Supporting the Future of Health Care
November 15, 2021
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the health care field could be short 124,000 doctors by 2034. Hackensack Meridian Health believes that curbing this crisis—and keeping pace with the rapid rate of change in health care—is dependent on building a strong pipeline of health care providers.
“It’s an amazingly exciting time in the field of medicine as we continue to make new discoveries so rapidly that, at times, it’s almost impossible to keep up,” says Bonita Stanton, M.D., dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. “It is important that we have a robust group of younger doctors in the field who understand the technology leading to these changes, are at the peak of their ability to absorb knowledge and bring curiosity to the medical field.”
That is why in 2018, the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine opened its doors to the first of a unique class of aspiring physicians. Students of the medical school have the opportunity to spend their fourth year doing research, earning another degree, completing a specialty immersion program, doing community advocacy work or graduating after three years and starting their residency at Hackensack Meridian Health.
Wasib Malik is one of the first graduates of the medical school and earned a scholarship sponsored by pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche. “What a conventional medical school does in four years, Hackensack can make possible in three,” says Wasib. “Being able to save a whole year doing my residency in what I was passionate about was quite advantageous.”
Wasib, who is in the middle of his first-year residency program and training to be a psychiatrist, became interested in medicine in high school. But after witnessing the mental health challenges his younger brother faced in a culture where the talk of mental health is taboo and underrepresented, he decided to become a psychiatrist.
“It’s very important to Roche to support the achievements of our future medical leaders,” says Patricia Oscilowski, Roche Innovation Center New York site head and operations leader. “We think of having the medical school on our former campus as standing on the shoulders of giants. We hope our legacy will inspire discovering truth by building on previous discoveries and utilizing the understanding gained by major thinkers who have gone before to make intellectual progress.”
Adds Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., vice dean of the School of Medicine and co-chief academic officer for Hackensack Meridian Health: “Scholarships are a powerful way to attract superb students to our school—and then Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals—who otherwise might not have been able to afford it. We are developing a whole continuum, from medical students to residents to practicing physicians, who are trained in our mission and community-based curriculum.”
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