'Match Day' determines a medical student's future

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) “This is huge. It is almost like a getting married or having a baby kind of day for medical students,” says Crystal Phares, a fourth year medical student at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

Inside The Grove, an events center in south Reno, the room was decorated in an “Alice in Wonderland” theme.

Pocket watches dangled from a tree; there was a map of the United States and words of encouragement on a screen.

Phares waits with her family for the nine o'clock hour.

That's when she finds out where she will spend the next three years of her life honing in on the medical specialty of her choice.

“I ended up doing 13 different interviews at very different cities,” said Phares. “And so I could have a very different life based on what city I end up in today,” she said.

This is where the pocket watches come in.

Staff at the medical school had placed 4th year medical students names’ on the outsides of the watches.

At the strike of 9AM, students could open them to see if what they chose for themselves matches with programs that chose them.

Medical students across the country learn all at the same time what their futures hold.

“JPS Hospital in Fort Worth Texas,” says Jeremiah Pavleka on where he matched. “Dabbling in emergency medicine in one scope or another for 12 years now. This is kind of the end of the line. This is the pinnacle, I suppose. So I finally made it,” he said.

As For Crystal, tears of joy. She will be off to Seattle to become an emergency physician. Her first choice in both areas.

“It feels like a lot of work paid off,” she says.

In keeping with the theme of the day, it seems only appropriate to quote "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" where Alice says, “It is no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."