Physicians of the future will be different from those who have been our role models and teachers. More than 100 years of medical education and training have created a healthcare system that can cure more illness than ever before and has developed physicians who care deeply for-and about- their patients.
But our healthcare system has become fragmented, and it offers patients uneven quality. It produces healthcare outcomes that are worse than outcomes in our peer countries-at the highest cost, and with unacceptable disparities between populations.
Meanwhile, the body of medical knowledge is growing and changing every minute, with never before seen advances in all realms of biotechnology-from precision medicine to stem cell therapeutics.
This current and future landscape demands a new type of physician with a new skill set-and with it, a new vision for medical education.
Our Educational Vision
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is building a forward-thinking medical education program that will create physicians who are humanistic, socially responsible and collaborative members of the healthcare system, and who will provide the highest quality patient-centered care to all people. Our graduates will be highly skilled in biomedical, behavioral, social and population sciences.
Our Pedagogic Approach
We are building our curriculum to effectively and efficiently meet these goals. There will be no distinction between the basic science and clinical curriculum. Instead, basic science content will be presented in its clinical context with clear medical relevance. Students will learn within an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment. We will utilize the best components of different evidence-based teaching methods and structure our foundational curriculum explicitly to give students what they need to thrive in the modern, technically demanding, clinical setting.
The Human Dimension
A central thread, called the Human Dimension, will be woven throughout the curriculum. Through immersive and longitudinal experiences, students will come to understand the role of community and context in health and wellbeing, as well as the role of the physician in all elements that contribute to promoting health and preventing disease.
Competency Based Education
We will employ a competency-based curriculum that ensures our graduates thrive as interns-starting on day one. Learning outcomes will be assessed frequently to ensure all students are acquiring the scientific knowledge, clinical skills and humanistic attitudes they need. In addition to robust clinical skills training early, our clerkship curriculum will emphasize ambulatory-based care, where most medical care is provided nationally.
A Unique 3+1 Curriculum
All students will participate in a three-year core curriculum, meeting rigorous, standardized learning outcomes. This will be complemented in the fourth year by a highly individualized medical school experience-an option unlike any other in the country.
Students will work with faculty advisers to develop a uniquely customized curriculum, designed to maximize each student’s professional development. Students will choose from a variety of options including dual degrees, research-intensive concentrations, clinical immersion, global health electives, community-based projects, innovation programs and an early entry into residency, among other possibilities. This fourth year provides our students with a truly personalized, self-directed medical school experience.
Our unique curriculum utilizes evidence-based teaching methods to promote effective and efficient student learning, always placing medicine and related scientific knowledge in the context of the patient and community.
The Future of Medical Education
In 2010, on the 100th anniversary of the Flexner Report, which defined medical education in the United States for more than a century, there was a call for reform.
Medical education, as currently configured, is simply not working; a new approach is needed. We need to build a healthcare workforce that will improve the quality and value, while reducing the disparities, of our healthcare system.
The nascent Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has accepted this challenge- incorporating the needs of modern patients, society, and the current healthcare landscape, to create a truly innovative contemporary curriculum. Our ultimate goal is to produce physicians who improve health and prevent disease across all populations, regardless of race, ethnicity or socio-economic status.