The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine celebrated several milestones in 2015, including a new building,
full accreditation and the graduation of its first class.
“This is an extraordinary moment in the history of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine,” Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz said earlier this year at the grand opening of the school’s new, 63,000-square-foot addition. “We imagined a new kind of partnership and a new model of medical education that would lead to better health care for our region. Today in this beautiful space, we stand quite literally at the crossroads of the old and the new to celebrate the journey of the past seven years and challenge ourselves to aim even higher in the future.”
The new addition, which more than doubles the size of the school, features a soaring, sun-filled atrium and
state-of-the-art facilities, including a 7,300-square-foot structural anatomy lab.
On the same day that the new building was unveiled, the medical school announced it had earned full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which accredits all medical schools in the United States and Canada. Full accreditation means that the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and its innovative approach to medical education meet strict national standards for structure, function and performance.
Further burnishing the medical school’s reputation were the results of its first Match Day, during which 100 percent of all eligible students in the first graduating class were matched with residencies, including placements at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions. The most popular specialty areas were internal medicine and emergency medicine.
“The competition for residency spots is stiff,” said Lawrence G. Smith, MD, MACP, dean of the School of Medicine. “I am pleased to say that our students placed in some of the most competitive regions in the country.”
Established in 2008, the School of Medicine is the first allopathic medical school to open in New York state in more than 40 years. The institution has 2,200 faculty and approximately 280 students, a roster that is expected to grow to 400 by 2016. The school’s innovative curriculum combines basic science with clinical experience from the first day of a student’s training, focusing on patient interaction, interdisciplinary teamwork and community service. Among the innovations is training all first-year medical students as emergency medical technicians who complete tours on North Shore-LIJ Health System ambulances.
“I think we all realized the potential risks and benefits of being at a new medical school, and some of us were more apprehensive than others,” said Daniel Ohngemach, a member of the charter class who will train for a year in internal medicine before beginning a residency in radiology at the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “But I knew that if I stayed true to myself, I would graduate a well-trained physician.”
In May, Ohngemach and 29 other members of the charter class did just that during an emotional commencement ceremony at Hofstra University’s John Cranford Adams Playhouse.
AJ Blood, a fellow graduate and past president of student government, agreed. “I looked at the track record of these institutions [North Shore-LIJ and Hofstra University] and the leadership brought in to begin the School of Medicine, and I saw an amazing opportunity,” said Blood, who is heading to Duke University to train in internal medicine. “I knew that far from a risk, I was being offered a chance to get in on the ground floor of the ‘Google’ of medical schools.”
Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, said the first graduating class blazed a path that medical schools across the nation will follow.
“Today is the culmination of many hopes and dreams, struggles and successes – for our medical students, for their families, for Hofstra University and for the North Shore-LIJ Health System,” Dowling said. “This is a memory never
to forget. Because of the program you have just come through, you have begun to refashion medical education. We are rewriting the rule book.”