Quinnipiac University

School of Medicine celebrates successful Match Day

As a four-year milestone was reduced to a 10-second countdown, students at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac held the future in their hands. Or, at least, in their Match Day envelopes.

Some opened their envelopes slowly and carefully. Others ripped them right open. Within a few seconds, Burt Kahn Court was filled with cheers, kisses and families jumping up and down with unabashed joy.

The Class of 2022 learned of its residency placements Friday through the National Resident Matching Program. The 96 students who matched from the Class of 2022 were among the 47,675 candidates applying for 39,205 residencies in The Match, which uses a computer algorithm to produce a destination and a discipline for the next three or more years.

For new dean Dr. Phillip Boiselle, his first Match Day at Quinnipiac Netter was filled with hope, optimism and pride.

“As your futures unfold, I can assure you that the very skills you honed during the pandemic ― especially your ability to meet chaos with calm, your agility in adapting to changing circumstances and your steadfast compassion toward your patients and one another ― will make you better interns and residents, and ultimately better doctors to your patients,” Boiselle said.

Overall, the school of medicine students matched with residency programs across the country, including Duke University Medical Center, Stanford Health Care, Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, along with Connecticut affiliates Hartford Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Stamford Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Griffin Hospital.

The Netter students matched in 17 different specialties and subspecialties, including emergency medicine, family medicine, neurology, obstetrics-gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics and urology. The residencies span 23 states and the District of Columbia.

Match Day marks beginning of new chapter for one student

With the goal to be a doctor instilled in her at a young age, Caurice Wynter, MD ’22, has always been driven. But as she tore open her Match Day envelope, she realized she is also strong.

“I was only nine years old when my Auntie Dawn passed away from lupus,” said Wynter. “I felt, even at that young age, that if she had access to better health care, she’d probably still be here. Losing someone so close to me became my motivating factor to make a difference.” 

Surrounded by her family, Wynter opened her Match Day envelope and celebrated the start of a new journey with her residency in the Bronx at St. Barnabas Hospital in emergency medicine/osteopathic. The day was a culmination of hard work, courage and a tenacious spirit that refused to quit.

Growing up in the same borough of New York City, Wynter earned her bachelor’s degree in child and family studies from Syracuse University and her master’s degree in physiology and biophysics from Georgetown University. She lovingly refers to her family as “large, fun and supportive,” and credits their inspiration and her perseverance for helping her through the past five years, which included new life, sudden loss and enduring a global pandemic in one of the hardest hit areas of the country, New York City.

“I've gone through a lot on my journey in med school. A lot of challenges had to be overcome,” said Wynter. “I lost both of my grandparents and had a child. My daughter was only four months old when we went into lockdown, and my parents and I got sick with Covid. My parents were both hospitalized before they recovered enough to come home. It was early in the pandemic, and finding medical care was a challenge.”

With the encouragement of her Professor Listy Thomas, director of the clinical arts and sciences course and assistant dean of simulation, Wynter would channel her personal experience about the toll the pandemic had on minority communities into a published article “Inequities of the COVID‐19 Pandemic Among Minority Populations: My Family’s Struggle to Survive,” in the Academic Emergency Medicine journal.

Shortly after, while shouldering the responsibilities of motherhood and a global pandemic, Wynter found herself navigating medical rotations and preparing for the rigors of board exams. Unfortunately, the stress took its toll, and she missed her board exam goal by four points.

“I don’t know if it’s the pressure of medicine or the culture of medicine, but no one really likes to talk about their failures. So, I carried the weight of embarrassment and continued to work in my rotation,” said Wynter. “But there is so much more to me than an exam. And I’ve been very open and honest about my struggles. It took a lot of self-motivation, but I build the courage to use my experiences to help others. Now, on Match Day, it feels like I’ve finally made it. And these experiences will make me a better clinician.”

As she considers her long-term goals, it is her personal perspective and sense of compassion that Wynter will use to advocate for the patients in her care and as a mentor for the next generation of medical students. 

“I want a large part of my career to have a clinical component, but I also want to concentrate on mentorship for medical students and high school students interested in health care,” said Wynter. “You make yourself vulnerable when you’re transparent about your life. But I’ve learned along the way that there is also a greater benefit to be gained from sharing your personal experience with others.”

Class of 2022 Match Day offers time for reflection, celebration

When she opened her envelope on Match Day, Jennifer Hansen, MD ’22, knew she was standing firmly on three pillars of support — her professors, classmates, and family and friends.

