Dr. Bonita Stanton, dean of the new Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, was featured in New Jersey Monthly's perennially popular "Top Docs" edition.
The article, "Dream Job," starts by noting that "As the founding dean of Seton Hall's new med school, Bonita Stanton aims to rewrite the book on health education."
"Dream Job" focuses on how Dean Stanton plans to "rewrite that book," and how she, as founding dean, intends to approach what she refers to as "the opportunity of a lifetime."
But the article, which is a full feature, also focuses on Dean Stanton herself, illustrating how her character and her devotion over the years to the "marginalized and undeserved" will help shape the school, the curriculum, and maybe even the practice of medicine itself here in the United States.
The article notes of the new School of Medicine that it is,
The first to open in the state in the last 50 years, the new school will be located on the site of the former campus of pharmaceutical giant Roche, which straddles the towns of Nutley and Clifton. And with Stanton as its dean, it is unlikely to resemble any other medical school in the United States.
That would be fine with its joint founders, who chose Stanton part for her wide experience in the realms of medicine, medical research, academia and academic leadership, but also for the idealism that's been a hallmark of her approach to medicine over the past 40 years.
Among a stack of C.V.s from eminent physicians, Stanton's resume was distinctive, says Seton Hall president A. Gabriel Esteban, for 'her commitment to serve the underserved and the marginalized.' In addition to having been chair of the Department of Pediatrics at West Virginia University, pediatrician-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Michigan, and pediatrics chair and vice dean for research at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, she had worked with underserved populations in China, Africa, the Caribbean and Bangladesh.
Her commitment to service is also reflected in her choice of pediatrics as a specialty, which allowed her, she says, 'to affect a trajectory; you aren't just treating a patient in now time, but you're impacting how the rest of that patient's life is going to go.'
In addition to describing some of the infrastructural logistics and anticipated impact of the new School of Medicine, the article also details Dean Stanton's life, education and work—including her successful experience in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh developing a collaborative community program under a grant from the U.N. to combat diarrhea – which at the time was claiming the lives of children there at an alarming rate.
The article also describes some of the more unique aspects of the envisioned curriculum for the new School of Medicine; they include:
- A three year option, instead of the usual four;
- The assignment of three to five different families from the surrounding communities to each student. Students will follow, monitor and administer healthcare to "their families" throughout their entire medical education. This is intended to help ground students "in the messy reality of the healthcare world… rather than in the abstract of a textbook or the classroom";
- The emphasis of "an interdisciplinary, team approach to medical care, reflecting a growing trend in health care delivery." Co-located on the same campus, the new School of Medicine will work together with "Seton Hall's existing School of Nursing and College of Health and Medical Sciences, which trains occupational and physical therapists, physician assistants, and other health professionals."
You can access the article here online in PDF, and in newsstands everywhere throughout New Jersey.