A little over three years ago, fourth-year students Tanya Smith and Jose Prince embarked on a complicated venture and entered the residency placement process leading up to Match Day as a couple [“A Match Made in New Haven,” Summer 2000]. It meant finding one desirable location that also had two desirable residency programs, in ob/gyn for Smith and surgery for Prince. They settled on Pittsburgh and matched at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, their top choice.
Now, three and a half years later, they’re convinced they made the right decision. “It’s been a really good place to do training in ob/gyn,” said Tanya Prince (the couple married two years ago). “It has tremendous clinical volume so you get lots of experience. It’s a great place in terms of balancing clinical research and operating experience.” She’s looking for a private practice position in Pittsburgh to join when her residency ends in June.
Jose Prince is temporarily trading the care of humans for the study of mice. He recently began a two- to three-year research fellowship. “I’m working on a project that looks at early molecular signaling that takes place in hemorrhagic shock,” he said. After his fellowship, he must complete two more years of clinical work.
Though still earning residents’ wages, the couple has been able to buy a house, a 1930 red-brick duplex in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood just a mile and a half from work. For a young couple, Pittsburgh has been a wonderful place to live. “It has a small-city feel, but it has all the good things of a big city,” said Tanya Prince. City attractions include the local symphony and opera and touring Broadway shows. For outdoor enthusiasts, skiing is only 45 minutes away. Sailing and hiking are also close at hand. The only downside for the couple is the distance from family and ocean. She is from San Francisco; he’s from New York City.
Nevertheless, Tanya concluded, “It was a really good choice for us.” They plan to stay in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future, but as Jose said, “You never know. We would like to be closer to our families.”