“None of us would be here today without each other. I’ve made some amazing friends along the way, and I’m grateful to my professors and my outside support community who have been with me through every turn,” she said. “Those are the three pillars upon which all of us are able to open our envelopes today. This is not an individual endeavor. It has really been a team effort.”

The contents of Hansen’s envelope revealed that she will begin her residency at the Cleveland Clinic in her chosen specialty, Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“I felt that OB/GYN was the intersection of all the best things in medicine that I loved in my rotation, including a primary care component, pediatrics, even a portion of oncology with gynecologic oncology,” said Hansen. “This specialty is also a good fit with my interests in advocacy and public health prevention.”

Hansen joined Quinnipiac from The Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in public health studies and a master’s in health sciences from the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was drawn to the student-focused environment of Quinnipiac Netter and was impressed by the dedication of its faculty and staff to improving student wellness and learning.

Throughout her medical school career, Hansen has taken on leadership roles as class event chair and as co-founder of a student-run interest group, Healthcare VITALS (Value, Insurance, Transformation, Administration and Leadership Sciences), a collaboration she began in 2019 with her classmate Emily Daigle. Healthcare VITALS programming dives deeper into issues such as the rising cost of medicine, insurance impact on access to healthcare and how medical devices are brought into the market.

“I am excited to be leaving a legacy through Healthcare VITALS, which focused on exploring the anatomy and physiology of the healthcare system,” explained Hansen. “As students, we learn all about the anatomy and physiology of our patients, but there is little in the formal curriculum about the system in which we are going to function as physicians. It might be a small mark, but I think it’s important. I’m proud to see the group continuing after we graduate.”

While in the midst of celebrating Match Day 2022 with her classmates and family, Hansen turns thoughtful as she notes the date on the calendar.

“Just over two years ago, almost to the day, we got word that we were going remote,” she said. “We witnessed the pandemic on the front lines but from the position of medical student where sometimes you can’t contribute as much as you want. The experience impacted us all, and I saw just how strong we could be when called to action. It was heartbreaking and very moving at times, but we stand here today, together, and I’m very proud of each of my classmates. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

It takes a village: Crediting community as key to success

As the daughter of a physician, Linda Kerandi, MD ’22, always had an interest in the field of medicine. But after several years of uncertainty, it was a clear sign and a series of books, that finally put her on the path to a future in health care.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with her bachelor’s in biology and a minor in African American studies, Kerandi decided to take some time off before continuing her education in either a master’s or medical program. She ultimately narrowed her choices to include the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine.

“My interview day with Quinnipiac was amazing. It’s one of those things where you try to point to one person or thing as the reason, but you can’t because it all comes back to how you felt when you were there. Quinnipiac just felt more communal to me,” said Kerandi. “I knew that staying in Minnesota was the safer choice, but my gut told me I needed a change.”

On the day of decision, Kerandi took a walk and prayed for a clear sign.

“When I came home, I turned around and looked at the bookshelf, and there for the first time, I saw a series of Frank H. Netter illustration books my dad had purchased years ago. Somehow, I had never noticed them,” said Kerandi. “But it just clicked. And I knew that was my sign.”

This Friday, Kerandi learned that her journey would be continuing at Duke University Medical Center in her chosen specialty of psychiatry.

In many ways, Kerandi’s experiences have uniquely prepared her for her chosen field of psychiatry. In Minnesota, she worked with the Dorothy Day and Harbor Lights homeless shelters in a research study focused on smoking and alcohol abuse in homeless populations. The study examined mental health and how underlying causes lead to homelessness, such as a job loss. It was that experience and the painful loss of a close personal friend to suicide that motivated her to pursue her specialty of psychiatry.

With an interest in the study of systems and how certain communities have been historically marginalized by the healthcare system, one of her most impactful experiences during med school was participation in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program during her first year. Inside-Out is designed to bring together university students (outside students) and currently incarcerated students (inside students) to expand understanding of punishment practices in the United States.

“As a woman of color, a Black woman, it meant so much to me to be a part of the program. It really brought to light those biases that we hold, those preconceived notions that we carry,” said Kerandi. “That class gave me a moment to reflect on something that is bigger than myself. It allowed me to see that there is a reason, a purpose for me to be in med school.”

After her residency, Kerandi hopes to work in trauma-informed care, focusing on child and adolescent psychiatry to help change the trajectory of people’s lives in the future who have experienced childhood trauma.

Kerandi talks with gratitude about the communities that have surrounded her and helped her along the way, especially when she faced uncertainty or struggled to find her footing during her first year of medical school and throughout the upheaval of the pandemic.

