History Made As Two SUNY Downstate Students Match for Residency At Harvard's Massachusetts General and Brigham & Women's Hospitals

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Apr 7, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Dawn S.Walker | | (917) 439-9666

Paige Herman and Miriam Andrusier are the first same-sex couple from SUNY Downstate in a historical match to Harvard

Paige Herman Miriam AmdrusierBrooklyn, NY (April 7, 2021) – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (Downstate) announced a historic match for two of its fourth-year students during the 2021 Match Day celebrations. Paige Herman and Miriam Andrusier are the first same-sex couple from Downstate to match to their first choice at Harvard University's Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital, respectively. Ms. Herman and Ms. Andrusier celebrated the exciting news with family and friends on Match Day after opening their email notices.

"SUNY Downstate celebrates with all our students and their families," said Downstate president Wayne J. Riley, M.D. "We are incredibly proud of Paige and Miriam on their history-making news and the fantastic opportunities that lie ahead for them. That this great news happened during Women's History Month allows us to celebrate Paige and Miriam meaningfully in the competitive world of healthcare."

"Match Day is a hectic time for our students and their families amid all the suspense," said College of Medicine dean F. Charles Brunicardi, M.D. "We are excited that Paige and Miriam will be able to live their professional dreams together and know that they will continue to make Downstate proud."

Paige and Miriam, Brooklyn residents who met in their first year at Downstate, decided to apply to Harvard and rank it as their number one choice despite the uncertainty of being matched together.

"For several months, our lives have been filled with much uncertainty, between the pandemic and the first all-virtual application cycle. We also had the added worry that we might not match in the same city. We are both ecstatic and relieved by this result which represents our shared dream," said Ms. Herman. "My mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age, and she inspired me to expand my studies in immunology and to pursue a career in rheumatology." Ms. Herman has six publications to her name, including three first-author publications, and hopes to continue doing research.

"As a gay woman in the Hasidic faith, I hope to create avenues for other women from the ultra-Orthodox community to pursue careers in medicine," said Ms. Andrusier. She plans a career as an obstetrician-gynecologist and serves on the Jewish Orthodox Women's Medical Association's Advisory Board. "I have the desire to support my community's development with pride, authenticity, and open-mindedness."

Miriam Andrusier, a 2020 inductee to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, was also a 2018 recipient of the Downstate Alumni Association Research Fellowship Grant. She was born and raised in Crown Heights as an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jew, attending all-girls schools, and then spent a year in Israel studying Judaic, Talmudic, and mystical studies. She earned her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Yeshiva University and completed her Master's in Public Health with a Health Policy and Management concentration at SUNY Downstate.

Miriam graduated with honors and was inducted into the Beta Iota Chapter of Delta Omega, and received the Roy Milner Seideman, M.D. Award for Academic Excellence. Miriam plans to pursue a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI). Her research includes studies on social media's influence on healthcare delivery and patient satisfaction in this field throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally from Long Island, Paige Herman received the 2018 Downstate Alumni Association

Research Grant and the Distinction in Foundations of Medicine Award—for students who have maintained an average of 90 or higher in medical knowledge and patient care across the six units of the pre-clinical curriculum.

A 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society inductee, Paige completed her undergraduate degree in Behavioral Biology at Johns Hopkins University. As an undergraduate, she completed a summer internship at The Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, and worked studying the molecular patterns associated with spontaneous functional recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) in the lamprey.

After graduating from Johns Hopkins, she continued working on this project under the mentorship of Dr. Ona Bloom at Northwell Health's Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Paige also worked on additional clinical research projects investigating the immunologic changes in individuals living with SCI and collaborated and contributed to publications in this area throughout medical school.

The pair will formally announce their engagement shortly and plan to move to Boston before beginning residency this summer.

About Match Day

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. 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) for a second year, students received their notifications via email.

About Massachusetts General 

Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General or MGH) is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School in the West End neighborhood of Boston. It is the third oldest general hospital in the United States and has a capacity of 999 beds.

Brigham and Women's Hospital is part of Mass General Brigham, a single, integrated healthcare system that consists of 16-member institutions that encompass a range of health care organizations.


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.