By Jane Erikson
Josh Makhoul: Ob-Gyn
Standing on the stage of DuVal Auditorium, in front of a standing-room-only crowd of fellow medical students, family members and friends, Josh Makhoul read the slip of paper that told him where he will spend his next four years.
“I’m going to be delivering babies at the same hospital where I was born – Lehigh Valley Hospital – Allentown, Pennsylvania,” Makhoul told the cheering audience. The following week, Makhoul found a photo of the doctor who delivered him, holding him shortly after birth. That doctor is now chair of ob-gyn at Lehigh Valley.
Makhoul is one of 117 UA College of Medicine – Tucson students who learned on Match Day 2014 - March 21 – where they will do their residencies. He’s one of eight going into obstetrics and gynecology.
Makhoul, whose UA undergraduate degree is in biochemistry and molecular biophysics, and who is a student member of the College of Medicine alumni board, still has relatives in Allentown, including a cousin who helped influence his decision to go into ob-gyn.
Makhoul was on call one evening last year, helping deliver healthy babies to overjoyed parents, when he received a flood of distressed messages from his cousin. She had learned earlier that day that at 18 weeks her baby had been diagnosed with a condition that it could not survive. Makhoul was able to help counsel her through a very difficult time. He realized then that a career in ob-gyn would allow him to share with patients their happiest and saddest moments.
Jolomi Iyoha: Ob-Gyn
Jolomi Iyoha, a native of Nigeria who grew up in Phoenix and has a degree in biosystems engineering from the UA, also is going into ob-gyn.
“It feels amazing. I matched with my No. 1 choice,” Iyoha said after learning she would do her residency at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Iyoha was inspired to go into medicine after a family member became seriously ill. “The physicians who care for my loved one during that tough time were so compassionate, caring and knowledgeable that I knew I wanted to fulfill that role for other families in need.”
During medical school, Iyoha has worked with CUP – Commitment to Underserved People – programs, and at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. “I discovered that I really enjoy working with underserved populations,” she said, “and I hope to continue this practice throughout my career.”
Myles Stone: Family Medicine
Myles Stone, who is going into family medicine, got his first choice: residency at the UA Medical Center – South Campus.
“Family medicine training will help me to help most patients address most of their problems in most environments – everything from the flu in downtown Tucson to a pregnant woman delivering a baby on the Hopi reservation.”
Stone took a year off between his second and third year of medical school, after he and a friend, decided to start Borderlands Brewing Co. in Tucson.
It all started with a newly married med school professor whose wife was not interested in having a garage full of brewing equipment. “I jokingly offered to take it off his hands,” Stone said. The rest is history – and a first for the College of Medicine.
Stone, who holds a degree in bioengineering and Spanish from UC San Diego, also holds a master’s in public health from the UA.
He worked at Borderlands during medical school, but now he will give that up, he says. He and his wife Aimee, who is training to be a public health nurse, want to stay in Arizona.
Ashley Bartholomew and Tomas Navarro: Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
Ashley Bartholomew and Tomas Navarro will marry in May, so they did a couples match – a process that meant 15 or 16 interviews for each of them, Navarro said.
“We get to stay here,” Ashley announced to the Match Day audience.
“We wanted a top-quality program, and we were looking for a good mix of personality of the program and the community,” Navarro explained afterward. “We found when we traveled that we were basing our criteria on what we experienced here at the UA, so we’re very happy to be staying here.”
Navarro is going into emergency medicine. “I love being the ‘front doors’ of the hospital,” he said. “Any patient who presents is welcome and important. For me, emergency medicine is a stellar mix of pathology, procedures and fast-paced thinking.”
Bartholomew will go into pediatrics. “Kids are so resilient and fun,” she said. “I enjoy taking care of children and working with, and providing education for, their families. Pediatricians can provide a great support system for families, whether the kids are sick or healthy.
Both Bartholomew and Navarro, who grew up in Chandler and Yuma, respectively, hold bachelor’s degrees from the UA. Hers is in physiology, his in agricultural economics.
Of the 117 students, 54, or 46 percent, are going into primary care: internal medicine (23), pediatrics (21) and family medicine (10). Twenty-nine percent of UA medical students chose primary care residencies in 2013.
In addition, 49 of the 117 will be staying in Arizona – a predictor that they will stay here when they finish their residencies.
College of Medicine Orman Scholarship Fund
This year’s Match Day included a poignant tribute to Zach Orman, a member of the Class of 2014 who died last year in a hang-gliding accident. Traditionally, each student places $1 in a bowl when they get their Match Day envelope, and the money is given to the last student called to the stage. This year, the money will go to the College of Medicine’s Orman Scholarship Fund.
Photo: Jolomi Iyoha, in Match Day skit attire, celebrates with her sisters. From Left: Danielle, Isohe, Jolomi, Esosa and matched-out niece Naomi.