First Class Graduates From Hackensack Meridian School Of Medicine

The medical school opened in 2018 with the goal of addressing a doctor shortage in New Jersey. CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports.

Video Transcript

- Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine graduated its first class. The medical school opened in 2018 with a goal of addressing a doctor shortage in New Jersey.

- CBS 2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas shows us how it hopes that its different approach to training can create some healthier communities.

- With its inaugural class, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is ushering 18 new doctors into a world already experiencing many firsts.

- No medical students who came before you or after you will have your unique experiences.

- COVID has been the ultimate teacher for medical breakthroughs to highlighting disparities. Only reinforcing how trusted relationships with patients can have lifesaving outcomes.

- Patients are more than what's in the medical chart. They're human beings.

- At the medical school, they call it the human dimension.

- How are you doing these days?

- I'm doing good.

- And getting stronger and everything?

- It's a program that pairs students like George Joe with patients like Angelina Canfora for a monthly check-ins.

- The first thing I told them when they came in was that a patient, you need to listen to because it's real to us. It may not be in the book, but it's real.

- While the students can't provide medical consultations, it teaches them how other factors like income and life experiences can impact care.

- Getting that view of someone's life, it helps you empathize better with people.

- Censoring the training around equity is what Dean Bonita Stanton says sets the medical school apart, but should it? The goal is to bridge the divide between the skyrocketing cost of care and the declining health of underserved communities.

- We as the medical profession and each of us individually understand what is killing or at least greatly reducing the health of vast pockets of our population.

- As for Angelina, George helped convince her to stop smoking and even to get the COVID vaccine despite her hesitation. Now she's looking forward to making an impression on the next class of students.

- And when they asked me if I would take on two more students, sure.

- As George, now known as Dr. Joe continues pursuing a career in anesthesiology.

All of the graduates will go on for their residencies at Hackensack Meridian Health various hospitals. The goal is to keep them practicing in the state throughout their career. In Nutley, New Jersey, Aundrea Cline-Thomas CBS 2 News.

- Hackensack is New Jersey's largest health care network, and it is the first private medical school to open in the state in six decades.

- I like that concept, the human touch.

- Yes.

- I saw those glasses of wine on the table too.

- Hey.

- There they were.

- Can't live without it.

- Good concept.

- They say it's good for the heart.