Prestigious two-year fellowship awarded to Ofelia Martinez from Hackensack Meridian Health

Ofelia Martinez, the director of clinical skills at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, was awarded a prestigious two-year fellowship by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Martinez, M.D., M.P.H., was one of only eight recipients of the inaugural Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund (SEEF) Medical Education Research Fellowship, selected from a nationwide pool of 52 applicants.

"This is an honor not only for me, but for the medical school – and everything we are achieving here," said Dr. Martinez.

Dr. Martinez, one of the founding members of the school, oversees the longitudinal clinical skills curriculum, one of the cornerstones of the institution's educational philosophy. Her responsibility is the development, implementation, and assessment of the students' clinical skills – which start for students when they don a white coat on their first day of their first year.

Key to her job, Dr. Martinez says, are "the principles of humanistic doctoring" – touted as a core tenet by the leadership of the school.

This is a wonderful honor for Dr. Martinez and for the School of Medicine and Hackensack Meridian Health. There were over 50 applications and only eight persons were accepted. I am thrilled that she has been invited to serve –and not at all surprised as she is an excellent educator and doctor."

Bonita Stanton, M.D., Pediatrician and Founding Dean of the school

Dr. Martinez was trained as an internist and pediatrician at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Prior to joining the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, she directed the New York Medical College Foundations of Clinical Medicine Program for First and Second Year Medical Students for five years and has served as the medical director for the Clinical Skills Training Center during the inaugural three years.

She was a Global Health Fellow during residency, which she says trained her to care for patients in resource limited settings which further prepared her for diverse health care settings.

Her passion for the underserved led students at New York Medical College to recruit her as faculty advisor for the recently established NYMC Center for Human Rights and the Community Outreach & Advocacy Coalition.

The first chance for this inaugural SEEF Medical Education Research Fellowship research cohort to meet in-person will be at the NBME Invitational Conference for Educators (NICE) in Indianapolis, in June.

The goal is to collaborate and share the best practices and ideas, resulting in the best doctors of the future, said Dr. Martinez.

"This fellowship opportunity will let me apply my passion for valuing diversity in our patients, communities and learners to advance medical education here in New Jersey – and beyond," said Dr. Martinez.

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