Despite a ‘Microscope Incident,’ Two Med Students Match

Drs. Ginger Yu Fei Jiang and José Miguel Orozco didn’t quite hit it off after they were accidentally assigned the same microscope in pathology class during their first year at Harvard Medical School in 2013.

“I arrived to the microscope station first so I took it,” Dr. Jiang said, and when Dr. Orozco showed up, “he had to sit by himself in the middle of the room” at another station.

“We didn’t get along at first, mostly due to the microscope incident,” she added, noting that they “both were dating other people at the time,” too.

But their second year at medical school brought a second chance at a connection. “I lived with a group of med students and one was a friend of a friend of José’s, so our friend groups collided,” she said. By then, both were single.

When they and their friends would get together, Dr. Orozco, 33, and Dr. Jiang, 31, “were drawn to each other” he said.

“We would spend a lot of time talking, and we sensed we had an interest in each other,” Dr. Orozco added. “One night we were listening to music and I held her hand and she didn’t move it away, so then I asked her out to dinner.”

On that outing, in October 2014, they went to the Miracle of Science, a bar and restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., and then to Brick & Mortar, a speakeasy bar. Though it was a first date, Dr. Orozco said it didn’t feel like one.

“It had been a long time coming, and we had already talked a lot and spent a lot of time together,” he said. “It felt very natural.”

In December 2014, while in New York attending a friend’s wedding, the two became exclusive. A month later, each told the other “I love you” after a night spent cooking and watching “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The following year, in 2016, they moved into an apartment in Cambridge together.

A native of Cartagena, Colombia, Dr. Orozco graduated from Northeastern University. He received a medical degree and a Ph.D. in biology through a dual program at Harvard and M.I.T. Dr. Jiang is from Warren, N.J. A Yale graduate, she holds a medical degree and an M.B.A. from Harvard.

Each said it was hard to pinpoint the one moment when they knew that the other was “the one.” As Dr. Jiang explained, “In some ways, we’ve grown up together, meeting as young adults fresh out of college and dating throughout our 20s.”

Over the years, the couple developed a tradition of “making our favorite fancy brunch foods at home and enjoying it all with mimosas while wearing matching pajamas,” she said. When Dr. Orozco proposed to her on Feb. 16, 2019, he incorporated this pastime.

That morning, he got up early to shop for ingredients before preparing a brunch of French toast, scrambled eggs and, of course, mimosas. When they finished eating, he dropped to one knee.

“I was hyper aware and nervous,” Dr. Orozco said, “and making sure I didn’t screw anything up.” Dr. Jiang “was completely surprised,” she said, “and then cried and said yes immediately.”

Now living together in Brookline, Mass., he is planning to do postdoctoral research in metabolism and diabetes, and she is a first-year cardiology fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

On May 28, two days after his dual graduation from Harvard and M.I.T., they were married by Thomas A. Welch, a justice of the peace in Massachusetts, at the Bradley Estate in Canton, Mass., before 120 vaccinated guests.

Their wedding nodded to both the groom’s roots and the bride’s Chinese heritage. At the ceremony, Dr. Jiang’s mother, June Ke, read a poem in Mandarin Chinese called “By Chance” and Dr. Orozco’s uncle, Jorge Segrera, read “Sonnet 48” by Pablo Neruda in Spanish.

A reception held afterward included la hora loca, or crazy hour in Spanish, “when the party gets really amped up and we break out crazy party props,” Dr. Orozco said. To give the tradition a Chinese twist, they rented a lion dancer costume for a friend to wear.

“But I forgot the butt,” Dr. Jiang said, “so my friend just wore the head.”

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