Alumni

Match Day 2015: A Big Boost for Primary Care

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The College of Medicine’s 34th Match Day found more students going into family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics, with nearly half staying in Arizona. 

More than a third of the students who will graduate in May from the UA College of Medicine - Tucson matched into residencies in primary care – good news at a time when Arizona and the nation face a critical shortage of primary care physicians.

Of the 118 students who matched on March 20, 43 will go into primary care residencies: nine in family medicine, 24 in internal medicine and 10 in pediatrics.

And 48 of the graduates will stay in Arizona for their residencies: 28 in Tucson and 20 in Phoenix.

“We are proud of our graduates, and their Match results today make it clear that they will have an impact on the people of Arizona as well as on people across the country,” said Charles B. Cairns, MD, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine.

Sarah Lau-Braunhut, Rachel Baumann Manzo, and Pablo Amador Sanchez are three members of the Class of 2015 who are going into primary care. All three matched into their first-choice programs.

Sarah Lau-Braunhut, Class of 2015, with spouse Beth Braunhut, MD, Class of 2012 Sarah matched with the pediatrics residency program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

“Cincinnati Children's is one of the top pediatric training programs, and one of the top children's hospitals in the nation, and I knew that I would receive superb training there,” she says. “They also have an amazing global health pathway, that not only allows for longitudinal experiences internationally while in residency, but also allows for me to come back and work on the Navajo reservation where I worked as a medical student. It is very strong in hematology/oncology and in critical care, which are the subspecialties that I am most interested in.”

Sarah has wanted to be a pediatrician since she was a child. Her twin sister, Miriam, had heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital when they were 4. “I knew that I wanted a career in which I could devote my life to helping others, and work with children and their families.”

Sarah graduated from University High School in Tucson in 2005, and from the UA, with a degree in psychology, in May 2009. While taking up to 21 units a semester, she worked up to 60 hours a week, including as a patient care tech at Diamond Children’s, the pediatric division of what is now Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

During medical school, Sarah was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

After residency, she says, “I would like to be at a children’s hospital where I can practice academic medicine, most likely as a pediatric oncologist or intensivist, teaching residents, and devoting some of my time to underserved populations, both rural and abroad.”

Sarah is married to Beth Braunhut, MD, a 2012 graduate of the College of Medicine. Beth will complete her UA residency in anatomic and clinical pathology in 2016, and will pursue renal and genitourinary pathology fellowships. 

Rachell Baumann Manzo, Class of 2012, with mother Susan Baumann, MD, Class of 1985Rachel Baumann Manzo matched into the UA pediatrics residency, with clinical work at University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals, which includes Diamond Children’s. 

"I feel very fortunate to have matched into the University of Arizona pediatric residency,” Rachel says. “The program is rigorous and patient-centered, and there are outstanding faculty to work with and learn from. My husband is in the Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program here at the University of Arizona, so it was very important to us that I match here in Tucson."

Rachel says her mother, psychiatrist Susan Baumann, MD, a Class of 1985 alumna, “constantly proved that women can be outstanding professionals, mothers and wives at the same time,” Rachel says. 

“She built her own private practice from the ground up and met the challenges of medicine and motherhood with grace. She was open and honest about the balancing act required to ‘do it all.’  As a healthy girl and adolescent, my impression of the medical profession was entirely based on my experiences at home with my mom.  As a toddler, I asked, ‘Mommy, can boys be doctors too?’”

Born in Phoenix, Rachel attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, and earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors, majoring in biology, at Swarthmore College, from which she graduated in 2011. In medical school, she was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and chaired its annual week-long celebration of humanism in medicine.

Rachel is married to Swarthmore classmate Ernesto Manzo, who is in the Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program at the UA.

Pablo Amador Sanchez, Class of 2015, with wife Jessica Sanchez, Class of 2016Pablo Amador Sanchez was accepted into the internal medicine residency at Harvard Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “It feels incredible,” he said after the Match Day ceremony. “I am so, so happy.”

Pablo is a native of Venezuela who moved with his family to the U.S. when he was 14. He graduated from Hamilton High School in Chandler, where he developed a strong interest in computer programming and informatics, and thought that would be his career field. But he also took classes in biology and physiology, “and I realized that a lot of the logic and complex problems that drew me to programming were applicable to physiology as well.” At the UA, he majored in physiology, and graduated with a degree in health sciences in 2009.

As an undergraduate, Pablo volunteered as an interpreter with the Flying Samaritans UA chapter, and also on a medical mission in Honduras. These experiences were “crucial to realizing that I love interaction with patients,”  he says, and they “cemented” his interest in a career as a physician.

Pablo is a member of the Latino Medical Student Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, and the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

He plans to specialize in adult cardiology, and has “a big desire to treat Hispanic and underserved patients.” His wife, Jessica Sanchez, will graduate from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson next year. She plans to specialize in pediatric cardiology.

Every Match Day, UA medical students drop $1 into a jar as they receive their match envelopes, and the contents are given to the student who is last to get his or her envelope. This year the students decided as a class to donate the money to the College of Medicine memorial scholarship in honor or Derek Neal, a graduate of the UA College of Nursing who decided he wanted to become a doctor. A member of the Class of 2015, Derek died in August 2013, a year after being diagnosed with non-smokers lung cancer. The day before he died, UA College of Medicine faculty gathered in Derek’s hospital room to give him his MD diploma. 

By Jane Erikson