Match Madness at SUNY Downstate

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Mar 19, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: James Gerontzos | | M: (718) 541-7416

200 College of Medicine Students find out residency assignments during Match Day Livestream Reveal

Brooklyn, NY (March 19, 2021) – Every March, thousands of medical students partake in a global rite of passage to celebrate the next steps in the journeys to their medical careers. After getting their medical degrees, new doctors must pursue at least three years—and sometimes as many as seven or eight years—of additional training in a specific specialty.

Residency training, or graduate medical education (GME), is where physicians learn the knowledge and skills to be fully-trained and independent physicians.

“Match Day is the beginning of graduate medical education where students learn the skills to become fully-trained physicians,” said SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. “Our students have remained resilient in the face of the pandemic. Their exceptional education at Downstate coupled with real-world experiences have helped to build their resiliency and reaffirm their commitment to this noble profession. I have no doubt they are ready for this next important step in their journeys.”

On Friday, 200 SUNY Downstate medical students learn where they’ll spend the next three to seven years training as residents, Match Day 2021 is likely to be tinged with worry. As they celebrate the next milestone in their careers, they’ll also be contemplating their role in continuing to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Next to commencement, Match Day is perhaps the most important day in a medical student’s career journey, and this year has been a challenging one for everyone.” said College of Medicine Dean F. Charles Brunicardi, M.D. “Because of the pandemic, for the second year in a row, Match Day will be held virtually via live stream because we still want to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021.”

Though Match Day is usually marked by an on-campus ceremony with professors, mentors, family, friends, and classmates – opening their Letters of Notification from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) as a class to cheers, hugs, screams, and impromptu celebrations are the norm, for a second year, Match Day will be a virtual celebration with students receiving their notifications at noon via email.

More SUNY Downstate College of Medicine graduates practice medicine in New York City and the State of New York than from any other medical school in the country.

In all, 200 College of Medicine graduates, or 97 percent of the graduating class, will begin their residencies next year. A total of 118 students, or 59 percent of the class, have been matched with a hospital in the State of New York, with 84 graduates, or 42 percent staying in the City of New York, including 33 students who will serve their residencies at SUNY Downstate.

Top specialties among the Class of 2021 include Internal Medicine, 22 percent; Psychiatry, 12 percent; Emergency Medicine, 10 percent; and Pediatrics, 7 percent.  In all, the Class of 2021 will be pursuing residencies in 25 different specialties.

Top match institutions included SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Zucker School of Medicine/Northwell, Einstein School of Medicine (Montefiore and Jacobi Hospitals), NYU Langone Medical Center, Rutgers University, ICAHN/Mount Sinai. SUNY Stony Brook, and New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Among other preeminent institutional matches are residencies at Yale, Beth Israel – Deaconess, Dartmouth – Hitchcock Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, University of California Irvine Medical Center and NYP Hospital – Cornell Medical Center.

The Match Process begins in the fall during the final year of medical school when students apply to the residency programs. Throughout the fall and early winter, applicants interview with programs. From mid-January to late February, applicants and program directors rank each other to preference and submit the preference lists to NRMP. A computerized mathematical algorithm matches applicants’ preferences with program directors for training positions available at teaching hospitals nationwide. The 2020 Main Residency Match was the largest in NRMP history.


About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.