The worry and wait came to an end for 86 fourth-year medical students of the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell on Friday, March 16, 2018—Match Day—an important milestone for graduating medical students across the country as they open personalized letters containing their residency placement results.
As the Zucker School of Medicine participates in their fourth Match Day, this month also marks a decade of existence for the medical school since its collaborative founding by Hofstra University and Northwell Health in 2008.
“We have 5,000 more graduates of U.S. medical schools today than the day we started planning our school and virtually no increase in the number of residency spots,” said Lawrence G. Smith, MD, MACP, Dean of the School of Medicine in a speech to Match hopefuls before the official letter opening. “It is very competitive, more so than it has ever been in the history of the match, but our students have done remarkably well.”
The Zucker School of Medicine Class of 2018 secured spots in many of the most sought-after residency programs in the country, including placements within 15 different states and 22 specialty areas. More than half of the class will remain on the east coast for residency, while others journey to institutions across the nation.
The Match Day 2018 breakdown for Zucker School of Medicine revealed:
- 29 students matching to Northwell Health residency programs;
- Nine women matching to surgery or surgical subspecialties including the school’s first match to cardiovascular surgery and vascular surgery;
- Residencies secured from east to west coast at leading institutions such as Yale-New Haven University, Johns Hopkins, Brown University, Stanford University, Northwestern McGaw, Emory University School of Medicine, UC Irvine Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Boston University Medical Center.
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.
Depending on the program or specialty area, some residency candidates learn of their results sooner than later as was the case for fourth-year medical student, new dad, and naval officer, Tyler Lopachin, who entered a separate military match and found out his fate in December.
“I went into the residency interview process knowing that I was among 87 applicants vying for just 20 open spots, it was very intense,” said Mr. Lopachin, ENS, who will remain close to relatives on the east coast and train in emergency medicine at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia—his top choice. “I’ve had time to absorb the news and prepare myself and my family for the next step. I know this day could not have come fast enough for my classmates.”
As a process teeming with competition and uncertainty, a few applicants join forces and go for it together in the NRMP’s “Couples Match,” where pairs of students, from those in committed relationships to close friends and rivals, can apply for residency together with the goal of landing in the same program and/or region for their training. Soon-to-be graduates Ben Stuart and Sophie Parks were among four pairs of successfully matched couples at the Zucker School of Medicine.
“For us, the road was relatively smooth, we found the communication with various programs enabled us to be upfront with our desire to couples match,” said Mr. Stuart who plans to train in neurology. “We applied all over,” continued Ms. Parks who will enter residency in medicine. “If one of us received an interview first, we were able to reach out to the institution and explain that we’re involved in the couples match—it worked out.”
Both are west-coast bound for residency at the University of California, Irvine.
With the next phase of medical training clearly in sight, Zucker School of Medicine students gear up to commemorate years of intense study and hard work with graduation on Monday, May 14, 2 p.m., at Hofstra University, the day they will become our nation’s newest doctors.
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About the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Established in 2008, the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell was founded by two equal partners: Hofstra University and Northwell Health. The Zucker School of Medicine is built upon the strong clinical and graduate medical education programs of Northwell, as well as the robust research and academic programs of both Hofstra and Northwell’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Currently, the Zucker School of Medicine ranks among top medical schools nationwide for primary care and research (2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools). The institution comprises more than 2,500 faculty members across 25 academic departments, and enrolls a diverse community of approximately 400 students. For more information, visit medicine.hofstra.edu.