Sixty-three students from the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine are now doctors – and are beginning their residencies to start their careers. The medical students came from the inaugural 2018 cohort of the medical school (34 students) in a four-year program and the 2019 cohort (29 students), who finished their medical degree in an accelerated three-year program.
The commencement’s keynote was delivered by Dr. Cornel West, the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary.
“We believe that to improve healthcare in America, we have to start in how we educate physicians, to teach them to focus on prevention as much as healing,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “I am so proud of our graduates and know they will transform healthcare and always put patients at the center of their practice.’’
“We are thrilled that this school’s impact continues to grow,” said Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., the interim dean of the school and a professor of pediatrics. “Sending such promising talented doctors out into the world to spread our culture of compassionate and humanistic care is what it is all about.”
More than half of the graduates will serve residencies in Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals. Residencies for this year include: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania – Emergency Medicine; the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – Mount Sinai Hospital – Internal Medicine; Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education – Orthopedic Surgery;
Last year, the inaugural commencement ceremony featured the first 18 students from the inaugural class who graduated in the three-year track – and then went onto residencies across the Hackensack Meridian Health network, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in New Jersey.
Hackensack Meridian Health partnered with Seton Hall University and opened the school on the Nutley-Clifton campus on Route 3 four years ago. The agreement was restructured in 2018, and the school achieved independence as a stand-alone Institution of Higher Education (IHE) in July 2020.
Applications and enrollments have increased since its founding. The School of Medicine’s inaugural class in 2018 included 60 students. The latest incoming class numbers more than 160, admitted from more than 6,000 candidates.
The school’s innovative approach includes several distinctive features.
Students have the opportunity for a three-year path to residency, or an optional fourth year which offers combined master’s degree or graduate certificate programs, intense clinical immersion, or focused research.
Inter-professional learning adds to a curriculum that is mission-based, and designed to create physicians who are humanistic, socially responsible and collaborative across the health care system.
The Human Dimension Course is a distinctive way to place the students in the clinical context of health care. From the first day of the degree program, this immersive community-based experience links pairs of students to families in the community, with a focus on four domains of health: social, environmental, psychological, and medical.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton.
Hackensack Meridian Health assumed its independent operation in July 2020. The school’s vision is that each person in New Jersey, and in the United States, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will enjoy the highest levels of wellness in an economically and behaviorally sustainable fashion. The school’s unique curriculum focuses on linking the basic science with clinical relevance, through an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
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