Excitement was in the air on March 18 as graduating students from the tuition-free, three-year program NYU Long Island School of Medicine, opened three years ago in Mineola, anxiously waited to find out where they will pursue their residency.
The nationwide event is called Match Day. On Match Day, graduating medical students discover where they will fulfill their residencies. In fact, the complex mathematical algorithm to match students with where they will pursue their residencies earned its developers a Nobel Prize in Economics.
“You have arrived at this day, which is a very special day,” said Dean and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Steven Shelov to the graduating medical students. “It’s also very important to us, because you are our first born.”
It was just two-and-a-half years ago the class embarked on their journey that they did not know would be complicated by a pandemic. Through the challenges, the students contributed critical COVID-19-related research and volunteered to aid those affected by the pandemic. Dr. Shelov described the members of the class as caring, dignified, professional, responsible, dedicated and resilient.
After the students officially graduate in May, they will begin their residency training programs.
“You are true pioneers,” Vice Dean Dr. Gladys M. Ayala said. “You came here with great excitement about our vision. You took a huge leap of faith and we thank you for that. You are not only our learners in this environment, but you are our partners in establishing this new medical school and it was because of your continued feedback that we have worked towards excellence. Be proud of yourselves.”
The group of students lined up to receive their envelopes holding information about what their next chapter would look like from the faculty who have worked with them these past three years. Then, everyone in the room counted down until the students were able to open their envelopes, shortly after hugging their loved ones. Many were overwhelmed, wiping away their tears of joy and sharing with their classmates where they would be going next.
One of the students, Mittal Rana, will continue his journey at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island.
“It’s the best feeling,” Rana said. “It’s been a time of a lifetime. I’ve enjoyed every passing second with great friends, great mentors. Just the dedication of the staff to our growth has been phenomenal. This school’s really at the forefront of medical education, so I couldn’t have been more excited and more proud to be a part of this institution.”
Rana grew up in the Bronx to immigrant parents from India. The first to attend college at NYU, he volunteered as he studied biology. The volunteer research he did in East Harlem centered on reducing the rate of childhood obesity among those living below the poverty line. His goal is to practice internal medicine to bridge disparities in health care.
“This match is truly spectacular in so many measures,” Ayala said. “Based on these match results… I could fully state that the concept of an accelerated three year program has proven itself because this match has been extremely successful.”
Ayala added that the NYU Long Island School of Medicine, no matter how near or far the students will go, will always be these students’ homes and that the faculty will always be there for them.
While the graduating students could be matched with any residency position nationwide, 40 percent of them have matched with NYU Langone locations and another 10 percent matched with institutions in the New York region. Most of the students have selected residencies in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology.
“This is really the culmination of all your hard work, all the work you’ve put in not only the last two-and-a-half, but for many years,” Associate Dean for Students and Diversity Dr. Nicholas Berbari said. “The first Match Day occurred in 1952 and it’s been tweaked over the years. It’s held every year now on the third Friday of March at all medical schools across the country, including our inaugural class of 2022 at NYU Long Island School of Medicine.”