Students, faculty, and the University Senate have all been staunchly critical of the proposed merger of the New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) in Newark and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) in New Brunswick. The main concerns of the merger opponents include increased class sizes, uncertainty about financial issues, the potential jeopardizing of future accreditation.
Dr. Laura Willett, a professor at NJMS and one of the outspoken opponents of the merger, explained, “The best schools in the country mostly have class sizes of about 150 to 200. As opposed to [the proposed merged schools’] 360. The more premier, both public and private schools, tend to have much lower class sizes. Because of that, it pulls us out of that group and would make us less attractive for highly qualified students from New Jersey. They might decide not to come to us because of that large class size.”
Willett also explained the accreditation issues. She adeptly pointed out that the LCME requires “comparable” experiences for all medical school students and she is among those concerned that such experiences might be hard to replicate 360 times each year.
If you are looking at either, or both, Rutgers medical schools, please make sure you are aware of the different ways this proposed merger could potentially play out. While we don’t expect any catastrophic consequences, if you have other viable options, you should at least carefully consider them before selecting your medical school. As always, please don’t hesitate to call us to discuss your particular situation.