One hundred percent match rate for first med. school graduates

A nervous group of medical students eagerly waited on Friday to find out where they will be spending the next several year in their journey to becoming doctors.The future doctors spent Friday morning in anticipation, awaiting the envelopes that would tell them with which institution they were “matched” and thus, where they would be doing their residency.

And this year, the Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine’s inaugural class had an impressive 100 percent match rate, meaning that all 29 senior medical students were matched with a hospital’s residency program.

Match day is carried out each year on the third Friday of March by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), also called The Match. This national program was created in 1952 to help medical students with residency programs. The senior medical students make a list of their top choices of institutions to pursue the program, and the institutions make a list of their top choices of students to welcome into their programs.

Not every student is matched, and each year the match gets increasingly competitive. The dean of the medical school, Dr. Lawrence G. Smith, explained just how competitive the process really is. “From the day that [the inaugural class] started medical school, until today, there are 2,600 more U.S. students in the match than when they arrived, and not a single new residency spot,” said Dr. Smith.

However, if a student is matched, the student is contractually obligated to carry out their residency with that institution and, likewise, the institution is obligated to accept the student into their program. “There’s no second chance, there’s no waitlist, you open that envelope and you’re committed to work there for the rest of your residency,” said Dr. Smith.

Shrieks of excitement and tears of joy could be seen and heard while these students opened their envelopes. Some got matched with their first choice, others were matched with a program that was farther down their list, but all were excited to continue their journeys.

“It’s a little bit nerve-racking, I just tried to play it cool as best I could but obviously when you open up a piece of paper that tells you where you’re going to be for five years, it’s kind of a big deal,” said Daniel Ohngemach, a 26-year-old student who will be continuing his journey at North Shore-LIJ for radiology.

Ralph Scelfo, father of soon-to-be graduate Christina Scelfo, was proud of his daughter’s achievements. “This is the most exciting day in our lives. The school has been great, everything that she strived for came to fruition, and it’s just a great day,” he said. Christina will be attending Sloan Kettering for her first year in general medicine, and Boston University Medical Center for ophthalmology.

Altogether, the School of Medicine’s inaugural class confirmed the potential for Hofstra’s medical program to be among the best in the nation. Eleven students matched to NSLIJ teaching hospitals, and other institutions for residency placement include: Yale-New Haven Hospital, Duke University Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center, NYP Hospital-Columbia & Cornell, Jefferson Medical College/DuPont Children’s (PA), Memorial Sloan Kettering, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Boston University Medical Center, University of Southern California and Mount Sinai.

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