From nurse to doctor: UTMB medical student finds her "match"

Apr 20, 2016, 09:23 AM by KirstiAnn Clifford

Fourth-year medical student Agnes Usoro looked calm as she waited to receive the envelope that would reveal her fate for the next three to seven years.

“I was more nervous last night,” said Usoro. “But today, I’m pretty calm. It’s all in God’s hands—I’m just really excited to find out where I’m headed!”

Usoro was one of 218 students at UTMB—more than 30,000 students nationally—to learn on March 18 where they would continue their medical training. During UTMB’s annual Match Day Ceremony, students, faculty, family and friends gathered in the main auditorium of Levin Hall as students were called randomly to pickup their “match” envelopes.

It was a celebratory atmosphere with music, signs and even a cash jackpot for two lucky students. But the main focus was on the envelopes that contained the location where each student would be participating in residency training.

Usoro took the road less traveled to get to where she is today. Originally from Sugar Land, she got her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and started working in the Texas Medical Center as an ICU nurse before deciding to make a career change.

“I asked doctors a lot of questions about my patients and was just really curious,” said Usoro. “I had a resident friend who told me I should seriously consider medical school. After toying around with the idea, I went for it.”

Once at UTMB, she knew she wanted to do emergency medicine after her first rotation.

“I love the fast pace—you could call me an adrenaline junky,”said Usoro. “I just like caring for acute pathologies, so emergency care is the best fit. I’ve also been very active at the student-run St.Vincent’s Clinic and work to understand the social determinants of health and bring that into my practice as a physician. Caring for the patient as a whole rather than just the disease in front of me is a really big part of why I like emergency medicine, because you don’t have to worry about a lot of red tape or a patient’s insurance situation.”

As her siblings and best friend watched with anticipation, Usoro’s mother opened her daughter’s envelope, pulled out the piece of paper and read where she matched: the Emergency Medicine department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

“It’s my top choice!” said Usoro, who will be the first doctor in her family. “I did 16 interviews across the country, from California to Tennessee to Maryland. I really loved the program and curriculum at Johns Hopkins, so I’m just really excited to to start there this summer.”

After years of training and months of nervous waiting to see where they’d begin the next phase of their lives as physicians, Usoro and many of her classmates had short-term plans that didn’t involve school or studying.

“I’m probably going to party tonight.”