Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University welcomed its second class of 91 students on July 11, who were selected from nearly 5,000 applicants.
“Dynamic changes in health care require a new approach to medical education and we are thrilled to welcome our next class of future physicians who will humanize health care,’’ said Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health in a statement.
In its second year, the curriculum includes a three-year path to residency to make a medical education more affordable; partnering students with patients in underserved communities so they better understand the social determinants of health; and interdisciplinary learning so that graduates are prepared to provide team-based care which research shows improves outcomes.
“Our goal is to maximize health in all of the communities we serve, a goal best achieved through an interdisciplinary approach based on an understanding that health and wellness, as well as disease and sickness, occur where people live, work and play,’’ said Dr. Bonita Stanton, founding dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.
Some of the graduates will complete their residencies at Hackensack Meridian Health.
HMH said that the three-year path to residency – one of just a handful of such programs in the nation – also helps reduce the cost of medical education. Medical school graduates emerge $180,000 in debt on average in the U.S.
The Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees also has provided a $100 million endowment fund for scholarships to the school, fulfilling a high priority to ensure top students can afford a medical education, Garrett said.
The newest class is half female; 58 students are from New Jersey. Nine have advanced degrees in law, public health, bioethics and other fields. The class also speaks 23 languages, an asset in New Jersey, one of the most diverse states in the nation.
“Our rigorous academic curriculum combines traditional science with a focus on the new frontiers in medicine – prevention, population health, genetics and team-based care delivered in the community setting,’’ said Mary Meehan, interim president of Seton Hall University.
When the School of Medicine opened last year, Seton Hall University relocated its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences to create an Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Nutley and Clifton.