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Special delivery: Paper-lantern ceremony reveals UA med students’ immediate future

PHOENIX — Fifty University of Arizona College of Medicine students learned Friday morning where they will spend the next several years as resident physicians.

And they found out in a unique way. The news was delivered via paper lanterns. Each lantern had a tag with a student’s name. Inside the lantern was a piece of paper that revealed their destination.

The class graduates in May.

Marianne Go-Wheeler of Peoria wanted to go to St. Louis but instead will be at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. That’s fine with her.

“I have been in Arizona since age 3 so it will be good to see another part of the world.”

She is one of 22 women in the Class of 2013, along with Magdalena Espinoza of Phoenix. Espinoza will be heading to Boston with another doctor — her fiance. The couple is getting married in June and will be working at the same hospital.

“Oh, it’s funny and appropriate that this would happen. We have the same place. It’s great,” she said.

Her mother was with her at the ceremony and overcome with joy of her daughter’s marriage and residency. The moment, she said was “muy feliz.”

Once her residency is completed, Espinoza will practice internal medicine.

The class of 2013 has 23 Arizonans in it.