By Amanda Casanova

The Galveston County Daily News

Published March 18, 2011

Clutching a white envelope, Gabriel Mansouraty pressed his phone to his ear Thursday, struggling to talk over the noise at Match Day at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

“I’m going to Boston, Mom,” he shouted into the phone, looking down at the paper listing his match to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Mansouraty was one of 211 students at Match Day inside Levin Auditorium on the medical branch’s island campus, where the seniors at the medical school find out where they will complete a residency program.

“My family couldn’t be here, but they’ve been telling me that you just need to calm yourself, and God will lead you where you’re supposed to be,” Mansouraty said.

Some seniors jogged down to the front of the stage as their names were called and others smiled nervously before taking an envelope from medical branch faculty and staff, who were all outfitted in green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

“It’s a culmination of four years of medical school,” said Kathryn Wheat, who was matched with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “It’s a dream come true.”

Proud parents and friends shouted with their seniors, snapping photos and crying as each envelope was torn open.

“She’s wanted to be a doctor ever since kindergarten,” Kathryn’s mom, Jackie Wheat, said.

For most of the students, the day has been a long time coming.

“It’s been a lot of anticipation up to today,” said Chanel Granville, who will be going to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee. “I’m just so overjoyed.”

Granville, who will be in a pediatrics residency program, was joined by her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother.

“I’m the first in my family to be a doctor,” she said.

Celebrating with her 7-month-old daughter and husband, new mom Kendra Hawkins said she’s moving to Chattanooga, Tenn., where she will be completing her residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.

“It’s the start of a whole new life in a new place with a new family,” she said. “I’m so excited.”

More than half of the seniors matched at Texas residency programs, but Mansouraty, who will be in an internal medicine residency program in Boston, said he doesn’t plan on staying away.

“The plan is to come back to Texas,” Mansouraty said. “We’ll see what happens. I’m just so excited to see what does happen.”

Student residency placement
57 percent of our students are remaining in Texas-based residency programs.
28 percent matched to training positions within the UT System; of those,12 percent will be training at UTMB.
43 percent will be out of state.
44 percent are entering primary care residencies.

Student demographics

213 graduates

26 from Houston and 30 from Harris County, five from Galveston and seven from Galveston County

110 males, 103 females

Eight from as far away as Nigeria, Ireland, France, Solomon Islands, Papau New Guinea, the Republic of Macedonia and Singapore