Community Medical Center launches academic medical program

First class of residents: Internal medicine (12), emergency medicine (12) and podiatry (3)

On July 1, Community Medical Center in Toms River marked the start of its transition to becoming a leading academic medical center by welcoming its inaugural class of medical residents from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

The first class of medical residents will consist of 12 residents in Internal Medicine, 12 in Emergency Medicine and three in Podiatry.

The transition to an academic medical center represents a significant transformative landmark for CMC as the hospital celebrates its 60-year anniversary. 

Opened as a community hospital in 1961 with only 50 beds, CMC now cares for over 21,000 inpatients, over 175,000 outpatients and nearly 70,000 emergency department patients each year. Its recognition as an academic medical center will further expand access to premier health care services, cutting edge research and enhanced access to clinical trials for the surrounding communities it serves.

This accomplishment has been made possible through RWJBarnabas Health’s partnership with Rutgers University and the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, which trains 1,600 medical residents each year across the system at various RWJBarnabas Health facilities. CMC is a an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

“This is an incredible achievement for Community Medical Center and will provide extraordinary benefits to our patients, the community and our team members,” CMC CEO Patrick Ahearn said. “This is a long-awaited and critical milestone in the hospital’s history.  We couldn’t be prouder to take our place amongst our RWJBarnabas Health facilities in training the next generation of physician leaders.

“We will realize our transformation from a community hospital to a leading academic medical center over the next several years as we add more medical specialties to our portfolio of programs for residents each year.”

In 2019, CMC embarked on their journey in developing the medical residency program. Specialty areas of study were chosen based on the patient population, which is highly concentrated on older adults (about 70 percent are Medicare patients). Therefore, the primary areas of focus for the program include emergency medicine, internal medicine and podiatry, each of which involves three years of clinical training. 

On July 7, CMC held a long coat ceremony to welcome the residency class. At the ceremony, the residents will receive new, long coats, which symbolizes they are no longer medical students and serves a significant milestone in their medical career. 

Next summer, CMC will introduce its surgical residency program, expanding the program. Additionally, CMC also houses residency and education programs in nursing, pharmacy, social work, nutrition, rehabilitation and radiology.