“When I think about my medical school experience, the phrase ‘it takes a village’ really sums up my experience. And my village showed up for me,” said Kerandi. “Maybe it’s growing up Kenyan in a very communal culture, but when I look at my life, I know that I am the sum of so many different people. I’m my parents, my siblings, my professors and all of those who contributed to getting me here today.”

A match before Match Day

Andrew Conner, MD ’22, and Miriam Stats, MD ’22, met nearly a decade ago as undergraduate students in Boston. On Friday, they celebrated their couples match with residency placements at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

After opening their envelopes simultaneously, Conner matched with a general surgery residency at the Cleveland Clinic, while Stats matched with a pediatrics residency at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Stats, who is from South Burlington, Vermont. “It was a really special moment for both of us. Honestly, I blacked out during it. We’re happily surprised by our match.”

The moment was woven the same way for Conner, who grew up in Staten Island, New York.

“It was both exciting and relieving,” he said. “My hands were shaking so much I could barely open the envelope. It was a very surreal moment.”

After entering the couples match at institutions from California to Connecticut, Conner and Stats landed squarely in the Midwest at Case Western Reserve.

For a couple that just became engaged a few months ago, the double helix of their personal and professional lives awaits.

“It’s really important to us that we’re together in that next step in our journey,” Conner said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

 

Making waves with the Military Match

With three siblings and a sister-in-law in the U.S. Navy, the Military Match was a perfect fit for Shelby Cuddeback, MD ’22.

Unlike the Main Residency Match on Friday, the Military Match was announced last December. Cuddeback matched with an obstetrics-gynecology residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia — not too far from where two of her siblings are stationed.

Cuddeback participated in the Health Professions Scholarship Program at Quinnipiac Netter. In exchange for the military paying for her education, Cuddeback will serve in the Navy for four years. She was one of six School of Medicine students in this year’s Military Match.

“My older brother mentioned the program to me when I was applying to medical school,” said Cuddeback, who grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts. “I decided it was something that I really wanted to do. I knew taking care of active duty and retired sailors would be special.”

For Cuddeback, an OB-GYN residency was always in the back of her mind. It moved straight to the front during her third year of medical school.

“I knew that I wanted to keep an open mind going into my rotations,” she said. “I wanted to get the full experience of what those rotations were all about. Once I got into the OB-GYN rotation, I loved all of it — the variety, primary care, surgical, delivering babies. It really appealed to me.”

Cuddeback credits her experience and education at Quinnipiac Netter for helping her become a doctor specializing in women’s health.

“I sensed a close-knit community immediately on my interview day,” she said. “The smaller class sizes, the professors always willing to help. That’s what I was looking for, and ultimately, what I found.”

Cuddeback said she can’t wait to start her residency in Portsmouth.

“I really loved my rotation there. I had a great experience from the moment I arrived,” she said. “The residents, the attendings, I’m so excited to work with them. I want to be the best doctor I can possibly be for the active military and retired community.”

A day for dreaming and destiny

Sheila Eghbali, MD ’22, emigrated from Iran to the United States when she was a teenager. It proved to be a formative moment in her life.

“Ever since I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to go into medicine,” she said.

On Friday, after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in nutritional biology in California and teaching high school science for 12 years, Eghbali opened the envelope to her dream at Burt Kahn Court.

You might even say, she opened the envelope to her destiny.

As her eyes grew moist, Eghbali carefully read the letter. She matched with a family medicine residency at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Massachusetts. It was exactly what Eghbali wanted. Her husband is a mechanical engineering professor in nearby Boston.

“I don’t know what to say. I’ve waited so long,” Eghbali said, her voice trailing off. “I’m so happy. I’m just so happy.”

And yet, the road from nutritional biology expert to high school science teacher was only the beginning. Each step to Quinnipiac’s School of Medicine seemed more daunting than the last.

“I was trying to figure out how to go to medical school, but one of the things I didn't figure out was that I needed a green card to apply to medicals schools,” she said.

Once she took care of that, she took the Medical College Admission Test — three times. She applied twice to Quinnipiac Netter, but didn’t get in.

“Finally, I mustered up the courage to give it another shot,” Eghbali said. “I took the MCAT for the fourth time and applied for the third time, but I didn’t get an interview.”

With uncommon resolve, Eghbali reached out to Mark Yeckel, associated dean of admissions.

“I asked him to please let me tell him a little bit about myself and my background,” she said. “I asked him if he had any advice for me. Then I asked him if he thought my application was OK and whether he would consider giving me an interview.”

