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Special delivery: Paper-lantern ceremony reveals UA med students' immediate future

PHOENIX -- Fifty University of Arizona College of Medicine students learned Friday morning where they will spend the next several years as resident physicians.

And they found out in a unique way. The news was delivered via paper lanterns. Each lantern had a tag with a student's name. Inside the lantern was a piece of paper that revealed their destination.

The class graduates in May.

Marianne Go-Wheeler of Peoria wanted to go to St. Louis but instead will be at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. That's fine with her.

"I have been in Arizona since age 3 so it will be good to see another part of the world."

She is one of 22 women in the Class of 2013, along with Magdalena Espinoza of Phoenix. Espinoza will be heading to Boston with another doctor -- her fiance. The couple is getting married in June and will be working at the same hospital.

"Oh, it's funny and appropriate that this would happen. We have the same place. It's great," she said.

Her mother was with her at the ceremony and overcome with joy of her daughter's marriage and residency. The moment, she said was "muy feliz."

Once her residency is completed, Espinoza will practice internal medicine.

The class of 2013 has 23 Arizonans in it.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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