Release Date: 
Mar 20, 2015

For the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Classes of 2015


LOCATIONS: UA College of Medicine – Tucson:
Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium
1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson

UA College of Medicine – Phoenix:
Health Sciences Education Building
435 N. Fifth St., Phoenix

“Match Day” – the day that medical students across the country have been working toward for four years will be held Friday, March 20, at 10 a.m.

Match Day is the culmination of a complex year-long process that matches the nation’s graduating medical students with residency programs. Match results are released nationally by the National Resident Matching Program™ (NRMP) and announced at ceremonies coordinated to occur each year on the same date (the third Friday in March) at the same time (1 p.m. Eastern time).

Surrounded by excited family members and friends, members of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Classes of 2015 will open the traditional Match Day sealed envelopes, containing letters showing where they will spend the next several years as resident-physicians, the next step in building a medical career. Residency programs vary in length from three years for general medicine/family practice specialties to eight years for the most specialized of surgeons. Most residencies will begin July 1.

Match Day at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix

This will be the fifth Match Day at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, where 54 students – the largest group to date – are participating: 28 women and 26 men. The event will be held in the Health Sciences Education Building, 435 N. Fifth St., Phoenix.

Match Day at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

This year marks the 34th Match Day at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. The event will be held in DuVal Auditorium, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. The class includes 119 graduates: 57 women and 62 men; 15 students are Hispanic and three are Native American/Alaska Native.

The event begins with a skit written and performed by the medical students. This year’s theme, “The MDs,” is a spoof of award shows like “The Oscars.” Students will receive their match results as part of the performance.

Interesting 2015 UA medical graduates who will be available for interviews on Match Day include:

UA College of Medicine – Tucson:

(Profiles by Jane Erikson, UA College of Medicine – Tucson)

Sarah Lau Braunhut (pediatrics)

Sarah Lau Braunhut was born in Germany and moved to the United States with her family when she was 2 1/2. “I have wanted to become a physician, specifically a pediatrician, since I was a little girl,” she said. “Some of my inspiration comes from my twin sister, Miriam, who had heart surgery when she was 4 years old.”

Braunhut graduated from University High School in Tucson in 2005, and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arizona in May 2009. While taking up to 21 units a semester, she worked up to 60 hours a week to support herself through college, including working as a patient care tech at Diamond Children’s.

During medical school, Braunhut was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She also took part in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s Rural Health Professions Program.

After graduating in May, Braunhut will begin her residency in pediatrics, and wants to follow that with a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology. Her goals include working in global health and in rural and underserved communities.

Braunhut is married to UA College of Medicine – Tucson alumna Beth Braunhut (Class of 2012), who is in residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at the UA College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program.

Rachel Baumann Manzo (left) and her mother, Dr. Susan Baumann.Rachel Baumann Manzo (pediatrics)

Rachel Baumann Manzo is a Phoenix native and “legacy” student: her mother, psychiatrist Susan Baumann, MD, is a 1985 graduate of the UA College of Medicine. “My mom constantly proved that women can be outstanding professionals, mothers, wives and human beings at the same time,” said Manzo.

Born in Phoenix and a graduate of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Manzo’s pre-med school experiences included completing a community health internship as a student at Swarthmore College, from which she graduated with high honors and a degree in biology in 2011.

As an undergraduate, Manzo shadowed a Phoenix physician who “fervently believed that everyone deserves the best health care possible.”

At the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, she is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and directed this year’s Solidarity Week, a series of events that emphasize compassion and kindness in patient care. She also participated in the Rural Health Professions Program, the Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) program, and joined the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians.

Manzo wants to practice medicine in Arizona, and to work with underserved populations. She is married to Swarthmore classmate Ernesto Manzo, who is in the UA Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology PhD program.

Pablo Amador SanchezPablo Amador Sanchez (internal medicine)

Pablo Amador Sanchez is a native of Venezuela who moved with his family to the United States when he was 14. He graduated from Hamilton High School in Chandler, where he developed a strong interest in computer programming and informatics, and thought that would be his career field. But he also took classes in biology and physiology, “and I realized that a lot of the logic and complex problems that drew me to programming were applicable to physiology as well.”

At the University of Arizona, he majored in physiology and graduated with a degree in health sciences in 2009.

He volunteered as an interpreter at then-named University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, which he said was “crucial to realizing that I love interaction with patients” and “cemented” his interest in a career as a physician.

Sanchez is a member of the Latino Medical Student Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, and the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

“I have a big desire to treat Hispanic and underserved patients,” he said. His wife, Jessica Sanchez, will graduate from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2016. With family members in Arizona and California, Sanchez said, he and Jessica may end up practicing medicine in this area.

UA College of Medicine – Phoenix:
(Media Contact:Al Bravo,, 602-827-2022)

Michele O’SheaMichele O’Shea (obstetrics and gynecology)

Michele O’Shea was born in Tokyo, Japan, but grew up in the suburban Glendale and Peoria areas of Phoenix. She attended the University of Arizona, where she received her undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology and another in international studies.

