Eighteen students from the first class of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine are graduating on June 3 and will now be doctors – the institution announced.
The medical students, who started their degrees in 2018, will have graduated in an accelerated three-year program after Thursday’s commencement at the School of Medicine campus. All will start residencies across the Hackensack Meridian Health network.
“This is the fulfillment of a dream to improve our health system, from its very foundations,” said Robert Garrett, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health, in a prepared statement. “Leading progressive and positive change in medicine starts with training the professionals who treat patients. This school is now shaping a better future for our state – and beyond.”
“We are achieving our vision,” said Dr. Bonita Stanton, the school’s founding dean. “These 18 students have already contributed to the communities they serve, and their careers bring so much promise into our future. This is a proud day.”
The students will now begin their residencies in a variety of disciplines including anesthesiology, internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, emergency medicine and neurology at Hackensack University Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center and JFK University Medical Center.
They were informed of their residencies in a virtual “Match Day” held in March – a first for the institution.
Hackensack Meridian Health partnered with Seton Hall University and opened the school on the Nutley-Clifton campus on Route 3 three years ago. The agreement was restructured in 2018, and the school achieved independent accreditation in July 2020.
The School of Medicine’s inaugural class in 2018 included 60 students; the other students from that class have opted for the traditional four-year track and will have their graduation next spring.