Frequently Asked Questions


Here's your one-stop-shop for all of your orientation questions! If there is still more information you're looking for, please contact the Orientation Team at

Do I really need to come to orientation?
Yes, orientation is required! Not only will it be an incredibly informative week, it was also be fun and memorable! You will get to know your fellow classmates, upperclassmen, as well as professors during orientation. There is also a wealth of information that you will be given during this week. We guarantee that you will have lots of fun!
What should I expect of orientation week?


On the first day of orientation, you will be split into groups of approximately 12 students each. Every group will be led by two peer mentors. The peer mentors are rising second-year students who will be unbelievable guides and mentors (and who will give you incredibly useful advice). During orientation week, you will spend time as a class in the lecture hall as well as time in your orientation groups. Each night there will be fun and entertaining activities. There will also be smaller leisure activities throughout the day. Expect orientation to be both informative and enjoyable! Be sure to come well rested; we'll be keeping you busy!

What's the deal with housing?

Please visit our Housing Page for all of the information you may need regarding housing at RWJMS.

Do I need to do anything prior to orientation?

There will be some forms, training sessions, a few readings, and other tasks you will need to complete prior to orientation and the start of medical school. You can find the pre-orientation checklist on the website!

Where can I find the required list of textbooks?

We strongly recommend waiting until the orientation week to purchase any textbooks. Your O-Team and Peer Mentors will give you invaluable advice concerning textbooks during Orientation.

Am I required to buy an iPad?

Nope. As a member of the Class of 2025, you will be given a brand new iPad. It will allow you to have easy access to all of the curriculum capabilities such as the calendar, note-taking software, and other applications for academic learning. You'll receive your iPad during orientation, so there's nothing you need to do prior to then. Your iPads will come preloaded with many expensive apps (such as Essential Anatomy and Notability), so hold off on buying apps until orientation week!

Do I need to purchase "doctoring" equipment like a white coat, stethoscope, otoscope, etc.?
White coats will be provided to you during orientation week at no charge! You will be required to have certain equipment such as a stethoscope for the Patient-Centered Medicine course and your clinical off-sites; however, we strongly encourage you to wait until orientation before purchasing these materials. You will receive information from us on exactly what you need to buy during the summer. The RWJMS chapters of the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) will have a medical equipment sale for you to purchase all of the necessary supplies in early August at discounted rates (seriously, this stuff is expensive, wait and save a lot of money)!
What kind of clothing will I need for orientation and for medical school?
During orientation, expect some days to be casual and others to be business casual. We will inform you of the dress code for each day when we post the orientation schedule. If you have any questions you can consult our What to Wear page as well. During school, casual, appropriate clothing is fine. Most Wednesdays you will need to dress business casual with your white coat for your Patient Centered Medicine course. Any time you have a patient interaction, such as during clinical off-site visits or standardized patient sessions, you will be required to wear business casual with your white coat.
Do I need any back-to-school supplies?
We do recommend that you buy an iPad case (many students buy a case with a built-in keyboard). Otherwise, we think it is best to wait until school starts to buy any other school supplies. During the first few weeks of school, you may try various note-taking/study techniques that involve paper, your iPad, and/or your computer. Most students use their iPads to take notes in class and to study, so hold off on buying anything expensive. We will post a back-to-school list with suggestions for what to buy in the coming months.
What are all those acronyms under "involvement at RWJMS"?
If you visited our Faces of Orientation page, you may have noticed all the acronyms listed under "Involvement at RWJMS" for each orientation team member and peer mentor. These are all different clubs, interest groups, student organizations, and distinctions our students have had the opportunity to participate in. You can find out more about our students groups by looking through our RWJMS Student Groups page.