Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine welcomes largest class ever with White Coat ceremony

The newest and largest class ever of students at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine received their white coats. (Photo courtesy of Hackensack Meridian Health)

The cohort welcomed in 2021 continues tradition of diversity


The newest class at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine launched their medical careers on July 22 with a White Coat ceremony at the school.

The 161 students donned their distinctive coats for the first time, starting their journey toward acquisition of a Medical Degree (M.D.), which will be completed in three or four years, depending on their selected academic track.

“Hackensack Meridian Health’s mission to transform healthcare starts at the School of Medicine, as we transform medical education. The School was our vision to help lead progressive and transformative change in New Jersey health care,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, the CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “It has surpassed expectations in every way.”

“We are fulfilling our vision with each new group of promising students by introducing them to the complexities of the medical world which must include the social and economic determinants of health in addition to those components traditionally regarded as constituting the field of medicine” said Bonita Stanton, M.D., the Founding Dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. “As each new class matriculates, we are positively impacting the way in which medicine is taught.”

More than 6,000 students applied to join this year’s class. The cohort includes one nurse and one pharmacist, and four students with advanced degrees.

The makeup of the class continues the School’s tradition of diversity. Thirty of its members are from groups categorized as under-represented in medicine (URIM). The students speak a total of 36 different languages, and come from 20 different states.

The School admitted its first class in 2018 with 60 students. Each year has brought an increasing number of students, leading to this fourth year of admissions.

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. Defining features of the curriculum include the Human Dimension, a longitudinal course which pairs students with people out in the community to foster real-world clinical skills outside a hospital or doctor’s office.

“The School features the traditional aspects of medical education, but also the unique aspects of what we think should be in a 21st century medical education,” said Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., vice dean of the medical school and a professor of pediatrics. “This is the way we train the best doctors for the future.”

About Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine:
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. The school prides itself on outreach, through programs like the Human Dimension, which is active in communities across New Jersey.

About Hackensack Meridian Health:
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and over 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its third class of students in 2020 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org



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