Committee on the Future of Medical Education at Rutgers

Dear RBHS Colleagues:

Since the inception of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) five years ago, we have seen a pattern of increasing collaboration and cooperation among our constituent schools and institutes. The New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) have collaborated on various clinical and research initiatives in response to federal funding opportunities, patient needs, and larger forces in the New Jersey health care marketplace. For example, Radiation Oncology, Pathology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, are successfully operating with joint chairs between the two medical schools. Continuing medical education is another joint activity that has leveraged the strength of both schools to reach a broader audience. Our clinical practices and graduate medical education are also coming together, but other activities remain separate, e.g., student admission and curriculum.

The departure of a leader provides an institution with a natural opportunity to conduct an in depth review of the structure, function, strategic positioning, and future of an academic unit. The recent announcement of Dean Sherine Gabriel’s departure from RWJMS to serve as the President of Rush University, provides Rutgers with just such an opportunity. Now is the perfect time for a rigorous, structured exploration of the optimal level of integration between our two medical schools that will best achieve our missions of research, education, patient care, and community service and fulfill their potential for greater national recognition and accomplishment.

To conduct this review, I am convening a special Committee on the Future of Medical Education at Rutgers. The committee can fully assess the pros and cons of a wide range of options for medical education at Rutgers from maintaining the status quo, to fostering greater strategic collaborations, to a full restructuring and integration. This committee will be co-chaired by Maria Soto-Greene, MD, Executive Vice Dean at NJMS and Thomas Hecker, PhD, Executive Vice Dean at RWJMS and will convene for an organizational meeting early in the New Year. The twelve members of the committee are listed below; I thank them in advance for their commitment to achieving excellence in teaching, research, and patient care and fulfilling the missions of medical education.

Sincerely, 
Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH
Chancellor

Committee on the Future of Medical Education at Rutgers: 
Thomas Hecker, PhD; Co-chair Maria Soto-Greene, MD; Co-chair XinQi Dong, MD, MPH Celine Gelinas, PhD Manuel Jimenez, MD, MS Marc Klapholz, MD Sangeeta Lamba, MD, MBBS Chen Liu, MD, PhD Archana Pradan, MD, MPH Nikolaos Pyrsopoulos, MD, MBA Laura Willett, MD Teresa Wood, PhD