Holy Name, Rowan announce graduate medical education partnership

Students from Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine will train in number of key clinical specialties

Holy Name and Rowan University will partner for an exclusive graduate medical education partnership, which will allow Rowan medical students to work and train at Holy Name’s Teaneck campus, the two are announcing Tuesday.

The program is an outgrowth of the $3.3 million federal appropriation that Holy Name received late last year for the purposes of launching a new graduate medical education program.

The program, which aims to encourage a greater innovation and collaboration in the Garden State’s future physician workforce, intends to train 90 doctors annually.

Here’s how it will work.

Students from the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine will train in a number of clinical specialties, including internal medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, nephrology, oncology and palliative care.

Rowan medical students currently are conducting rotations at Holy Name in several areas.

Holy Name CEO Mike Maron was thrilled to make the announcement.

“This partnership — with one of New Jersey’s only remaining independent health systems and the state’s only independent medical school — will be a game-changer in increasing medical innovation, collaboration and advanced learning in key clinical specialties,” he said.

“At a time when New Jersey loses its young physicians to other states, this satisfies a critical need for our state’s health care workforce. After all, the more doctors we train in New Jersey, the more doctors stay, live and work in New Jersey.”

The money from the federal government will fund the initial cost to launch the new residency program at Holy Name. It is a program that is desperately needed.

New Jersey currently suffers from a shortage of physicians. The U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration predicts that, by 2025, New Jersey will be one of 37 states with a primary care doctor shortage, and among a dozen where the shortfall will be at least 1,000 fewer physicians than needed.

According to data from the New Jersey Hospital Association, a third of New Jersey’s practicing physicians are over 60 years old, the third-highest in the nation, and the state ranks 46th in the nation in the percentage of doctors under 40.

Each year, New Jersey has approximately 3,100 physician residents in training at 43 hospitals. At the same time, NJHA estimates that New Jersey has approximately 32 medical students and resident physicians in training per 100,000 residents, compared with 81 in New York and 62 in in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, vice president, Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences of Rowan University and chief academic officer for Virtua Health, said the program will have great impact.

“Rowan University commends Holy Name for its efforts to start greatly needed graduate medical education programs training physicians in both primary and specialty care,” he said. “Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine is pleased to partner with Holy Name in addressing the physician shortage that we face in our state and in our nation.

“Together, we will train clinically skillful, compassionate physicians from diverse backgrounds who will be prepared to meet the unmet health care needs in our communities.”