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University of Arizona medical students wait to hear where they will be working their residency. (KTAR Photo/Bob MClay)

PHOENIX -- University of Arizona medical students were told during Match Day Friday where they would be working a three- to five-year residency by hospitals around the nation.

The students and hospitals are paired in a matching program to ensure students have a say as to which of the 29,000 nationwide spots they would fill.

"They rank the programs in the order in which they want to go to and the programs rank the students in the order they wish to accept," said Karen Restifo, associate dean of student affairs at the University of Arizona' College of Medicine in Phoenix. "There's a centralized database that matches the students with the programs, and the results of that are released (Friday)."

Students around the country found out where they will be serving in simultaneous announcements at 10 a.m. Arizona time.

Nearly 40 of those students were at the Phoenix campus when they found out. One of them was Kelly Thompson-Saunders, who has spent the last four years studying gynecology and obstetrics. She'll spend the next four years as a resident at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix.

She wants to deliver babies.

"You are participating in this really life-changing moment for someone else, and to get to be a part of that is phenomenal," Thompson-Saunders said. "I can't imagine doing anything else."

She has already done it once.

"I had my third year rotation where I got to deliver my first baby ever and there is no experience like it," she said. "It's got that excitement and all-over sense of well-being."

Bob McClay, Reporter

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