Texas Tech medical students prepare for next step after Match Day

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 7:05 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Match day is one full of anticipation and excitement for medical students.

Years of hard work led them to the celebration.

Now they’re preparing to leave the university to write their next chapter.

“We finally get to find out where were going,” Nick Garza Texas Tech H.S.C. graduate said. “Its a really emotional day for us as a family.”

For Garza the road to Match Day has been a long one. Filled with hardship and determination.

Garza lost his wife to cervical cancer shortly after starting medical school leaving him to raise his daughter while earning his degree.

“I think she’d be really proud of me and proud of my daughter for getting through everything the past few year,” Garza said.

Patrick Bettiol and his girlfriend Caroline Freedle also opening their envelopes today. A key to the door of their next step.

“We’re matched with Oklahoma city OU,” Bettiol said.

Getting a preferred match is difficult. A successful couples match even more so.

“At the end of the day we just hustled as hard as we could to support each other,” Bettiol said. “That’s what we did and we were able to make here. It’s an incredible feeling and an incredible place to be.

It’s been a long road for the couple, but they’re ready for another journey together.

“I couldn’t have imagined a better four years with him by my side,” Freedle said. “There’s just a lot of growth so to see that in each other and to really chase and attain our goals was awesome.”

They’ll be heading to one of the busiest level one trauma centers in the nation. Freedle says it’s a bitter sweet feeling.

“Saying goodbye to Lubbock after nine years is both exciting and a little bit sad,” Freedle said. “I am excited about the new chapter and just seeing where we go from here. My brother before I applied for med school always told me to shoot for the moon and fall amongst the stars and I feel that is exactly what I did.”

“To be able to stand here today and say that I’m going to be an orthopedic surgeon is probably one of the coolest things in the world,” Bettiol said.

They may be seeing a familiar face when they get to Oklahoma.

“I matched into diagnostic radiology at Integris in Oklahoma city,” Garza said. “It was one of my top choices so we’re really excited about it.”

More than 170 Texas Tech H.S.C. students got their match this year. They will be heading to health systems across the country. Proving once again that “from here it’s possible.”

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