“I decided to become a doctor while volunteering at an emergency room in a shantytown community in Lima, Peru, during my junior year of college,” O’Shea said. “It was there that I became painfully aware of the limitations on what I could do to help because I simply wasn’t trained in medicine.”

She has chosen to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology.

When asked about her favorite medical school moments, O’Shea said, “I will miss having a taste of every specialty during my clerkships, and the unique chance to simply learn, learn every day on rotation. I also will miss the extra time I had getting to know each of my patients.”

O’Shea said her single-favorite memory of medical school was planning and embarking on a service trip to the Dominican Republic during winter break of her second year, in December 2011. The trip was conducted under the leadership of David Beyda, MD, and Grace Caputo, MD, MPH.

Medical school poses new challenges and life lessons. O’Shea said she received a wake-up call while studying for her Step 1 exam, the national board exam taken at the end of the second year, because she had to figure out her own personal learning style.

“After struggling and becoming frustrated by my lack of understanding of fundamental concepts of physiology, biochemistry and pathology, I ultimately had to be honest with myself and accept that standard didactic lectures would never work for me, personally,” she said. “In the end, after much trial and error, the pressure of learning so much material forced me to become a good self-learner and gave me a better awareness of how I process information, which I will carry throughout my training.”

O’Shea has grown in her perspective since starting at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. “I’m aware of how lucky I am, and that the fact that I have come this far is largely the result of where I was born, and the supportive, safe family environment I was born into,” she said. “I don’t take this for granted, and realize this is not the case for the majority of our world's population who live without access to health, education, economic or even physical security.”

“I believe I am to use this life to share my gifts and be useful to others through specialized knowledge, skill and compassion.”

Kellie WheelerKellie Wheeler (family medicine)

(Media Contact: April Fischer,, 602-827-2585)

Born in Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (now Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix), Kellie Wheeler grew up in California and studied biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Davis. After graduation, she took two years off to work in a cardiology lab before her journey brought her to the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.

“My first Halloween costume was a doctor,” Wheeler recalls. “My mom said I always had this idea of becoming a doctor from an early age. As a child, I was in the hospital a lot and so I think that sparked my interest in medicine, and I stuck with it, realizing I could help people that way.”

When asked about the residency she will pursue, Wheeler said, “I had no idea what I wanted to do for a long time; I was lost all of third-year,” Wheeler said. “My second-to-last rotation during third-year was family medicine, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It’s the full spectrum; you can see a diverse patient population. You can provide continuity of care and compassion.”

Wheeler was able to overcome challenging life events with the help of friends and family. “I’m couples matching, and my boyfriend is a year ahead of me; and during the middle of third-year, he was diagnosed with leukemia,” she recalled. “That was pretty difficult at the time, but I think it made me a stronger person. It helped me see my priorities and realize that there is life outside of work. Making time for family became really important to me, even more so now.”

Wheeler has advice for anyone who may be struggling through tough times. “Family is important and keeps you grounded,” she said. “Be thankful for their support when you’re going through medical school because a lot of the time we’re more focused on ourselves than others.”

About the National Resident Matching Program™

During the first half of their senior year, medical students apply for positions at residency programs, then interview with program directors, faculty and residents.

In February, students submit their list of choices in order of preference – at the same time residency program directors submit their rank-ordered lists of preferred candidates – to the National Resident Matching Program™ (NRMP) headquarters in Washington, D.C. A computer matches each student to the residency program that is highest on the student’s list and that has offered a position to the applicant.

For couples participating in the NRMP, the match process is more challenging. In addition to each deciding on a specialty, they must coordinate their match lists, taking into consideration the distance between residency programs as they create and rank pairs of choices. The NRMP guarantees that both applicants will match at the highest-ranked combination in which both applicants have been accepted.

About Residency Programs at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

The UA College of Medicine – Tucson offers a total of 59 residencies and fellowships through two graduate medical education programs: UA College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education and University of Arizona College of Medicine at South Campus. All of the UA residencies/fellowships are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which establishes exacting national standards for approval and assessment of graduate medical education programs. The UA programs provide training in environments unique for their diverse patient populations and exceptional faculty-to-resident ratios, and they are crucial in attracting and training doctors who will remain in Arizona.

The UA College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program oversees 52 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs in all major specialties and subspecialties. More than 600 residents and fellows are trained at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s primary teaching hospital, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, and other major participating institutions in Tucson.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine at South Campus has six ACGME-accredited residency programs – emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology and psychiatry – and one fellowship in medical toxicology. Each program has achieved continued accreditation from the ACGME. Approximately 110 residents are participating in these programs, which focus on providing health care in rural and underserved areas of Arizona to help reduce the Arizona physician shortage and improve access to health care throughout the state.

UA College of Medicine South Campus programs are based primarily at Banner – University Medical Center South with rotations throughout the state, including the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and multiple rural and Indian Health Service locations.