Jul 22, 2022 Community Medical Center Welcomes Second Resident Physician Class with Long Coat Ceremony

Cristina Rodriguez Andujar, MD, PGY-1, Internal Medicine, receives her lab coat from Nelson Okoh, MD, PGY-2, Internal Medicine, during the 2022 Long Coat Ceremony at Community Medical Center in Toms River, NJ.

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – On July 6, Community Medical Center (CMC), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, welcomed its second class of resident physicians with a long coat ceremony. The second class of residents will consist of 12 residents in Internal Medicine, 13 in Emergency Medicine, three in Podiatry and four in General Surgery, a new area of training being offered for the first time this year.

At the ceremony, the Rutgers Health/CMC inaugural residency class donned the 32 new residents in their new long coats, symbolizing they are no longer medical students and marking a significant milestone in their medical career. The ceremony also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Rutgers Health/CMC residency programs, a significant transformative milestone for the hospital. Its recognition as an academic medical center further expands access to premier health care services, cutting-edge research and enhances access to clinical trials for the surrounding communities it serves.

“Welcoming our second class of medical residents to Community Medical Center is another major milestone for the hospital as we continue our transformation from a community hospital to an academic medical center,” said Patrick Ahearn, Chief Executive Officer, Community Medical Center. “Resident physicians not only bring new energy and perspective as the next generation of physician leaders but also enable us to attract and retain innovative doctors who are on the forefront of new technologies and procedures, which benefits the communities we serve by continually enhancing the quality of care we provide.”

The new Rutgers Health/CMC General Surgery residency program will be directed by Issam Koleilat, MD, RPVI, FACS, FSVS, with Steven Priolo, MD as associate program director, providing an opportunity for residents to have a well-rounded experience in general surgery. The addition of General Surgery marks CMC’s ongoing transformation from a community hospital to a leading academic medical center over the next several years as the medical center continues to add more specialties to the program each year.

CMC was also recently approved to offer a Transitional Year program starting next summer which will enable residents seeking specializations like radiology, dermatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and radiation oncology to study at CMC for one year, rotating among OBGYN, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine to gain broad knowledge before continuing their residency at a program designed to focus on more specialized training.

“We are thrilled to welcome our newest class of residents who have come from all over the country to continue to help shape our programs, which has already grown and matured substantially since we welcomed our inaugural residency class just last year,” said Meika Neblett, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Academic Officer at CMC. “We look forward to not only teaching but to fostering an ongoing exchange of knowledge with our newest trainees and are confident they will help our program continue to evolve while receiving the world-class medical education they need to grow into the future leaders of health care.”

The residency program is made possible through RWJBarnabas Health’s partnership with Rutgers University. In 2020, Rutgers Health became the educational sponsor for all residency and fellowship physician training programs within Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health, marking a significant achievement for Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health as they continue to build New Jersey’s premier integrated academic health system.

“These residency programs are an important step in the future of medicine and the future of this community,” said Sherry C. Huang MD, Vice Chancellor for Graduate Medical Education at Rutgers Health. “The partnership between Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health ensures that our trainees receive the most up to date clinical training, while benefiting from broad resources and interprofessional opportunities to advance their careers and to improve patient care for our communities.”

To learn more about Rutgers Health/Community Medical Center residency programs, please visit https://www.rwjbh.org/for-health care-professionals/medical-education/community-medical-center/

About Community Medical Center

Community Medical Center (CMC), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, is dedicated to advancing the quality of life and health of the greater Ocean County region by providing safe, high quality care. CMC is a fully accredited acute care hospital and maintains national accreditations in multiple specialty areas. Highly sophisticated services, not typically found in a community hospital, include advanced cancer, cardiac, emergency, maternity and neurology care, as well as cutting edge surgical care. Patients have access to advanced technology including the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical platform, Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System for joint replacement procedures and state-of-the-art imaging technology. RWJBarnabas Health and CMC, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. The J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at CMC features one of the most sophisticated linear accelerators used for radiation therapy, a CyberKnife for treating inoperable tumors and holistic therapies to care for the whole person. CMC provides a broad array of health and wellness programs designed to help people achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles and optimal health. Visit rwjbh.org/community for more information.