At 9 a.m., March 15, 2019, 38 fourth-year medical students at the University of California, Riverside, anxiously tore open envelopes that held information about where their next three-to-seven years would be spent doing their residency training.
The long-awaited Match Day for these students, the culmination of a four-year journey of arduous study and countless hours of hard work, finally arrived today. It is the day when graduating medical students in the country learn if they have matched for a residency program at a hospital or health system of their choosing. The envelopes are opened at the same time at all Match Day events in the country.
The UCR ceremony took place at the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, downtown Riverside, and was attended by numerous faculty and staff in the School of Medicine, as well as the students’ families, and their friends.
“You have done a wonderful job to come to where you have arrived today,” said Deborah Deas, the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean and chief executive officer for clinical affairs at the UCR School of Medicine. “You persisted, and you made it. You stand on the shoulders of many who have supported you all along. We hope you will continue to embody our medical school’s values: inclusion, integrity, innovation, excellence, accountability, and respect. You will always be members of the UCR School of Medicine family. To those who are leaving our area, we hope you will come back to serve in the Inland Empire.”
This year, a third of the medical school’s graduates will do their residencies in the Inland Empire, with about 60 percent in primary care residencies.
Gerardo Guerra, 28, matched for the emergency medicine residency program at the Riverside Community Hospital. Born in Lima, Peru, Guerra came to the United States when he was 8 years old and has lived in Riverside for the past 10 years. He is committed to serving in the Inland Empire and has his mind set on becoming a faculty member in the UCR School of Medicine.
“I have always had this vision of serving my community,” he said. “It hasn’t been easy, but now here I am, matched for a residency program that was my first choice! My parents and my fiancée are also delighted I will be local.”
Emma Simmons, the medical school’s senior associate dean for student affairs, urged the students of the Class of 2019 to remember the oaths they took at their White Coat Ceremony four years ago.
“Remember, too, your families’ support in getting you to Match Day,” she added. “And remember your commitment to serve and do the best job you can for your patients. I am most proud of all of you!”
Karen Clarey, 27, of Los Angeles and Rialto matched for the UCR School of Medicine’s psychiatry residency program – her first choice. Committed to serving in the Inland Empire, she said she was more nervous than she thought she would be on Match Day.
“But I got the outcome I was hoping for,” she said. “I am excited to stay local and want to serve in this region. My goal is to be a child and adolescent psychiatrist. I am most grateful for all the support I have received so far to help realize this goal.”
The UCR School of Medicine’s psychiatry residency program was also the first choice of Madeline Saavedra, 27, of Los Angeles.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said Saavedra, who did her undergraduate studies in bioengineering at UCR. “I have wanted to stay local for my residency, and am really excited that that wish will now be fulfilled.”
Clarey and Saavedra will join Sireena Sy of the Class of 2019 when they begin their residency training this summer.
“We are delighted that Karen, Sireena, and Madeline have been matched in our psychiatry residency program,” said Gerald Maguire, the associate dean for graduate medical education and the chair of psychiatry and neuroscience in the UCR School of Medicine. “Mental health is a serious issue in our region, and we are in critical need of psychiatrists like them who are committed to serving in the Inland Empire. Congratulations to Karen, Sireena and Madeline, and the Class of 2019!”
Paul Lyons, the senior associate dean for education, also congratulated the Class of 2019.
“Welcome to the next step in your professional life,” he said. “Looking forward to seeing you live the UCR School of Medicine promise.”