March 18, 2022—(BRONX, NY)—Albert Einstein College of Medicine fourth-year medical students, who spent their clinical years on hospital wards during the COVID-19 pandemic, learned today where they will start the next phase of their medical education as resident physicians.
Shortly before noon, about 150 students, their guests, and Einstein faculty, staff and deans gathered in Einstein’s inner courtyard to celebrate Match Day. The annual rite of passage is when graduating medical students learn where and in what specialty they will do their residency. While this was the third Match Day during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to recent lower case counts around the nation and locally, the event was held in person.
Attendees were welcomed with brief remarks from Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., Class of ’82, the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein and chief academic officer at Montefiore, and Allison Ludwig, M.D., Class of '04, associate dean for student affairs, associate professor of medicine at Einstein, and a hospitalist at Jacobi.
Alumni Association member Neal Flomenbaum, M.D., Class of ’73, professor and emergency physician-in-chief emeritus at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, also spoke. (His son, David, will graduate from Einstein this May; he matched to Montefiore Health System in internal medicine.) He congratulated all the students and embraced them as fellow alumni: “If you find yourselves in a new city and want a hot meal,” he said, “we can arrange that with a fellow alumni.”
After a gong sounded at noon, envelopes were distributed quickly and students ripped them open. Joyful cries rang out as they learned of their matches, with many students tearfully hugging family and friends and calling others to spread the good news.
“It’s always exciting to watch our students celebrate the culmination of their hard work and dedication over the years,” said Dr. Ludwig. “The members of this class overcame extraordinary challenges while completing rotations during the pandemic, and we’re excited for their futures and proud to witness their successful matches.”
This year, 173 students matched to a residency. The largest group of students from the Class of 2022 matched to internal medicine with 47 students going into the field. Rounding out the top 10 most popular specialties were: pediatrics (17); surgery (14); emergency medicine (13); anesthesiology (12); psychiatry (10); obstetrics & gynecology (10); radiology (7); family medicine (6); and ophthalmology (5). Thirty will join an Einstein-affiliated residency program, including 28 at Montefiore.
Jessica Ward, who matched in emergency medicine to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said she was “excited, joyful, and grateful” with the results and looked forward to starting her journey as a new physician in several months. “I love the combination of skills you get to use in the emergency room,” she said, noting her experience as a mountaineer and pilot, and as an engineer with the United States Coast Guard Academy, where she graduated as valedictorian. “I want to go into aerospace medicine and my ultimate goal is to become an astronaut. At Einstein, the focus here was very much on the students and I appreciated that everyone considered my background to be an asset.”
Pablo Cuartas, who matched to general surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, said he felt “an overwhelming relief” when he learned of his match. “I was pretty nervous in the 60 seconds coming up to it but I’m so glad of the result.” He added, “The community I found at Einstein and the friends I made were the best part.” He planned to celebrate with his parents, who arrived at the last minute from Illinois, and girlfriend, and then drive to SUNY Downstate to show them his soon-to-be professional home.
The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) conducts the match using a computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants with the preferences of U.S. residency programs seeking new trainees.
Residency training for most graduates will begin about seven weeks after Einstein’s May 25 commencement ceremony.