CLEVELAND (WJW) – Think of it as a sort of medical Christmas day.
Instead of looking under the tree for a box, there is a bag on a folding table that holds the biggest gift you’ll get as a physician. It’s piece of paper that tells you where you are going to start working full-time as a doctor
Ben Gaal hoped to stay in Cleveland. This is where he grew up.
“I spent some time away from Cleveland, was super excited to come back. A lot of my old friends from St. Ed’s are still here, a lot of my family,” he said.
That includes his mom, Michelle, who said she was going to yell louder than anyone else in the room.
“He’s very independent, always able to make his own decisions. Just a go getter. He did get that from me, I think,” she said.
Nichola Bohmani-Gonzalez also hoped to stay here in Cleveland where she grew up.
The John Hay High School grad and prestigious Joan C. Edwards scholar wanted to serve the community that gave her so much.
“I would love to stay in town. It would make my heart so warm to stay in the community to treat the community, but we’ll see,” she said.
For her parents, this is their third daughter to finish medical school and become a doctor.
“Her perseverance and dedication are amazing, but I’m not going to cry today,” Nichola’s mom Annette McDowell said.
But after all the hard work, sacrifice and families full of love and support, it came down to a countdown and a stampede.
Then, the screaming, hugs and tears began.
Doctor Bohmani-Gonzalez is on her way to the Philadelphia area to the prestigious Lehigh Valley Medical Center
“I’ll have my husband there with me. It will be OK,” she said.
Doctor Gaal is staying home. He’ll practice orthopedics just down the street at the Cleveland Clinic.
“It’s everything I hoped for and everything I tried to work for. My family is just as happy as I am,” he said.
Case Western Medical School grads will be all over the nation, but they’ll think about moving and their new life ahead a bit later because now is the time for hugs and tears and hope that they’ll go on to make a difference.
Case Western grads will do residencies in some of the country’s top hospitals and research centers, including Johns Hopkins, The Mayo Clinic, UCLA Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.