MD Program - Overview


Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) is dedicated to transforming health care for New Jersey and the nation through innovation and excellence in education, discovery, patient and family-centered care and addressing the health of our diverse community.

The Medical Education Program aspires to be a nationally recognized medical education program that prepares medical learners to become resilient and adaptable physicians who provide high value, ethical and appropriate healthcare in an ever changing system; communicate respectfully and effectively in a patient and family centered fashion; collaborate with other health care professionals to devise treatment plans and strategies for adherence and self-care, tailored to the needs and preferences of the patient; integrate the scientific underpinnings of clinical medicine and best evidence into daily practice; and distinguish themselves as medical professionals in discovery, service and leadership; and that prepares educational leaders to teach, mentor and disseminate educational innovation, discovery and methodology.

Competencies and Objectives

RWJMS offers a Competency-Based MD Program that delivers Flexible, Integrative and Innovative Medical Education. RWJMS has adopted the Accreditation Committee for Graduate Medical Education competencies (ACGME) to serve as organizational curriculum framework for medical students. The block curriculum integrates basic sciences and clinical medicine around multi-disciplinary themes and common clinical presentations. The innovative teaching methods and technologies promotes learning through discovery and collaboration.

RWJMS provides breadth and depth of learning experiences while helping students attain competencies at a mastery level in the domains of:

Compentency 1: Patient Care


New Curriculum Academic Year 2021-2022

2021 is the official launch of the 5 Cs Curriculum:  Curiosity, Critical Thinking, Clinical Skills, Competence and Compassion. The graduating class of 2025 will be prepared as resilient and adaptable physician leaders who provide high value, ethical and appropriate healthcare in an ever-changing system; communicate respectfully and effectively in a patient- and family-centered fashion; collaborate with other healthcare professionals to devise treatment plans and strategies for adherence and self-care, tailored to the needs and preferences of the patient; integrate the scientific underpinnings of clinical medicine and best evidence into daily practice; and distinguish themselves as medical professionals in discovery, service and leadership.

The preclerkship curriculum places foundational knowledge in the context of the practice of medicine and the Rutgers RWJMS Core Clinical Conditions.  Our culture promotes well-being and students will learn to curate knowledge, to embrace strategies that enhance quality and patient safety and to develop behaviors that lead to better health and healthcare for all.

The Unifying Themes across four years in addition to the focus on the 5 Cs are:

Patient and Family Centered Care in the Community Context

Evidence Based Medicine

Health Systems Science

The Courses in Pre-Clerkship:

Foundations of Physicianship

Foundations in Medical Sciences

Living Anatomy I, II

Integrated Systems and Disease


            Pulmonary and Renal 

            Endocrine and Reproduction and Metabolism


            Neurologic and Behavioral 

Two-week Physicianship intersessions with time for experiential learning in the clinic, community, patients’ homes, the health system; thematic content related to previous course/clerkship in ethics, professionalism, social determinants of health/structural competency, evidence-based medicine, health systems science; skill building; scholarship; electives; wellness and personal and professional development.

The clerkship and advanced clinical experiences curriculum will begin in the second semester of the second year affording more time for clerkship education prior to the residency application process.  There will be deliberate spiraling of clinical science and foundational science knowledge critical for practice.


Research shows that health care outcomes and costs in the United States are strongly linked to the availability of primary care physicians. Primary care reduces hospital emergency visits and provides effective management of long-term chronic illness, both of which help reduce healthcare costs. Primary care helps patients live longer, healthier lives. Primary care is considered the "backbone" of our health care system and the need for primary care physicians is greater now as our health care system continues to change.

Taking the lead to meet this demand, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School offers a three-year accelerated primary care track - the Primary Accelerated Continuity Care Experience (PACCE). After completing this three-year curriculum, students move on to residency at one of the RWJMS affiliated Family Medicine Residency programs.

This track includes early immersive clinical experiences in family medicine during the pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum and longitudinal primary care experiences during the clerkship phase. Students are engaged in clinical learning during the summer following their first year at RWJMS. 

The program affords students the opportunity to follow patients and their families over time through traditional, in-patient encounters, as well as through ambulatory care experiences. PACCE exposes students to the challenges of managing long-term illnesses and provides insight into the relationship between patient and healthcare provider. The PACCE program provides students the opportunity to experience enhanced continuity of care experiences and continuity of faculty mentorship. Longitudinal relationships between faculty mentors, other health professionals, patients and a medical student cohort are salient features of the track. 

Students in the accelerated track are responsible for all pre-clerkship and clerkship requirements. Students have ample opportunity to explore and learn in hospital and other acute care settings in addition to the primary care environment. This track aims to show learners the joy of primary care and prepare them to function as resident physicians at the end of three years.

Requirements for Promotion & Graduation

A. Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must exhibit the requisite attitudes, skills, knowledge and professional behavior to complete the prescribed course of study, and must meet "The Essential Functions for Admission and Matriculation" cited in the catalog of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In addition, a candidate must also possess personal qualifications and attributes deemed necessary to perform the duties of a medical professional. Specifically, all candidates are expected to exhibit unimpaired judgment and behavior consistent with the responsibilities of a medical professional Read More.

Commitment to Diversity

RWJMS is committed to fostering a diverse learning community of students, faculty and staff from a broad spectrum of nations, cultures, and historical perspectives. Our collective goal is to create an institutional consciousness of diversity reinforced with equity and excellence through inclusion, non-discrimination, and pluralism for all members of the University Community. Individuals with disabilities are important members of a diverse culture on our campuses and RWJMS is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School seeks to broaden representation among the student body from the following groups underrepresented in medicine:  Black or African American, Hispanic, and/or socioeconomically and educationally disadvantaged, including first generation college students.