The room was filled with an excited energy as 275 future medical professionals waited to find out where they would spend their future.
New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine students were surrounded by friends and family for Match Day ceremony on Friday at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, each holding an envelope containing a residency assignment.
Celebrated nationally, Match Day is when medical school graduates find out where they will complete their residency. For the Class of 2018, the Old Westbury-based college has a 99 percent match rate for its students, Dean Wolfgang Gilliar said.
“This class, in my eyes, has gelled and become a cohesive social force that I have not seen in any class before,” Gilliar said. “This class is No. 1 in TOUCH points for social volunteer activities, and it tells me the commitment they have to humanity and society. They have coalesced as a supportive group because I have a feeling they just know they want to invent the future of medicine.”
TOUCH points encourage students to be more involved in community service to grow the concept of treating the whole patient.
Before the ceremony, Hillary Grainer of Port Washington sat with her parents, Dr. Steven and Dr. Holly Grainer, waiting for the envelopes to be distributed.
As the daughter of two doctors and the granddaughter of another, Grainer said she felt the job was in her blood but still had to fight to get to Match Day.
“I struggled a lot but I really persevered,” Grainer said. “It’s been hard, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
After the envelopes were distributed, Gilliar asked the students to silently thank the familial support systems that helped them get to this moment.
“I give them about 30 seconds to thank their parents, friends, teachers, lovers, dogs, anything that comes along,” Gilliar said. “To me, it is the grounding that we are not alone.”
Parini Patel of New Hyde Park said her interest in the neuromuscular system led her to pain management and rehabilitation.
Patel, who had already learned her match before the ceremony, will spend her residency at Nassau University Medical Center.
Still in shock after the ceremony, Matthew Goldstein of Manhasset said he was heading to his first choice at Florida Hospital for Children with a specialty in pediatrics.
“I did a pediatric ICU rotation, and it was the most humbling experience of my life,” Goldstein said. “I just want to help kids.”
Goldstein, who did rotations at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Mount Sinai, thanked his parents, Celeste and Stuart Goldstein, for supporting him through undergraduate and graduate school at Vanderbilt University as well as his time at NYIT.
“As medical educators, this is the joyful moment we look forward to each year,” Gilliar said. “For four years, we’ve seen these medical students transform and envision their future as physicians, and today we see them open the envelopes not only to their residency matches, but to their dreams.”