The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University is accepting applications for its first class, which will begin in July at the Clifton and Nutley campus 12 miles from New York City. The first private medical school to open in New Jersey hopes to address the shortage of physicians in New Jersey, which the school says is estimated to be 3,000 doctors by 2020. Research shows physicians often practice where they train.

Along with the opening of the School of Medicine, Seton Hall University will relocate its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences to create an Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Nutley and Clifton this spring.

Students will train in a number of Hackensack Meridian Health’s 16 hospitals, four of which are among the top 10 in New Jersey – including the No. 1 ranked Hackensack University Medical Center, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The school says its curriculum will help future physicians navigate major changes in health care that are underway in the United States including the transition to value-based care in which physicians and hospitals are paid to keep people well. It’s a major shift from fee-for-service medicine in which providers are paid for each treatment and procedure.

"Our goal is to maximize health in all of the communities we serve, a goal best achieved through an interdisciplinary approach based on an understanding that health and wellness, as well as disease and sickness, occur where people live, work and play," said Dr. Bonita Stanton, founding dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

Medical students will develop partnerships with families living in stressed communities and work with them to jointly understand and overcome factors that can impede or contribute to well-being, ranging from access to grocery stores to taking advantage of new developments in telemedicine.

The new school is also unique in that it offers a three-year program, one of only a dozen or so in the nation to take this approach which can significantly lower the cost of a medical education.