Match Day Marks Next Step in Medical Journey for Students

Video of Match Day 2024 at Weill Cornell Medicine

Branden Sosa was halfway through his undergraduate degree at Hunter College when he had to take time off from school—his mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. For a year and a half, he worked at Hospital for Special Surgery as an office manager to support his family.

“It was through that experience I grew to love orthopedics and research,” he said. “I feel like a lot of my formative experiences were gained there.”

With his parents by his side, Sosa’s experience came full circle on March 15, when he matched at Hospital of Special Surgery for orthopedic surgery, his first choice. He credits his success to the unparalleled support he received at Weill Cornell Medicine. “I’ve been able to follow whichever direction in research I wanted and be supported,” Sosa said.

Group of people pose for a photo during an event

Medical students Ikenna Onyekwere (left), Branden Sosa (third from left) and Shuting Lu with Dean Robert A. Harrington. Credit: StudioBrooke

Though he has worked hard to reach this next stage, he emotionally acknowledges the sacrifices his grandparents made when they emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. “I can’t forget that they are the reason I have this opportunity,” he said.

Sosa and his fellow classmates in the Weill Cornell Medical College Class of 2024 learned on national Match Day where they will be doing their internship and residency training—setting the stage for the next several years of their medical careers and lives.

Match results this year were revealed simultaneously at noon to medical students nationwide. Nearly 45,000 graduating allopathic, international and osteopathic medical students from across the country (and Americans studying abroad) competed for 41,503 residency positions, the most ever offered, according to the National Resident Matching Program.

The Class of 2024 gathered together for the annual rite of passage—opening the envelopes that contained their future, at a ceremony on the Starr Foundation-Maurice R. Greenberg Conference Center Terrace of the Belfer Research Building. Amid confetti and balloons, students celebrated their successes and shared in the excitement with classmates, family and friends.

“At Weill Cornell Medicine, we talk about the tripartite mission of academic medicine—to care, discover and teach,” said Dr. Robert A. Harrington, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University. “We are a medical college and there is no more important part of our mission than to teach. And this is a special day in the world of education.”

Group of people pose for a photo during an event

Medical students celebrate their residency matches. From left: Venkatesh Balaji, Reine-Marcelle Ibala, Indrani Das, and Natalie Nguyen. Credit: StudioBrooke

Of the 109 Weill Cornell Medical College students graduating in May, 107 garnered residencies, with 87 percent of them matching to top postgraduate residency specialty programs. Forty students are remaining in metropolitan New York, 34 of whom matched to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and local hospital affiliates. And 32 students will pursue primary care residencies in internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology.

“Match Day is an inflection point in your life and in your career, and I hope you embrace this special moment,” said Dr. Yoon Kang, senior associate dean for education and the Richard P. Cohen, M.D. Professor of Medical Education. “This is a day to reflect on those who have supported you, both before and during medical school, and to be proud of everything you have accomplished.”

“It has been a privilege to be part of your journey,” she added.

As the Class of 2024 prepares for the next step in that journey, they will soon join “an extraordinary network of alumni,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, Jr. (M.D. '08), vice president of the Weill Cornell Medical College Alumni Association. “Through the association, you will remain connected, expand your professional opportunities and contribute to the continued success of your alma mater.”

Candid photo of people during an event

Medical student Luiza Perez with her fiancee Victor Genes during national Match Day March 15. Credit: StudioBrooke

As the daughter of a teacher, Emily Mello always knew that she wanted to work with children. But it wasn’t until she started as a medical student that she discovered a passion for pediatric neurology.

That passion will now turn into a career: Mello matched to a residency in the specialty at Boston Children’s Hospital. It was her first choice, and a homecoming for the Massachusetts native.

“It’s an incredible opportunity,” she said. “I can’t think of a better specialty.”

When Luiza Perez left her native Brazil to start at Weill Cornell Medical College, she was excited to be in New York City, at a world-class medical school. Fast forward four years, and she is thrilled to match in obstetrics and gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, her first choice. Her parents, fiancée and best friend flew in to share in her happy moment.

“The obstetrics and gynecology department are like a family,” Perez said. “This also gives me the chance to be in a place with more than excellent training. I look forward to seeing diverse patients, taking part in research and working on advocacy.”

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