NYITCOM student standing in an oversized picture frames surrounded by balloons.

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Match Day 2021: The Next Wave of Healthcare Heroes

March 22, 2021

Pictured: NYITCOM-Long Island student Brady Stevens proudly displays his match results.

The last year has emphasized the vital role of clinicians, who continue to show their resilience in the battle against COVID-19.

NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (NYITCOM) Class of 2021 will soon join these heroes on the frontlines. On March 19, the future physicians discovered where their medical education journey would take them next: their residencies. 

During this annual event, known as Match Day, NYITCOM students join fellow medical students across the country in finding out their “matches,” where they will spend the next several years completing their medical residencies. Upon the completion of medical school, physicians must complete a residency in order to obtain their license to practice medicine in the United States. Residencies typically last three to seven years, depending on the specialty. Matches are determined by a computerized algorithm and kept top-secret from both the future doctors and the matching hospitals until they are opened.

While Match Day events are typically celebrated with big, in-person gatherings, the last two events have been virtual due to the pandemic. However, the medical school community has continued to demonstrate spirit, as students took to social media to share their at-home celebrations and cheer on their classmates. In an upbeat slideshow, faculty congratulated the members of the Class of 2021, who relived the memories of the last four years—from the moment they received their white coats up to their clinical rotations. 

Medical school leaders, including Nicole Wadsworth, D.O., dean of NYITCOM, and Shane Speights, D.O., site dean of NYITCOM-Arkansas, congratulated students via Zoom ahead of highly anticipated emails revealing residency assignments. Wadsworth commended the service and kindness of the medical students, many of whom have been serving their communities throughout the pandemic. 

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Derika Mays, an Arkansas native, hugs her husband Tylis in learning of her match. She is among those 21 students staying in Arkansas. She will perform her internal medicine residency at NEA Baptist in Jonesboro.

“This is such an exciting day. You’re about to advance on a journey that will focus on building and strengthening the health and well-being of your community. As I think about all of this good, I know that behind every one of these amazing people is a physician,” said Wadsworth.

At noon (Eastern Standard Time), the long-awaited emails were opened by students at both locations and cheers, confetti, and toasts ensued. NYITCOM’s Class of 2021 secured impressive residencies at institutions such as Rutgers, New York University, Oklahoma State University, Walter Reed Medical Center, as well as specialties such as anesthesiology, surgery, psychiatry, pediatrics, and OB/GYN, among others.

This was the second Match Day for NYITCOM-Arkansas. The medical school site, located on the campus of Arkansas State University, was established to train physicians to help improve the physician shortage in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta region, one of the most medically underserved areas in the country. This year’s event underscored that mission, helping to fill the Delta region’s primary care shortage. Of the NYITCOM-Arkansas students who participated in the 2021 Match, 73 percent were placed into primary care programs and 40 percent will remain in a Delta state, including 21 students who were placed in Arkansas programs.

“We are extremely proud of our student doctors,” said Speights. “This has been a unique and challenging year in all walks of life, and these students have worked incredibly hard to secure these positions. We’re excited to watch them continue their medical education, and we’re confident they will represent our institution well.”

In January, seven NYITCOM students also learned of their residencies through this year’s military match. Five students matched with the U.S. Army, with a match in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force as well. After graduation from NYITCOM, the students will begin their Graduate Medical Education in conjunction with service to their country. They will take the military oath of office at NYITCOM’s 2021 hooding ceremonies this spring.