March 19, 2021—(BRONX, NY)—As a noon-time gong sounded, fourth-year medical students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine celebrated Match Day today and learned where they will begin the next phase of their training as residents and interns at hospitals and medical centers around the country.
With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions still in place, members of the Class of 2021 gathered both virtually and at a socially distanced event on campus, in the housing courtyard and on the athletic courts atop the adjacent parking garage. Together, with onlookers cheering and applauding from their apartment windows above, the students opened their personalized envelopes that contained their match locations and specialties.
“Match Day holds a special place in the lives of doctors, and we’re thrilled that some of us were able to gather—safely—in person this year to share in this major milestone,” said Allison Ludwig, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, associate professor of medicine at Einstein, and a hospitalist at Jacobi. Those who attended the in-person event had been fully vaccinated, given their roles as front-line healthcare workers.
In the Shadow of COVID-19
“This class faced incredible challenges because of the pandemic, but they turned them into opportunities,” Dr. Ludwig said. “This extraordinary time has taught them invaluable lessons—from the need to stay on top of the latest research and to respect everyone on the healthcare team, to how to advocate for your patients, and the importance of self-care.”
The Class of 2021 is the second class to match during the pandemic. As third-year students, their clerkships were paused as the surge hit New York City in the spring of 2020. Many used the time to organize and volunteer for a range of pandemic-related efforts, from babysitting, tutoring, delivering groceries, and working in labs. But Einstein faculty quickly transformed the curriculum to provide virtual experiences to meet the students’ graduation requirements, before they returned to the wards over the summer.
This extraordinary time has taught them invaluable lessons—from the need to stay on top of the latest research and to respect everyone on the healthcare team, to how to advocate for your patients and the importance of self-care.
Allison Ludwig, M.D.
Most Popular Matches
For the first time, all residency interviews were conducted virtually; students were not able to visit hospitals and medical centers because of the pandemic. This year, 168 students, or 98% of the class, matched to a residency. The largest group of students from the Class of 2021 matched to internal medicine with 45 students going into the field. Rounding out the top 10 most popular specialties were: pediatrics (18); radiology (14); emergency medicine (13); psychiatry (12); surgery (8); ophthalmology (8); family medicine (7); obstetrics & gynecology (6); and anesthesiology (6). Thirty-five will join an Einstein-affiliated residency program, including 34 at Montefiore.
Residency training will begin about seven weeks after Einstein’s May 27 commencement ceremony.