Many people who are interested in going to medical school in the New York City metro area may have only considered attending schools in the city. This makes sense, as NYC is home to excellent academic and teaching hospitals and a large number of medical schools. However, nearby New Jersey has some excellent medical school options as well for students who are interested in becoming doctors, dentists or surgeons.

Considering Medical School

While there is a number of medical schools in New York, its neighbor to the south, New Jersey, has some excellent, accredited medical schools as well. Medical schools are by nature rather competitive. Admission is limited, and students must prove themselves with their grades and their MCAT score. Students need to prove that they are adept not only at science and mathematics but also at logic, problem solving and a host of other soft skills that will serve them on the job.

Medical schools are structured to provide students with the proper training and experience to become medical doctors or surgeons. Before enrolling in a medical school in New Jersey, all candidates must have a four-year degree that sufficiently meets all pre-medical school requirements. Students must have taken care of all medical school prerequisite courses prior to applying to medical school.

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What Is Medical School Like?

Medical school consists of four years of an academic and practical curriculum. While medical school does normally take students four years to complete, graduates must also expect to spend between three and seven years as a resident depending on the specialization they choose to pursue. Residency is a structure while you are in the hospital as a doctor and a student, and you work closely with an older, trained physician who guides you through your medical practice.

The first two years of medical school are typically divided between classroom time and lab time. This is the case at most New Jersey medical colleges. Students will study basic sciences as well as pharmacology, biochemistry, microbiology and anatomy. They also begin to learn how to examine and interview a patient in order to make a diagnosis.

The next two years of medical school are typically a clinical experience. These med school students do rotations at various hospitals and clinics where they have hands-on experience with patients, other physicians and surgeons and begin to get a feel for what life in the medical profession is like. The clinical portion of any New Jersey medical college is not going to prepare you to be a specialist, but it will help expose you to various disciplines and help you to make the choice about where you'd like to specialize.

Medical Schools in NJ

The Cooper Medical School at Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey has an excellent reputation for preparing students for careers in the medical field. During all parts of the school's four-year program, patient care, scientific concepts, new research and clinical practice are incorporated into the curriculum.

At New Jersey Medical School, which is part of Rutgers University, students have a curriculum that is divided into three phases. During the first year, students take courses in biomedical science, molecular and cellular biology and immunology and organ systems. The second year's focus is on their chosen electives and the beginning of a clinical clerkship. The third phase is an acting internship that allows them to select their area of specialization.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is also a part of Rutgers University's Biomedical and Health Sciences Department. Students pursuing a career in dentistry and oral health will have access to the same facilities and the same academic structure that their medical counterparts have.

About the Author

Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience writing about education for a variety of organizations and educational institutions as well as online media sites. She has written for Pearson Education, The University of Miami, The New York City Teaching Fellows, New Visions for Public Schools, and a number of independent secondary schools. She lives in Los Angeles.