It’s a Match! New Internal Medicine Residents Come to Montefiore Einstein

It was another successful Match Day for the Moses-Weiler and Wakefield Internal Medicine (IM) Residency Programs where 85 soon-to-be interns will begin their postgraduate medical training.

Selections are a huge undertaking and take a team of remarkable people at Montefiore Einstein (see acknowledgments at the end of the article) to process and review thousands of applications and interview and recruit hundreds of applicants.

The Moses-Weiler IM Residency Program, one of the largest IM programs in the country, received more than 4,000 applications, culled to 1,200 from which 460 students were interviewed, 440 ranked, and 39 matched! For many, Montefiore Einstein was their first choice.

The new residents will be graduates of Einstein, SUNY Downstate, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Dartmouth, George Washington University, Tulane, University of Pittsburgh, Tufts, and University of Rochester.

This year’s class spans the globe and includes a Paralympian, several EMTs, and student doctors who have done medical outreach from Israel to Ghana to the Amazon rainforest.

Eleven incoming interns (including from the Primary Care Social Internal Medicine Residency Program) self-identify as underrepresented in medicine (URiM).

“Every year we are excited to meet those who are joining our program for the next three years,” says Dr. Lauren Shapiro, program director for the Moses-Weiler IM Residency Program. “Our new interns represent the best and brightest of the next generation of physicians. We look forward to providing them with an exemplary training experience that will guide them in the next steps of their careers.”

The Primary Care Social Internal Medicine (PCSIM) Residency Program, overseen by Program Director Dr. Shwetha Iyer, also had an excellent match this year. More than 800 applications were received, 118 applicants were interviewed, 99 ranked, and 10 matched. PCSIM is part of the Moses-Weiler IM Residency Program and incorporates social medicine as part of primary care training.

Members of the new PCSIM intern class have wide ranging interests, including human rights work, participation in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) activities, and education around LGBTQ care.

The Wakefield IM Residency Program, run by Program Director Dr. Grace Kajita, received more than 6,000 applications. Approximately 700 were reviewed, more than 300 were ranked, and 31 matched.

There are 15 countries represented in the Wakefield class. Members include a former electrical engineer who did graduate work on nanoparticles, a house physician at a resort in the Dominican Republic, and a future intern who started an ambulance company in Addis Ababa to transport patients to and from rural areas.

“Just like the students, we eagerly await the announcement of the matches,” says Dr. Kajita. We are thrilled with this year’s incoming class who bring a wealth of experiences from around the globe, enriching our residency community.”

Meet a few of the new interns from both residency programs.


Dr. Caitlin Sarubbi

Caitlin is one of the most inspiring people you are likely to meet. Despite being visually impaired due to a rare syndrome called Ablepharon-Macrostomia, she is set to graduate from Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. Says Caitlin, “Having to undergo more than 80 reconstructive surgeries, I knew from a very early age the difference physicians made in my life and I want to be able to do the same for others.”

Caitlin describes Match Day and matching to Montefiore, her first choice, as one of the happiest days of her life. Being born and raised in NYC, she wanted to come back and take care of the people with whom she grew up.

“The more I learned about the program and the people, the more I loved it and knew it was the best place for me.”

She is hoping to pursue a hematology and medical oncology fellowship after residency and is looking forward to exploring all the different facets of internal medicine during her time at Montefiore.

[Fun fact: Caitlin competed in alpine skiing in the 2010 Winter Paralympics.]

Dr. Tasfia Tasnim

Tasfia spent many hours watching Match Day videos during her second and third years at Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine. So, when her Match Day finally arrived, it felt a bit surreal. “When I opened my match letter and saw Montefiore written on it, I immediately smiled and cried at the same time,” recalls Tasfia.

She was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and moved to Bayonne, NJ when she was 14 years old. Her interest in medicine started when she witnessed problem-solving skills having a direct impact on patient care. Later, she fell in love with the continuous learning, critical thinking, and collaboration with patients, families, and other health professionals that a career in medicine offers.

Tasfia says that Montefiore was her first choice because of the diverse inner-city population it cares for. “From bread-and-butter diagnosis to rare pathologies, Montefiore provides exceptional teaching opportunities from leaders in their fields. And Montefiore’s dedication to diversity by providing mentorship to its underrepresented minority house staff offers a welcoming community as a minority student myself.”

Tasfia is interested in cardiology with an intention to subspecialize in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology.

As an intern, she hopes to learn how to best apply evolving medical knowledge to patient care and work effectively with a diverse patient population in various health care settings.

