UCLA medical students face their futures at Match Day

Medical students show off their letters.

Just before 9 a.m. on March 16, the scene was tense inside UCLA’s Geffen School and across town at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

It was Match Day 2018 and 150 David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA graduates, along with 25 of their counterparts at Drew, who were watching via simulcast, were about to learn which hospital has accepted them for residency, or advanced training in their chosen specialty.

After the clock struck 9, the scene erupted in a mad scramble for the blue and gold envelopes, as young doctors tore them open with their families and friends. Screams of joy pierced the air as classmates embraced and posed for photos with their acceptance letters.

Angel Robinson, 29, was thrilled to match in obstetrics/gynecology at Adventist Health White Memorial in Boyle Heights. Prior to medical school, she had worked with AmeriCorps at nearby Roosevelt High School to educate teens about reproductive health.

“It feels like I’m coming home,” Robinson said. “I’m really excited to return and serve this community.”

Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz, 28, and his wife will be traveling across the country to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he plans to parlay his training in internal medicine/pediatrics into a career in global health. Next month he flies to South Africa to begin a rotation in a rural hospital.

Here’s how the matches shook out for UCLA’s graduating medical students:

  • 80-plus future primary care doctors   
  • 28 budding surgeons
  • 18 rising psychiatrists
  • 11 aspiring OB-GYN specialists
  • 10 future emergency medicine physicians
  • 70 percent of the class will train in California
  • 40 percent of the class will remain in the University of California system

This year, 40,000 individuals applied for 30,000 residency slots across the country. Nationwide, 85 percent were matched with one of their top three choices. 

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