NUTLEY, NJ - New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined leaders from Hackensack Meridian Health, Seton Hall University, and other dignitaries to officially open Hackensack Meridian Medical School at Seton Hall University on the On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton on May 30. The school is the first private medical school to open in the Garden State in 50 years. 

The first class of 55 students began their program on July 9, in the new school that aims to address the shortage of physicians in New Jersey.  Research shows that physicians often practice where they train which would help the state ease a shortage of an estimated 3,000 doctors in New Jersey by 2020. The new school will is already forging a new path in medical education to address profound changes which have resulted in more community-based healthcare and an increased focus on wellness and population health.

Along with opening the School of Medicine, Seton Hall University will relocate its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences to create an Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus on the Nutley - Clifton border. Students will then train in a number of Hackensack Meridian Health’s 16 hospitals, four of which are among the top 10 in New Jersey – including the No. 1 ranked Hackensack University Medical Center, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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The school is also shaking up medical curriculum. This will allow future physicians to have the skills to navigate major changes in health care that are underway in the United States including the transition to value-based care.

According to co-CEO Bob Garrett, there were more than 2100 applicants for the 60 spaces in the inaugural class. Applications were received from 49 states and the US Virgin Islands. About half of the first class is from New Jersey, and about half of them are women. 

Founding Dean, Dr. Bonita Stanton is excited about the community partnerships that will be a part of the medical school. Medical students will develop partnerships with families living in the area and work with them to jointly understand and overcome factors that can impede or contribute to well-being.


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