Fourth-Year Hofstra Northwell Medical Students Finally Meet Their Match

Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine students found out where they will spend their residencies during a Match Day ceremony on campus.

Four years of intense study, training, and a little St. Patrick’s Day good luck came together for graduating students at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine on March 17 – known in the medical world as Match Day – a time to reveal the next place and phase of training for our newest doctors. 

During a ceremony at the School of Medicine’s facility that included faculty and family, 74 students opened personalized letters containing their residency match results at noon – the same moment as all graduating medical students nationwide.

“Several students from our inaugural Class of 2015 have been chosen to become chief resident of their programs, and I’m confident that you are just as ready for the journey ahead,” said Lawrence G. Smith, MD, MACP, dean of the School of Medicine in a speech to Match hopefuls prior to the official letter opening. “You are our best assets, our ambassadors, and proof of principle that the way we teach medical students to be doctors is working.”

Hofstra Northwell graduates received placements at health care systems in 15 different states and 20 specialty areas. More than half will remain on the East Coast for residency, while others journey to institutions across the country.  The medical school also raised the bar in diversity, including Hofstra Northwell’s largest number of African-American and Latino students placing in top-choice centers for residency.

“I am so proud of this moment and look forward to sharing this news with my family in Nigeria,” said Muhammad Mutawakkil, accepted into the orthopedic surgery program at Northwestern and a mentor in the School of Medicine’s Medical Scholars Pipeline Program. “It is part of a dream fulfilled.”

Overall, the School of Medicine’s third Match Day breakdown revealed:

  • 22 percent of students matching to Northwell Health residency programs;
  • Approximately 35 students joining New York metro institutions;
  • Residencies include Stanford University, Baylor  College of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Vanderbilt University 

Medical Center, NYP Hospital Weill Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern McGaw/NMH/VA, Thomas Jefferson University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Northwestern, Icahn Mount Sinai, and NYU School of Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Harvard), Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Stamford Hospital/Columbia University.
Match Day occurs on the third Friday of March each year at allopathic medical schools in the United States where the results of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) are announced. The Match process begins in the fall for applicants, usually in the final year of medical school, when they apply to residency programs at which they would like to train.

Program directors review applications and conduct candidate interviews. Applicants later submit to the NRMP their rank order lists of preferred programs, and program directors rank applicants in order of preference for training. 

It’s a process teeming with competition and uncertainty, and why some applicants decide not to enter the next phase of training alone.  

In fact, four duos at the School of Medicine successfully vied for residency spots via the NRMP’s “Couples Match,” where pairs of students, from those in committed relationships to friends, can apply for residency together with the goal of landing in the same program and/or region for their training. Soon-to-be-graduate Anna Marie Sonstegard secured a place in the same institution and specialty area as her fiancé, Kareem Halim, who is currently a second-year resident at Northwell Health.

“You hope for the best but never know how things will turn out,” said Ms. Sonstegard, who will start preliminary training in pediatrics at Northwell’s Cohen Children’s Center followed by residency in dermatology. “I am happy to be taking this next step with him.”

The success of Match Day followed Hofstra Northwell’s unprecedented leap in rankings among top medical schools in primary care and research in 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, an extraordinary measure of excellence and rise in reputation for a medical school that graduated its first class of students just two years ago. 


About the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
Established in 2008, the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine is the first allopathic medical school to open in New York State in more than 40 years. Hofstra University and North Shore-LIJ Health System are partners in the establishment and operation of the School of Medicine, an institution built upon the strong clinical and graduate medical education programs of the Health System and the robust research and academic programs of Hofstra University and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health.Welcoming its inaugural class in 2011, the School of Medicine received full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in February 2015, an important designation for meeting and maintaining strict national standards for structure, function, and performance in medical education.  Upon the successful residency placement and graduation of its charter class in May 2015, the School of Medicine continues to expand with more than 2,000 faculty within 25 academic departments, and enrolls a diverse community of 400 students.

Adrienne Stoller                                      
[email protected]