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Greeting from the Program Director



Harsh Sule, MD, MPP

On behalf of the residents, faculty and staff, welcome to our residency program in Emergency Medicine at Rutgers Health/New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey! We'd encourage you to review our website in detail so that you can learn more about us and what we have to offer.

First, some history about our institution. The city of Newark developed the City Hospital in 1882 to care for its sick and indigent population. Over the years, the hospital experienced several transformations and moved several times adjusting to its growing needs, with the current University Hospital being completed in 1958. In 1970, the state government established the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey on its current campus, which was awarded university status in 1981. Most recently, in 2013, UMDNJ was transitioned to Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and our primary clinical affiliate, University Hospital, became an independent, standalone medical center. In July 2020 all residency programs under Rutgers and the RWJ Barnabas health system came under a common sponsoring institution - Rutgers Health. University Hospital is now the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Health/NJMS, home to a Level 1 Trauma Center, and a regional resource for specialized services and critical care.

The city of Newark defines our institution and at its core our goal is to provide service to an underserved population. With nearly half a million people from a diverse set of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds we are able provide our residents with a variety of experiences. Our residents spend most of their time at University Hospital where we care for patients mainly from an urban environment, but being a tertiary care referral center also from the surrounding region.

This location also highlights our role as an urban public hospital. As recent events have raised to the forefront issues related to racial injustice, growing economic inequality and the direct impact on our patient's well-being, we are of the mindset that these are not "new" issues - we have recognized these issues for years and arguably it is advocacy for changing the status quo with regard to these issues that bring us to this institution.

Our location additionally challenges us with a large amount of penetrating trauma, blunt trauma from multiple major highways in the near vicinity, injuries and exposures from a large nearby industrial area, as well as an international airport and seaport that is often a window to the medical problems of the world. We feel that this wide variety of pathology and critical illnesses provides our residents with one of the best clinical experiences in the region – one that is both intensive and educational.

This clinical training is paired with an academic department that has education as its major goal. The residency program enrolled its first class in 2004, and has been an independent department since 2009. Our graduates have gone on to practice emergency medicine in varying academic and community settings throughout the country. We also have graduates that have pursued competitive fellowships in subspecialties including administration, EMS, global health/international EM, pediatric emergency medicine, sports medicine, toxicology and ultrasound, as well as some that have established themselves in the corporate world.

As a program we are well established with nearing 20 years since our founding. However, we remain a dynamic program that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our patients and trainees. For example, despite being a program with relatively high procedural volume we have also noted a drop nationally in some procedures based on changing imaging technology, guidelines and management options (such as lumbar punctures). Rather than be content with our procedural volumes we have proactively moved to regular procedure training days (every 4 weeks) so as to build muscle memory for core and not-so-common procedures. Similarly, to address the social distance and loss of community that the COVID pandemic created we have initiated regular class days off (every 4 weeks) to promote bonding and wellness. These are just some of the ways that we continue to anticipate challenges and grow to address them.

While excellent clinical and academic training is a hallmark of our program, what sets us apart is our commitment to the community we serve. The Newark, NJ urban community faces a significant burden of not only the medically underserved, but also those with significant socioeconomic challenges (25-40% poverty rate, 42% of residents age ≥ 24 have not completed high school, 50% of households do not have access to a car, and the highest prevalence of substance use and HIV/AIDS in the State of New Jersey). The ED serves as a critical, and often only, link to the healthcare system for many patients in Newark. Therefore, we place a priority on educating our residents in the social determinants of health and recognizing that the best patient-centered, emergency care includes exploring a patient’s culture, social context, and determinants surrounding their visit and impacting their health.

Finally, in addition to our mission to provide excellent clinical and research training we place a priority on resident well-being and diversity. We firmly believe that to be effective in our intense clinical environment it is imperative that our residents be well rested, balanced and simply put...happy! Our goal is not just to train you to be an excellent emergency physicians, but to provide you with the tools to be an effective and productive individual at home, in your community and at work. We are proud of the camaraderie that exists in our residency and that all our residents feel part of a family. Please refer to our page on diversity to see how we strive to train a diverse workforce that can support our diverse patient population.

We invite you to learn more about our program via this website and our alternative website (https://brickcityem.org)and feel free to contact us if you require further information. We look forward to meeting whether it is on a student rotation with us, or as you interview with us to determine if we are the right fit for you.

The program leadership team:

Eleanor Hughes

Program Coordinator

Ariel Sena, MD

Assistant Program Director

Ilya Ostrovsky, MD

Assistant Program Director