NJMS Curriculum at a Glance

The New Jersey Medical School curriculum is the product of extensive discussion and faculty/student collaboration involving basic science and clinical departments.
The Curriculum Framework Model is comprised of 3 main phases and is based on the following guiding principles and key priorities:

  • Service Learning
  • Longitudinal clinical experiences
  • Basic science integration into clerkship years
  • Integrated organ systems-based curriculum with capstones
  • Interprofessional educational opportunities
  • Active learning
  • Milestone assessments and monitoring of curriculum
  • Expanded elective opportunities early in curriculum
  • Student Wellness          

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The main curriculum is visualized as "Blocks" where each section is taught with an integrated organ systems approach (for example the cardiovascular organ block), there are certain key aspects of the curriculum that exist across and throughout the curriculum. These are described as "Threads".
For example, Pediatrics and Geriatrics is an important thread such that when an organ system is being taught, (e.g. pulmonary), both pediatric (e.g. cystic fibrosis) and geriatric (e.g. lung cancer) conditions are emphasized.

Phase 1

Core Biomedical Curriculum builds on the foundational principles and provides an in-depth study of structure, function, and disease in an integrated organ system-based approach. These integrated courses will be co-led by basic science and clinical faculty.

Healing, Humanism, and Health Equity (HHH) provides the skills set to integrate medical knowledge with expert communication skills, clinical acumen, empathy, and a commitment to enhancing opportunities for health and wellness for our patients and our communities. On the journey to becoming a physician, the HHH course provides students with a foundation for these skills based on three interrelated and overlapping principles for the practice of medicine:  

1.      Healing: Integrating clinical diagnosis and treatment with holistic recognition of the patient as a person whose health is shaped by physical, emotional, social, and spiritual factors 

2.      Humanism: Bringing kindness, compassion, humility, and curiosity to each patient, family, community, and healthcare team interaction  

3.      Health equity: Working to reduce health disparities, address social determinants of health, and create opportunities for health justice 

Phase 2

Phase 2 begins in the third year with core clerkship experiences. One of the major goals is to provide expanded early elective opportunities.  This additional time for electives in Phase 2 is consistent with the primary aim of emphasizing both individualization and standardization in the curriculum.  A key element will be flexibility, allowing students to pursue electives and wellness opportunities. Careful attention is paid to mapping clinical experiences, achievement of milestones and greater basic science integration.

There is a commitment to build in the thread of basic foundational science concepts into Phase 2 through structured learning activities within the clerkships, including applications of such concepts as anti-microbial resistance, and clinical pharmacology.

Phase 3

Phase 3 allows for ample elective time and further career exploration and differentiation. There will be required acting-internships and elective time with an effort to emphasize certain foundational science topics relevant to the emergently and critically ill patient.

Elective time will be a major feature of Phase 3 in addition to a capstone course that will help students in preparation for residency.