The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) grants School full approval, a major milestone
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine (HMSOM) has been granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), a major milestone capping a robust seven-year review process that affirms the highest standards in the training of future physicians. The school admitted its first class in 2018 and has graduated two classes, many of whom are serving residencies in Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals.
“This is the culmination of years of work that started with a vision to reinvent medical education to create a physician workforce to thrive in a new state of medicine,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “We are reaching our goals to keep physicians in New Jersey, to diversify the physician workforce and graduate doctors who will humanize healthcare.”
The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The LCME is the accrediting body for all institutions conferring medical doctorate (MD) degrees in the United States and Canada. LCME accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether the medical education program meets established standards, according to the organization. All aspects of the institution undergo rigorous review, including the entire curriculum, finances, infrastructure, and faculty. The full accreditation by the LCME confirms the high quality of the program.
“This tremendous accomplishment is a testament to the talent and perseverance of our faculty, staff, and students,’’ said Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., dean of the School. “We are meeting every standard required of us while pioneering, among a small cadre of other institutions, an accelerated medical education program, fully embracing an active learning pedagogy, and pioneering an award-winning investment in our local communities through the Human Dimension course.”
Medical education programs leading to the MD degree must first hold institutional accreditation to be eligible for initial full accreditation and for continuing accreditation by the LCME.
“We have spent long hours making this dream become a reality,” said Miriam Hoffman, M.D., a vice dean of the School. “We have been driven from the start to build a school that creates outstanding physicians who are ready to tackle our most pressing challenges. We are gratified to be fulfilling the mission and vision laid out for us from the outset by the founding dean, Dr. Bonita Stanton.”
“This is a huge accomplishment – and it is a testament to the terrific community of professionals which we have built over the last five-plus years,” added Stanley R. Terlecky, Ph.D., a vice dean of the School.
Bonita Stanton, M.D., helped shape HMSOM’s curriculum and focus from the outset. Dr. Stanton unexpectedly passed away in January 2022. Dr. Boscamp took over on an interim basis, and was subsequently named the permanent dean in December 2022.
HMSOM has grown quickly in the seven years since its founding. In 2018, the School admitted 60 students; the latest two cohorts surpassing 160 students apiece. The first 18 students on an accelerated three-year track entered HMH residencies in 2021, and another 63 graduated in 2022, including students graduating after 3 years and after 4 years..
HMSOM’s innovative 3+1 curriculum includes a three-year core curriculum and an individualized fourth year, where students build an individualized educational plan that meets their professional goals and developmental needs. Students build a program from a variety of options including HMSOM curriculum is the Determinants of Health – the many factors that we know impact health outcomes, including the biologic/genetic, but also critically the behavioral, social, healthcare, and environmental determinants. At the heart of the curriculum is the innovative Human Dimension course.
This immersive community-based experience links pairs of students to families in the community, with a focus on the domains of the social determinants of health: social, environmental, psychological, and medical. Throughout their stay at HMSOM, students in the Human Dimension follow the health trajectories of individuals and families, in locations including Hackensack, Garfield, Paterson, Passaic, Bloomfield, Clifton, Nutley, Union City, and West New York.