Taking a major step toward launching their careers, 131 Renaissance School of Medicine (RSOM) fourth-year students matched to residency training programs all over the country, New York State and at Stony Brook Medicine on Match Day, March 18. Twenty percent of the students matched to training programs at Stony Brook, the highest percentage staying at Stony Brook since 2010 when the school began tracking this metric annually.
Match Days are held nationwide each year, a celebratory event when students learn of their residency training assignments. Administered by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), this year more than 39,000 positions were filled. The numbers of physicians continue to increase, in part because of a need for our nation’s growing population and increasing need for specialty services in medicine. The two-year international pandemic has also raised awareness of the importance of a strong physician pool going forward in the 21st century.
“The role of the physician has never been more important,” said Hal Paz, MD, MS, executive vice president for health sciences at Stony Brook University, in a video message to the matching students. “You will soon be joining a network of over 4,500 physician alumni. The Renaissance School of Medicine gave you an opportunity to become a physician, but you did the hard work to fulfill your dreams.”
Collectively, the students matched to programs in 18 states and Washington, DC. Approximately 43 percent of the students matched to programs in New York, and 56 percent to programs in other states. The leading programs matched to included Internal Medicine (21 students), Emergency Medicine (15), Anesthesiology (12), and Pediatrics (11).
“You all stand on the threshold of your medical careers, a threshold can be the entrance to a new place, or it can be the beginning of some new chapter in our lives, or it can be the limit of a prior condition. For you it is all those things,” said William Wertheim, MD, interim dean of the RSOM.
“COVID has become, during your student years, a fact of life,” Wertheim continued. “Though it has posed disruptions for you all, it has also created opportunities — for you to witness the advances of science and how each of these advances is incorporated into practice, for the rapidity with which recognition of new conditions and new challenges are adopted into medical care. These are all good lessons to learn.”
Among the students matching include native Long Islanders Kristin Krumenacker and Justin Cheung. Krumenacker, a dual-degree student who will also earn an MA in Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics in May, matched to a radiology residency at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems. Cheung, who earned a BS in Chemical Engineering at Stony Brook University as an undergraduate, hopes to pursue a fellowship in hematology/oncology. He is one of four fourth-year students completing the BS to MD program at Stony Brook. Cheung matched to an internal medicine program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Another student completing the BS to MD program at Stony Brook, Verdah Ahmad, matched to Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey. A native of New Jersey, Ahmad was hoping to match to a school in the New York metro area. She is very happy to match to a program in her home state.