Couple travels their way to a "match"

Apr 19, 2018, 19:34 PM by Kurt Koopmann and Shannon Porter
Adam and Christine Kley hike Montaña de Colores, or Rainbow Mountain, in Peru.
When medical students Adam and Christine Kley sat in UTMB’s Levin Hall Auditorium in Galveston on March 16 to find out where they would be continuing their training, it was the culmination of a long and winding road that included marriage and a life-changing experience in South America.

The Kleys were among 200-plus students at UTMB participating in Match Day. The annual event informs medical school students across the country where they will complete their residency training for their chosen specialties. Each student is called one at a time to receive a sealed envelope containing their residency assignment.

The young couple met during their medical school orientation and soon became inseparable. Realizing they wanted to share a life together, they married during their third year.

Both students were participating in the School of Medicine’s Global Health Track and sought to fulfill their desire for an experience abroad. Knowing they wanted to start a family in the future, they took the advice of various faculty members and took a year off to participate in a work study program in Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Looking back on the experience Adam said, “It definitely expanded our world view and you might say expanded our age beyond our years.”

Adam stressed that seeing what others have in different countries can make you appreciate even more what we have at home. He also noted that while it was a rewarding experience, it came with its share of challenges and was very stressful at times.

Christine came from a family of missionaries and had a pretty good idea of what such an experience would entail. She also shares Adam’s sentiment and said the experience was more than valuable.

“I was impacted by the gratitude of the people I met in Peru. Some of the people were well off while others were not, but they found happiness in their families and work,” said Christine. “I feel sometimes in the West we focus more on the material, with having things—in Peru I did not see that.”

The Kleys hold up their Match Day letters showing where they will complete their residencies.The Kleys were hoping to match at schools in Houston and when they both opened their envelopes on Match Day, they were elated to see that hope become a reality.

Adam matched with Baylor College of Medicine’s Internal Medicine program in Houston and Christine matched with Memorial Hermann’s Family Medicine program in Houston.

The couple could not stop smiling once they found out the news. “We’re so happy,” Christine said. “It’s amazing.”

The National Resident Matching Program allows any two people in the match to link their rank lists. This process, known as a couple match, has a high success rate for couples participating.