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Graduating medical students Jaime Bernstein, left, and Sasha Hernandez, right, with Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi and Dr. Ernie L. Esquivel at this year’s Match Day on March 16. Full gallery of Match Day photos available here.

Medical students celebrate Match Day success

Cecilia Nicol, right, celebrates her match to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in primary care with her parents.

If one were to ask her, pursuing medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine was the best decision Asia Gobourne had ever made. It’s no surprise, then, that the fourth-year medical student hoped to continue her training as an internal medicine resident at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Surrounded by her brother, grandfather and aunt, Gobourne learned the outcome of her medical journey: a residency at her first choice. A Brooklyn native, Gobourne will be able to pursue her passion and stay close to her family. This includes her grandmother, who raised Gobourne after her mother died, and who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year.

“I get to stay with my family for the next three years. I get to be a part of [Weill Cornell Medicine] Dean Choi’s diversity initiatives,” she said, with a wide smile, noting the institution’s efforts to celebrate diversity on campus. “Someone is going to be calling me doctor soon, and that hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I am so grateful.”

Gobourne and her fellow medical students in the Weill Cornell Medical College Class of 2018 learned on national Match Day where they will be doing their internship and residency training – the next three to seven years of their medical careers.

This year’s match, announced on March 16, was the largest on record. In 2018, 18,818 graduating allopathic medical students from across the country and 16,759 graduating international and osteopathic medical students, as well as Americans studying abroad, competed for some 33,000 residency positions, the most ever offered in Match history, according to the National Resident Matching Program.

Weill Cornell Medicine celebrated a successful match, with 94 percent of the class matching to postgraduate positions at academic medical centers ranked in the top 50 by U.S. News and World Report. Students cheered, cried and clapped as they celebrated together in Griffis Faculty Lounge.

From left, M.D.-Ph.D students Jennifer Chia, Amma Asare, Sophie McKenney and Rolaki Alabi during Match Day.

“We wish you the very best going forward, and we hope to see you in the future as accomplished alumni,” said Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine. “Go make us proud.”

Forty-four students will remain in metropolitan New York, 31 of them at NewYork-Presbyterian. In all, 21 matched to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, eight to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and two to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. One student matched to a top military program in emergency medicine, and another matched to a top Canadian program in internal medicine. One hundred percent of students seeking residencies in highly competitive specialties, such as dermatology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery and urology earned positions. Forty-three percent of the students will pursue primary care residencies in internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. And 100 percent of couples matched geographically with their partners.

Jennifer Chia huddled with her personal cheering section – her husband, Dennis, and daughters Olive and Rowan – during Match Day. With the completion of her M.D.-Ph.D. in sight, she was ready to take the next step with her residency at UCLA Medical Center in pathology, her first choice. While thrilled with her match and excited for the move to UCLA, where her husband recently accepted a faculty position, Chia also found herself saddened to be leaving behind all the people she connected with over the nine years she spent at Weill Cornell Medicine.

“This has been my home for the past nine years – I know the faculty, I know the staff, I know the security guards. They’ve known my daughters since they were babies. And my classmates, I’m so excited for them but I’m going to miss them so much,” Chia said. “Still, I realized when I was interviewing how well prepared I am and how much I’ve learned. So it’s a little bittersweet. I’m really grateful for all the opportunities we had here.”

Sasha Hernandez celebrates with her friends on Match Day.

M.D.-Ph.D. student Elliott Brea, of Chicago, spent eight years getting to this day, when he learned he matched to his first choice, Brigham & Women’s Hospital for internal medicine. He credits Dr. Ernie Esquivel, assistant professor of medicine who directs the internal medicine core clerkship, for his match success.

“I chose internal medicine because it has so much variety and complexity,” Brea said. “Everything I learned in medical school can be used in internal medicine.”

Eric Kutscher gathered with his parents, Martin and Hanky, and his partner Tanmoy Das, a 2015 Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences graduate, to learn where he was set to complete his residency. He slid a white piece of paper out of the envelope. “Oh my God, oh my God,” he said, as tears streamed down his face. He matched to Massachusetts General Hospital for pediatrics.

“I’ll be able to do advocacy at this amazing program,” he said. “I’m so grateful to Weill Cornell Medicine.”

Weill Cornell Medicine associate editor Kathryn Inman, science writer Jamie Kass and newsroom manager Alyssa Sunkin-Strube contributed to this story.

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Krystle Lopez