is extremely limited. Please R.S.V.P. to media contact by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, to be assigned a spot for oversized vehicles AND to reserve complimentary parking for passenger vehicles.