SHU’s med school in Nutley welcomes second class

NUTLEY, NJ — Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, New Jersey’s first private medical school in decades, has welcomed its second class of 91 students, 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,’’ Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Robert C. Garrett said.

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, the school’s founding dean.

The school was opened last year to transform medical education and to help ease the shortage of physicians in New Jersey, estimated at 3,000 by 2020. Research shows that physicians often practice where they train.

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.