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Match Day 'biggest day of our lives' for future doctors

More than 200 medical students learn their fates

HELOTES, Texas – Floore’s Country Store is usually known as a place to kick up your heels, except on Match Day, when it was filled with medical students who were jumping for joy.

More than 200 medical students at UT Health San Antonio and their families celebrated Friday after learning where they will become residents to practice their medical specialties.

Jessica Malek, with her husband, Matthew, at her side, was the first to take the stage. She opened the envelope and cheering erupted after she announced, “I’m going into pediatrics, and I’m going to the UT Medical School in Houston.”

The Maleks said they were thrilled to go back home to the Bayou City.

“It’s been a long journey. A lot of education has finally paid off. We’re incredibly happy,” said Malek’s husband.

It was an especially poignant moment when Malek's father said, “Her mom is watching.”

Malek’s mother died right before she started medical school four years ago.

“She made us all proud,” her father said. “Dream come true.”

Those sentiments were echoed by many of the parents watching their sons and daughters enter the next phase of their medical careers.

After graduating in May, they will become doctors and be residents at noted hospitals and institutions around the country.

“I just feel like everything has come together,” said Chikara Nkele, also of Houston. “I’m going into Ob-Gyn to serve women, and I’m so excited. I’m overcome with emotions.”

Libby Tapley, the president of the class said, “This is the biggest day of our lives. We figured out where we’re going to be doing our training for the next four years or longer.”