A half hour later, Eghbali received an email from Yeckel. It read, “I look forward to meeting you.” The interview invitation came soon after.

A week or so after that, Eghbali was admitted to the School of Medicine. Not only that, she received the Primary Care Fellowship to cover her full tuition.

“I’m so grateful to everyone — the students, the faculty, the administration,” Eghbali said. “When I was a teacher, I worked with at-risk kids with a history of trauma who came from underserved populations. I want to help them. I want to help all communities. Family medicine will give me a chance to do that.”

Dozens of medical students participate in the Match Day ceremony

Watch: Match Day 2022

Where the Class of 2022 Matched

  • Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital - RI

  • Massachusetts General Hospital - MA

  • Riverside Community Hospital - CA

  • UConn School of Medicine School of Medicine - CT**

  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio* - TX

  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

  • Yale School of Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital**^ - CT

  • Brown University - Rhode Island Hospital - RI

  • George Washington University Hospital - DC

  • Norwalk Hospital - CT

  • SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn - NY

  • Hartford Hospital - CT

  • UCLA Medical Center - CA

  • Maine Medical Center

  • Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital - PA

  • St. Barnabas Hospital - NY

  • Stanford Health Care - CA

  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - TX

  • University of Mississippi at University of Mississippi Medical Center - MS

  • Northwell Health South Shore University Hospital^ - NY

  • Greater Lawrence Family Health Center^ - MA

  • Memorial Health University Medical Center - GA

  • Mercy Family Health Center/Mercy Medical Center Redding - CA

  • Morehouse School of Medicine - GA

  • Mountain Area Health Education Center - NC

  • North Colorado Family Medical Clinic - Banner Health - CO

  • Stamford Hospital/Columbia^ - CT

  • University of Louisville School of Medicine - KY

  • Brown University Internal Medicine Program** - RI

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center^ - CA

  • George Washington University Hospital^ - DC

  • Griffin Hospital - CT

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania - PA

  • Harbor-UCLA Medical Center - CA

  • Kaiser Permanente Internal Medicine -Oakland - CA

  • Maine Medical Center^ - ME

  • NYU Long Island School of Medicine - NY

  • Oregon Health & Science University**^ - OR

  • Pennsylvania Hospital - PA

  • Roger Williams Medical Center - RI

  • St. Vincent’s Medical Center^ - CT

  • Stamford Hospital - CT

  • University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson - AZ

  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine**^ - CT

  • University of Illinois College of Medicine-Chicago - IL

  • University of Maryland Medical Center - MD

  • University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio - TX

  • University of California, Irvine Medical Center - CA

  • University of California San Diego Medical Center - CA

  • University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School - MA

  • Yale-New Haven Hospital**^ - CT

  • Zucker School of Medicine-Northwell NS/LIJ^ - NY

  • University of Maryland Medical Center - MD

  • Howard University Hospital - DC

  • Yale New Haven Health** - CT

  • University of Chicago Medical Center - IL

  • Bridgeport Hospital - CT

  • Cleveland Clinic - OH

  • Naval Medical Center Portsmouth - VA

  • St Francis Hospital^ – CT

  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine - CT

  • University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals - WA

  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - TX

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania - PA

  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine - CT

  • Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital - RI

  • Case Western/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center - OH

  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles - CA

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center ^ - NH

  • Maine Medical Center - ME

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center ^ - NY

  • Stanford Health Care - CA

  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine^ - CT

  • UC San Diego Medical Center - CA

  • UCLA Medical Center - CA

  • University of Chicago - IL

  • Yale New Haven Hospital^ - CT

  • University of Southern California - CA

  • University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson - AZ

  • University of Maryland Medical Center - MD

  • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston - TX

  • Albany Medical Center^ - NY

  • Duke University Health Center^ - NC

  • Naval Medical Center Portsmouth - VA

  • Oregon Health & Science University - OR

  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School - NJ

  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine^ - CT

  • Staten Island University Hospital - NY

  • Zucker Hillside Hospital - NY

  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - The Mount Sinai Hospital - NY

  • Cleveland Clinic - OH

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center - NH

  • Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals - WI

  • Memorial Health - University Medical Center - GA

  • New York Medical College at Metropolitan Hospital Center - NY

  • SUNY Upstate Medical University - NY

  • Temple University Hospital - PA

  • Vidant Medical Center/East Carolina University - NC

  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine^ - CT

  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University - PA

** Indicates more than one student matched at this institution in this specialty
^ Indicates a Frank H. Netter, MD School of Medicine alumnus has matched at this program and specialty previously

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