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UA med students assigned to hospital residencies

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."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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