An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Medical Students 'Match' With Post-Graduation Employers

Courtesy of WSU College of Medicine

Fourth-year students at Washington’s three medical schools now know where they will be working after they collect their diplomas this spring.

About 40% of the first graduating class of Washington State University’s medical school learned on Friday that they will stay in-state. Here's where two of them will land.It’s a long way, physically, from Iraq to Kent, Washington. When he was a child, WSU fourth-year medical student Sye Jabbouri and his family fled the Middle Eastern nation and began a journey to their new homeland.

“After we escaped war in Iraq, we went to Algeria, Libya, and then we lived as refugees in Holland, before coming to Washington state," he said.

When they arrived, Jabbouri and his family stayed with a host family and were embraced by the community. He says that instilled in him the desire to give back to that community. So, after he graduated from high school and the University of Washington, he became part of WSU’s first medical school class. And now, he’s headed to Connecticut and Yale University to start his career as an orthopedic surgeon.

“For me and my story and where I come from, we never thought that I would be able to end up at a program like Yale. Typically, when you think about career in medicine, or let alone a career in orthopedic surgery, it’s usually not an option," he said.

Jabbouri’s classmate, Becky Gold, is a Washington native. She grew up in Woodinville, north of Seattle. She left the state to attend Scripps College in southern California, but came back to the Northwest for medical school.

“I wanted to be in the place where I grew up. I wanted to serve the community that had served me throughout my life," she said.

She spent her first two years doing her mostly academic studies in Spokane. The last two years, the clinical part of medical school, she spent in Vancouver and parts of rural southwestern Washington. She says she loved it. Now she’s headed to a community residency in obstetrics and gynecology in Los Angeles.

“I could really see myself staying as a generalist for OB-GYN and working in underserved or rural communities because I had such a positive experience and I think that’s really a place where I could make a difference," she said.

That’s exactly what WSU’s medical school administrators want to hear, given the school’s emphasis on community medicine.

Gold says she was honored to be part of the inaugural class.

“We got to help form it and get a say in how our school developed because I really learned a lot about leadership and a lot of things that go on behind the scenes," she said.

Gold, Jabbouri and their classmates are scheduled to graduate in May and begin their residency assignments around the first of July.