Dr. Ashley Radparvar

Ashley, a second-generation Albert Einstein College of Medicine graduate, is following in the footsteps of her father, a cardiologist who not only graduated from Einstein but was a resident in Montefiore’s Internal Medicine Residency program.

“My father introduced me to medicine early on,” says Ashley. “I remember vividly a day in elementary school when I got to see a “day in the life” of my dad as a doctor and being so inspired by the atmosphere of learning and comradery. As I progressed into my academic career, I realized medicine was the field for me not only because I loved science, but because of my ability to apply science to help others.”

Her internal medicine clerkship at Moses-Weiler was the highlight of her third year. “I was always so excited to come in, learn, participate in rounds, and see my patients.”

Recounting Match Day, Ashley was ecstatic to learn that she matched at Montefiore, a place where she says that she truly grew as a medical student. “The residents, fellows, and attendings I met were so supportive and really promoted an environment of learning, where a thirst for knowledge was always encouraged. Montefiore physicians are the perfect example of the physician I hope to become.”

After residency, Ashley would like to focus on medical education and research.



Dr. Alejandra Chávez

Alejandra grew up in northern Mexico in a desert city on the border with Texas. Growing up, she always liked science. During high school, she was fascinated by the perfect way every organ worked. She wanted to deeply understand the harmonic way the body executes its functions and the chaos that disease represents.

Match Day was a day full of emotions. Says Alejandra, “I opened the email with my sister on a video call. At first, I was so nervous that I couldn’t find the name of the program. When I finally learned that I matched at Montefiore a thousand thoughts ran through my mind. After all the waiting, I had an exciting destination for the next three years.”

Alejandra, a medical graduate from Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, selected Montefiore as a match option because the program offers the opportunity to work with a diverse patient population, exposure to a wide variety of pathologies, and the opportunity to be surrounded by supportive faculty.

“My hope as an intern is to learn the fundamentals of patient care. Not just the treatment of the pathology, but the understanding of the patient as a whole to be able to offer the most humanized care possible.”

After residency, Alejandra would like to pursue a fellowship in cardiology.

Dr. Henok Regassa

Henok grew up in a small rural town in the eastern part of Ethiopia, a region known for its ethnic and religious conflicts. His house burned down when he was in the seventh grade and his family moved around frequently. Though his childhood was challenging, Henok says that it taught him to persevere, stay committed, and adapt to new environments.

His interest in medicine started when he was in elementary school. Repeated school closures due to civil unrest made him concerned about who was going to treat and take care of all the injured.

This inspired Henok to join his elementary school’s Red Cross team to mimic the efforts of the few health care providers in the area. His love for taking care of others continued to grow and he decided to pursue medicine.

Fast forward some years and he is now poised to graduate from St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College.

Describing Match Day, Henok says, “My wife arranged a video call with my parents in Ethiopia. We opened the email together with my family and I will never forget the sound of celebrations both from Canada and Ethiopia when we found that I matched at Montefiore.”

Henok is excited to be joining Montefiore. “I admire Montefiore’s commitment to serving underserved populations. One of the main reasons I became a physician is because I grew up seeing the impact of the lack of adequate healthcare services. Learning and working in a program that prioritizes this population is a dream come true for me.”

After residency, Henok would like to pursue a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine and be involved in research.

[Fact: Henok started an ambulance service called Tirita–which means heartbeat in Amharic–to provide emergency medical services to underserved communities, transport patients from the outskirts of the country to hospitals in the capital, and transfer patients who are not able to afford regular services between health centers.]


Moses-Weiler: Dr. Lauren Shapiro, Program Director; Drs. Serena Roth; Benjamin Galen; Jing-Yu Pan; Jessica Pacifico; Matt Shaines; Shani Scott; Darlene Lefrancois; Iman Hassan; and Johanna Daily. Also, chief residents: Drs. Kazi Ullah; Ana Valle; Daanish Chawala; and Meaghan McGoldrick, and all the amazing residents.

PCSIM: Dr. Shwetha Iyer, Program Director; Drs. Mary Gover; Joe DeLuca; Risha Khetarpal; and Josephine Byfield and Kiara Lora; faculty and residents at the PCSIM program and division of general internal medicine

Wakefield: Dr. Grace Kajita, Program Director; Drs. Joseph Hong; Eva Metalios; Olena Slinchenkova; Kristin Swedish; T.S. Dharmarajan; Tony Fojas; Charu Ramchandani; Asli Sucu; Victoria Vapnyar; Anna Korogodina; and Fabrizio Toscano. Also, Samantha Lawson Butler; Ivana Drakes; and Mencia Seri.