2015 Curriculum Overview

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Our mission is toprepare students from diverse backgrounds to be collaborative physicians, educators and researchers with a focus on the health of underserved and vulnerable populations.


Tasked with the mission of preparing students for leadership positions in a rapidly evolving era of healthcare delivery, faculty and students across New Jersey Medical School (and allied schools of the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences) collaboratively engaged in developing an innovative curriculum being phased in with the incoming Class of 2019.

The innovative New Jersey Medical School Curriculum for the medical degree program focuses on the following 4 major themes:

  • Organ systems based curriculum
  • Early integrated clinical practice of medicine skills
  • Service learning
  • Individual professional identity development with a healthcare team focus

The curriculum consists of 3 phases as illustrated in the diagram above.


  • Early exposure to patient care, clinical skills , and hands on simulation starting Week One of the curriculum
  • Based on a rigorous scientific foundation that begins with molecules and cells, and takes students all the way through organ systems, organisms and populations.
  • Strong emphasis on service learning and a focus on the health of the underserved and vulnerable population through community partnerships
  • Dedicated integration and assessment weeks and Capstone courses to enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills through clinical cased based discussions.
  • Protected half days in Phase One Curriculum for Individualized Learning and Wellness
  • Ample time for electives, selectives, and exploration of career choices
  • Specialty specific skills based preparation for transition to residency training

Threads through the curriculum that highlight important areas addressed across all 4 years, such as:

  • Culturally Competent Care
  • Patient Safety and Quality of Care
  • Health Across the Stages of Life
  • Prevention: From Individual to Population
  • Leadership and Health Care Systems
  • Interprofessional Education


The new curriculum integrates system-based learning throughout medical school to allow students to better understand the disease process and management. Students are exposed to a wide variety of innovative interactive learning formats such as:

  • Team based learning (TBL)
  • Flipped classrooms
  • Podcasts
  • Clinical small group sessions using standardized patient and simulation
  • E-learning modules
  • Large group discussions via the Audience Response System

Traditional learning formats such as lectures, small group exercises, problem based learning, and workshops continue to play an integral part of the student educational experience. Early exposure to patients through the longitudinal preceptorship program provides opportunities for students to be part of patient-centered care and to engage in lifelong learning.

In addition to summative assessments and shelf exams, the new curriculum has a robust formative assessments of the students throughout the curriculum. Formative assessments allow students to reflect and improve on their own skills in real time.