Distinction Programs at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

New Jersey Medical School offers six selective Distinction Programs for students interested in exploring advanced focused studies in Medical Education, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Global Health, Urban Health, Service, or Research.

Each program is designed as a longitudinal experience that includes interactive didactic sessions, mentorship, experiential learning and a Capstone Project.     

The Distinction Programs are supplemental to the NJMS curriculum and are designed to enrich an interested student’s academic endeavor. They do not replace graduation requirements nor are they graded. 

Students who are accepted into a Distinction Program, maintain good academic standing, and complete the program requirements will have the program noted in their MSPEs (Dean’s Letters) and included on their transcripts and diplomas.

The Distinction Program application includes questions about a student’s academic standing, personal and professional interests, and reasons for seeking inclusion in the program.

Selection will be made on the basis of the faculty’s evaluation of the student’s stated goals and objectives and the student’s academic standing.

 

The DiME program is ideal preparation for students who expect to pursue careers in academic medicine and who intend to emphasize teaching and educational initiatives as faculty members. DiME program participants will gain knowledge of the practical aspects of teaching and curricular development, and will be better prepared for a training and career path that includes significant involvement as a teacher and as a developer and assessor of materials and methods in medical education.

The program is designed to provide experience in various facets of work typical of faculty activities in medical education. Program participants organize, prepare, and run a journal club involving discussion of articles on medical education techniques and related matters, and they undertake an empirical research project on some aspect of medical education.

Participants also gain some direct teaching experience with medical students, and attend the relevant NJMS committee meetings to gain insight into the administrative processes and issues involved with planning and delivering medical school curricula. Participants also spend time embedded in the NJMS Office of Education to gain an understanding of the practical everyday issues involved n the administration of an educational program.

Faculty Sponsor:
Christin Traba, MD
morancm@njms.rutgers.edu

Application Deadline:
Year 1:  February 1st
Year 2:  October 29th

Program Goals, Requirements, and Capstone Information

The Medicine Distinction Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is designed to encourage students to develop and promote novel ideas that will improve patient safety and health outcomes, support the growth of digital medicine, advance medical education, or further research in a given field.

The program provides an infrastructure for students to advance creative ideas which can lead to launching a company, which the student will own. The ideas can be healthcare, educationally, environmentally, socially, etc related. There could be ideas which enhance the way medical care is delivered by developing your innovative and entrepreneurial concepts to reduce healthcare costs, advance digital medicine, apply new health-related initiatives, or develop new or enhanced technology.

Participants will learn the entire entrepreneurial process, from evaluation of a product/industry space to developing go-to-market strategies, understanding the business cycle and navigating the patent process. Goals and objectives for each specific project are set jointly by the student and mentor.

Faculty Sponsor:
George F. Heinrich, MD
heinrich@njms.rutgers.edu

Application Deadline:
Continuous Rolling Application

Program Goals, Requirements, and Capstone Information 

The field of global health has grown considerably over the past decade and experiencing a surge in support and growth at Rutgers.  A significant majority of medical students now express an interest in learning more about global health, with almost a third participating in a global health experience. In addition to personal enrichment students gain a skillset that they can use in the future to make an impact on their personal medical practices, as well as global health. 

In this Distinction Program in Global Health, students will study the global burden of disease and their potential role as an actor international development.  Students will further consider the ethics of global health and impact effectiveness when designing their programs.  Finally, students will be supported in this program by program personnel with expertise in global health, including related to their field experience project.  On successful completion of the program students will have gained a strong foundation to be active in global health in a practical, effective and ethically sound manner.

Faculty Sponsors:
Ziad Sifri, MD
Harsh Sule, MD
globalhealth@njms.rutgers.edu

Application Deadline:
Year 1: Timeline below

  • Early January: GHDP information session
  • End-January: preliminary meeting with Dr. Sifri or Sule (not required)
  • Early February: draft proposal to Drs. Sifri/Sule
  • Mid-February: final proposal
  • Mid-February: Interviews
  • End-February: Acceptances

The proposal for application to the program must include the following elements (limit to 3 pages)

  1. Personal and professional information/motivation for being part of the GHDP
  2. Brief background on the topic you wish to study/work on, including why you chose this topic
  3. Project proposal including broad academic/research questions and timeline
  4. List of potential faculty mentors (these do not need to be confirmed for the application)
  5. In view of the rigor of the Program, expectations for the Program will be clearly delineated during the interview process. 

Selection will be made based on the faculty’s evaluation of the student’s motivation, stated goals and objectives and academic standing.

Year 2: The program is only open to applications during Year 1 except for MD/PhD or other extended training format students. Such students should contact the faculty leads directly.

Program Goals, Requirements, and Capstone Information 
Additional Information

In the Distinction in Urban Health, students will focus on the public health needs of urban and under resourced populations, such as those in Newark. In 2020 Newark’s population was 86% minority with a poverty rate of 28% and a per capita income of $20,163. With access to health care largely socially determined, this Distinction Program will allow students to propose and assess strategies to enhance population health, improve access to quality care, and advance medical knowledge within the community to improve overall health outcomes.

Faculty Sponsors:
Maria Soto-Greene, MD
Ana Natale-Pereira, MD

Administrator:
Mercedes Padilla
padillmn@njms.rutgers.edu

Application Deadline:
Year 1: March 1
Year 2: October 24 (note student must already be involved in a project related to this distinction)

Program Goals, Requirements, and Capstone Information 

In the Distinction in Service Program, students will further their understanding and experience of community-engaged service learning by working with community-based organizations, and social service agencies to name a few, in efforts to promote health equity and better health outcomes. Service learning experiences offer an invaluable opportunity for students to develop core skills in cultural tailored care, health education, patient advocacy, and community engaged research and evaluation that will help them develop as future leaders in the communities they serve.

Faculty Sponsors:
Maria Soto-Greene, MD
Ana Natale-Pereira, MD

Administrator:
Mercedes Padilla
padillmn@njms.rutgers.edu

Application Deadline:
Year 1: March 1
Year 2: October 24 (note student must already be involved in a project related to this distinction)

Program Goals, Requirements, and Capstone Information 

The M.D. with Distinction in Research Program offers a unique opportunity to NJMS medical students to conduct original research of excellent quality during their Medical School training. The student is expected to conduct independent research that is Laboratory, Clinical or Population based.

The Program is specifically designed for a rigorous development in scientific thinking, including a thorough understanding of research methodology and scientific writing. The program is highly suited to students who plan a career in Academic Medicine.

The overall goal of the program is to provide medical students an opportunity to acquire research skills and foster independent scientific thinking.   

Students can perform their research project during the Medical School years or can take a scholars year to perform the research project.

Program Information Page https://njms.rutgers.edu/research/md.php

Faculty Sponsor:
Padmini Salgame, PhD
salgampa@njms.rutgers.edu

Application Deadline:
Continuous Rolling Application

Program Goals, Requirements, and Capstone Information