The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has been granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, according to a Wednesday announcement.
This major milestone caps a robust seven-year review process that affirms the highest standards in the training of future physicians. The school admitted its first class in 2018 and has graduated two classes of doctors, many of whom are serving residencies in Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals.
“This is the culmination of years of work that started with a vision to reinvent medical education to create a physician workforce to thrive in a new state of medicine,’’ Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, said. “We are reaching our goals to keep physicians in New Jersey, to diversify the physician workforce and graduate doctors who will humanize health care.”
The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association. It is the accrediting body for all institutions conferring medical doctorate degrees in the U.S. and Canada. LCME accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether the medical education program meets established standards, according to the organization. All aspects of the institution undergo rigorous review, including the entire curriculum, finances, infrastructure and faculty.
The full accreditation by the LCME confirms the high quality of the program.
“This tremendous accomplishment is a testament to the talent and perseverance of our faculty, staff, and students,’’ Dr. Jeffrey Boscamp, dean of the school, stated. “We are meeting every standard required of us while pioneering, among a small cadre of other institutions, an accelerated medical education program, fully embracing an active learning pedagogy and pioneering an award-winning investment in our local communities through the human dimension course.”
Medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree must first hold institutional accreditation to be eligible for initial full accreditation and for continuing accreditation by the LCME.
“We have been driven from the start to build a school that creates outstanding physicians who are ready to tackle our most pressing challenges. We are gratified to be fulfilling the mission and vision laid out for us from the outset by the founding dean, Dr. Bonita Stanton,” Dr. Miriam Hoffman, a vice dean of the school, said.
Stanton helped shape HMSOM’s curriculum and focus from the outset. She unexpectedly passed away in January 2022; Boscamp took over on an interim basis and was subsequently named the permanent dean in December.
HMSOM has grown quickly in the seven years since its founding. In 2018, the school admitted 60 students; the latest two cohorts surpassed 160 students apiece. The first 18 students on an accelerated three-year track entered HMH residencies in 2021, and another 63 graduated in 2022, including students graduating after three years and after four years.