Zucker School of Medicine students celebrate ninth annual Match Day and prepare to head to residency programs across the country

Zucker School of Medicine students celebrate ninth annual Match Day and prepare to head to residency programs across the country
The 91 Match Day participants eagerly wait to open their envelopes at noon. (Photo courtesy of Hofstra University)

Graduating students at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell learned where they would spend the next phase of their medical training during the school’s Match Day ceremony on March 17.

Clutching small white envelopes containing their “match,” the 91 graduating students that make up the Class of 2023 eagerly awaited the stroke of noon, the time all medical students nationwide open a personalized letter from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) revealing their residency results. This rite of passage is the culmination of years of preparation, hard work and determination.

“Everything you’ve worked for and accomplished has been preparing you for this moment,” David Battinelli, dean of the Zucker School of Medicine, said when addressing students and their families moments before opening their residency letters. “You are headed to some of the finest residency programs in the country. More hard work will be ahead, but you are more than ready to face any challenges. Our faculty, staff and the entire medical school community will continue to support and cheer you on as you take this next step in your journey.”

Here is the Match Day 2023 breakdown for the Zucker School of Medicine’s 91 participating students:

  • 100% secured residency positions
  • 23 students matched to Northwell Health residency programs
  • Students matched into 20 specialty areas. The top three specialties were internal medicine, radiology and anesthesiology, with students also matching into various sub-surgical specialty matches, such as urology, plastic surgery, thoracic and vascular
  • Residency spots were obtained in 14 different states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Chicago, California and South Carolina
  • Three couples participated via the “Couples Match,” where pairs of students, including engaged and married couples and close friends, can apply for residency together with the goal of matching in the same program and/or region for their training

MD/PhD candidate Muhammad Shoaib will become the first physician and scientist in his family. While in medical school, Muhammad served as president of the Young Investigator’s Society at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, was involved in over thirty scientific publications and received a $50,000 research grant from the ZOLL Foundation for his groundbreaking study on improving survival rates for people immediately following cardiac arrest.

Muhammad, who will be entering his residency in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, wanted a program that would provide him with both the time and support to continue to pursue research.

“COVID has shown that EM doctors are the first to face everything and anything that walks into the hospital,” Muhammad said, who is from Astoria, Queens. “I want to use this quality of emergency medicine as a strength to engage in meaningful research that can be readily applied in the emergency setting to help us better care for our patients in the sickest times of their lives.”

Muhammad credits the medical school’s unique approach to learning with giving him the autonomy to explore and learn in his way.

“I learn better in a more collaborative, minimal-lecture manner, a style that the Zucker School of Medicine provided me,” Muhammad said. “I also appreciate the faculty members’ dedication to improving how medicine is taught at the school.”

As the recipient of the 2023 Advancing Women in Science and Medicine’s (AWSM) Barbara Hrbek Zucker Emerging Scientist Award, Danielle Howell is excited to embark on a psychiatry residency at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Danielle was the first medical student ever to receive funding from the AWSM. The organization has raised more than $2.5 million since its inception in 2010 to support medical research by female investigators. The award helped fund an entire year of Danielle’s research on the role of social determinants of health in hospital settings.

Danielle plans to continue her research in her residency, particularly in underrepresented and under-resourced communities.

“I definitely want to continue my research and get more involved in community-based participatory research at Mount Sinai,” Howell said, who credits the support of AWSM for her motivation and passion for research. “They specifically have a clinic that does a lot of amazing work around depression screening and mental health. I’m excited to continue the work and hopefully become a child and adolescent psychiatrist.”

Julian Azar immigrated to the United States from Buenos Aires, Argentina when he was eight years old, an experience he credits for helping him dream big and pursue a career in medicine. After matching into internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, Julian is excited about what the future holds.

“I am passionate about using my Latinx background to help those in need and look forward to serving the Hempstead community and beyond,” Azar said, who was the co-chair of the Latino Medical Student Association at the Zucker School of Medicine.

The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) seeks to unite and empower medical students through community service, mentorship and education to advocate for the health of the Latino community.

“I’m excited to go into internal medicine and work in a field I feel most closely aligns with my ultimate mission as a physician — to aid the vulnerable communities with an emphasis on humanistic care,” Azar said, who looks forward to being the next healthcare professional in his family.

The Match process begins in the fall, usually in the final year of medical school when students apply to residency programs at which they would like to train. Program directors review applications and conduct candidate interviews. Applicants later submit their rank order lists of preferred programs to the NRMP, and program directors rank applicants in order of preference for training.

The Class of 2023 will be conferred as doctors during the school’s commencement ceremony on May 8.

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