Alumna Profile: Norma Susswein Saks
Dr. Norma Susswein Saks (Ed.S. ‘78, Ed.D. ‘86) is one of several educators involved with the creation of the Rutgers certification in Medical and Health Professions Education. This new certificate program is a joint effort between Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS).
Saks, who serves as the Assistant Dean for Educational Programs at RWJMS, believes that this is an important and exciting collaboration. Medical students, residents, and faculty, particularly those who decide on careers in academic medicine, need training to become teachers. Those currently involved in other areas of education have an opportunity to branch out into a new field.
“I am very excited this is happening now,” explains Saks, “because the expertise that the faculty at the GSE can bring to the certificate training program will make it a top notch program.”
After earning her master’s degree from Boston University, Saks relocated to New Jersey and enrolled in the educational specialist degree at the GSE. Saks’ interest in educational psychology persuaded her to continue with her education and earn a doctorate. During this time, Saks interned at RWJMS and was introduced to medical education.
Saks arrived at the medical school when it was still part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). UMDNJ integrated with Rutgers University in 2013 to form the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.
During the time of Saks’ early career, there were few educators specifically trained in medical education.
“Many things I learned on my own when I came here,” states Saks, “because I was learning a field of education when no specific training programs existed.”
Saks has worked diligently, along with many others, to create this certificate program. As the field of medical education continues to grow, Saks encourages students to pursue what can lead to a very exciting and rewarding career.
Many have coined Saks’ family as a “Rutgers family.” Her son, Mark , is a graduate of RWJMS, and his wife, Emily, completed her undergraduate degree at Rutgers before graduating from RWJMS. Mark and Emily rarely miss a Rutgers football game with their two children, Mia and Luca, who are also enthusiastic Scarlet Knight supporters.
If you are interested in the Rutgers certification in Medical and Health Professions Education, click here to submit your information and you will be contacted when more about the program becomes available.