Rutgers to Launch Certification Program in Medical and Health Professions Education

Within the next year Rutgers Graduate School of Education, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, will launch a certificate program to enhance the teaching skills of medical and other health professionals, administrators, and faculty.

This will be the only certificate program of its kind offered in the state of New Jersey. The preparation of medical and health professions educators has garnered increased attention in the field over the past few years. Faculty and administrators who participate in the program are likely to be at a distinct advantage in terms of employment, advancement to leadership positions and in appointments and promotion processes as evaluation of programs becomes more focused on faculty development in the areas of teaching, learning, and assessment of medical students, residents and practicing physicians, based upon specified learning objectives and skill sets.

“Although some opportunities currently exist for medical school faculty development, the Graduate Certificate in Medical and Health Professions Education will offer medical educators and others an interprofessional, in-depth opportunity to learn best practices from both leaders in the field of education and medical education,” said Dr. Norma Saks, Assistant Dean for Educational Programs at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “We are very excited about this comprehensive learning opportunity for our students and faculty!”

The 15-credit program consists of five graduate-level classes that will be offered both in-person and online.  This hybrid model consists of a one-week intensive on-site course in Medical Education, and three online education courses focusing on cognition and memory, the psychology of learning, and adult learning, instruction and assessment. The fifth and final course will be a year-long capstone experience that will include mentoring and the creation of scholarly project – all of which will be tailored to the learner.

“The coursework will provide health professionals with an understanding of the best practices in medical and health professional education,” said Dr. Clark Chinn, Chair and Professor of the Department of Educational Psychology at Rutgers Graduate School of Education. “Students will examine a wide range of instructional practices, learn about their research base, and develop skill at implementing many of them. Our aim is to help students become effective practitioners in their own settings.  And students will be able to apply what they learn in the capstone course. 

At the conclusion of the program students will be able to demonstrate the ability to develop learning goals for their students, design curricula and learning environments, promote effective self-regulated learning, engage in effective instructional practices, design and implement learner assessments to achieve goals, evaluate educational programs, use evaluation data to improve instruction, and engage in effective leadership.

“The process of promoting health and wellness in populations needs not only physicians and other health care professionals skilled in their bedside ‘trade’ but a cadre of well-trained educators to teach these care providers in the classroom and at the bedside,” said Dr. Carol Terregino, Senior Associate Dean for Education, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “The professional opportunities for participants in the graduate certificate program are broad, from coordination of medical education courses and administration of curriculum offices, to leadership positions in undergraduate, graduate or continuing medical education programs.  This is a unique niche for both professional educators desiring specialization in medical education and medical providers desiring specialization in education.

The program will be open to all Rutgers students on all campuses who have completed a bachelor’s degree.  Application and admissions information is projected to be available late in the spring semester.  Interested candidates should submit their contact information via this online form to be contacted when information becomes available.