Loyola Medical Student Overcomes Loss of Father and Sister to Match at First-Choice Residency Program

News Archive March 15, 2013

Loyola Medical Student Overcomes Loss of Father and Sister to Match at First-Choice Residency Program

Student Will Take Her Talents to The Ohio State University
MAYWOOD, Ill. – On April 1, 2010, Ali Hausfeld waited at a Chicago airport for her father to pick her up in a private plane that would take her home for Easter weekend. Her sister decided to tag along on the flight at the last-minute to surprise Hausfeld. Moments after takeoff in Dayton, Ohio, the plane engine died causing a crash that instantly killed the pair.

At the time, Hausfeld was a first-year medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She considered dropping out of school, but her mother encouraged her to continue.

Less than three years later, Hausfeld and her boyfriend were involved in a head-on auto collision after another driver fell asleep at the wheel. She suffered five broken ribs, a broken hip and a dislocated ankle. Hausfeld underwent surgery for her hip and spent a week in the hospital followed by three months on crutches and months in physical therapy all while interviewing for residency programs.

Despite these traumatic setbacks, Hausfeld overcame these adversities and channeled her energy toward her studies, developing an interest in internal and emergency medicine. Her perseverance has paid off. Hausfeld will graduate among the top of her class in May. She also learned earlier this morning at Loyola’s Match Day ceremony that she was the only medical student in the country to be accepted into The Ohio State University’s dual, five-year internal and emergency medicine residency program. Ohio State was Hausfeld’s first choice.

“Ali is an amazing woman and she will be a fabulous doctor,” said Mike Lambesis, M.Ed, assistant dean of student life, Stritch School of Medicine. “She deserves to match at her first choice and she was due for some good news.”
Match Day is the most anticipated day of the year for graduating Loyola students, as they learn where they will spend the next several years of their medical training. The excitement peaked at 11 this morning when 141 fourth-year students received sealed envelopes containing their residency destinations. With the nervous suspense of the Oscars, students opened the envelopes to find the name of the medical institution that will become their new home. The room filled with screams, applause and tears of joy.

Hausfeld was surrounded by her mother and more than 30 family members and friends when she opened her envelope. Tears of joy welled up in her eyes, as her family shrieked and hugged each other. Hausfeld acknowledged that it was bittersweet without her father and sister there.

“While life events like this are hard without my dad and sister, I know they are looking down on me and proud of me,” Hausfeld said.

The Stritch School of Medicine Class of 2013 matched in 27 states with 66 percent of the class staying in the Midwest, 40 percent remaining in Illinois and 18 percent staying at Loyola. Forty-eight percent will go into a primary care residency while the remainder will pursue a specialty, including 10 percent in emergency medicine and 7 percent in obstetrics and gynecology.

The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.
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