Narrative Medicine: A Workshop for Providers and Students

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

On Tuesday, April 26 2016, Levy Library hosted Narrative Medicine: A Workshop for Providers and Students. Open to all members of Mount Sinai Health System community, this workshop introduced MSHS providers and students to the practice of Narrative Medicine. Attendees examined the personal, professional, and relational benefits of Narrative Medicine practice.

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Feedback for the workshop was very positive, with attendees proclaiming “The workshop was splendid, especially the mix of people who attended. So much more interesting than if it had been all med students in my class” and “[the workshop] was perfect. The readings were great and so was the writing exercise, and the intro/background was so informative.”


M. Alex Macy talks with Dr. Rafael de la Hoz

The workshop was led by two leaders in the field of Narrative Medicine – Faye Reiff-Pasarew, MD  and M. Alex Macy.  Dr. Feiff-Pasarew is an Academic Hospitalist at Mount Sinai and the director of the Humanism in Medicine Program within the Department of Hospital Medicine.  She received her BA from Brown University in 2005, her MD from the University of California, San Francisco Medical School in 2011, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2014.  She produces “The Art of Medicine Podcast,” which explores topics in the medical humanities and is available on iTunes.  She also developed and teaches the Narrative Medicine elective within the Icahn School of Medicine.

Faye photo

M. Alex Macy is a Coordinator of Graduate & Undergraduate Medical Education at Medical Education. In her last role at The Early Alzheimer’s Foundation, Inc., she designed and facilitated weekly workshops for persons with early onset Dementia/Alzheimer’s to maximize concentration and stimulate neural networks associated with short- and long-term memory through art, literature, body movement and discussion. Prior to that she facilitated Narrative Medicine workshops for House Staff at NYC Lutheran Medical Center. After completing her BS in Microbiology at Oregon State she relocated to NYC to pursue a MS in Narrative Medicine at Columbia.

Alex photo

Levy Library would like to thank Alex & Faye for their dedication to make the narrative medicine workshop a success. Please contact us at if you would be interested in attending similar workshops in the future.

Article in the Spotlight

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we’re taking a closer look at highly cited articles by Mount Sinai faculty and researchers using PlumX to determine their altmetric impact. This month, we’re looking at an article by Dr. Scott H Sicherer, MD, Professor Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Dr. Hugh Sampson, MD, Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As you can see the by the Plum profile below, this particular article has had 221 abstract views and 26 imprints on social media!

Citation: Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. Food allergy: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 2014;133(2):291-307

Article Summary: This is a review article that examines the advances in understanding and managing food allergies. The authors find that we are poised to witness a revolution in our approach to food allergy over the next several years as a result of deeper insights into genetics and the microbiome, incorporation of bioinformatics, and numerous approaches to treatment in preclinical and clinical studies.


BACKGROUND: This review focuses on advances and updates in the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of food allergy over the past 3 years since our last comprehensive review. On the basis of numerous studies, food allergy likely affects nearly 5% of adults and 8% of children, with growing evidence of an increase in prevalence. Potentially rectifiable risk factors include vitamin D insufficiency, unhealthful dietary fat, obesity, increased hygiene, and the timing of exposure to foods, but genetics and other lifestyle issues play a role as well. Interesting clinical insights into pathogenesis include discoveries regarding gene-environment interactions and an increasing understanding of the role of nonoral sensitizing exposures causing food allergy, such as delayed allergic reactions to carbohydrate moieties in mammalian meats caused by sensitization from homologous substances transferred during tick bites. Component-resolved diagnosis is being rapidly incorporated into clinical use, and sophisticated diagnostic tests that indicate severity and prognosis are on the horizon. Current management relies heavily on avoidance and emergency preparedness, and recent studies, guidelines, and resources provide insight into improving the safety and well-being of patients and their families. Incorporation of extensively heated (heat-denatured) forms of milk and egg into the diets of children who tolerate these foods, rather than strict avoidance, represents a significant shift in clinical approach. Recommendations about the prevention of food allergy and atopic disease through diet have changed radically, with rescinding of many recommendations about extensive and prolonged allergen avoidance. Numerous therapies have reached clinical trials, with some showing promise to dramatically alter treatment. Ongoing studies will elucidate improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

URL to this article on PlumX

Dr. Scott Sicherer’s profile

Dr. Hugh A. Sampson’s Profile


Join us for IPA Hands on Training

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

We welcome all members of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai community to join us on Monday, May 9th for Qiagen Bioinformatics Day. Levy Library provides access to IPA Pathways Analysis, an intuitive web-based applications for quickly analyzing and accurately interpreting the biological meaning in your genomic data. Come learn more about this powerful tool at a hands on workshop. See flyer below for more details.

Training Seminar- Mt  Sinai- May 9th - Print flyer

Register for Workshop 1

Register for Workshop 2

Levy Librarian Receives Institute for Medical Education Excellence in Teaching Award

Congratulation to Levy Librarian Rachel Pinotti for receiving a 2016 Institute for Medical Education’s (IME) Excellence in Teaching Award. Rachel was honored in the “Excellence in the Service of Education” category.


The IME’s Excellence in Teaching Awards honor faculty, students and staff who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in teaching and have made meaningful contributions to the educational activities across the Mount Sinai Health System.


Year of the Nurse Continues with Nursing Resource Trainings

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

As Year of the Nurse continues at Levy Library, we are proud to offer multiple training sessions on three premiere nursing resources – Nursing Reference Center Plus, CINAHL, and ClinicalKey Nursing.

The trainings will be conducted by representatives from EBSCO Health (Kathy Jensen) and Elsevier (Tammy Purcell). Kathy & Tammy are both registered nurses who understand the busy needs of clinical nurses, as well as the educational needs of nurses conducting research.

Trainings will be offered at Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, and Mount Sinai Beth Israel. All registered attendees will receive a complimentary Levy Library tote bag.

Please visit out registration page to find a date/time/Mount Sinai location that works best for you. 

NRC Plus Training MSH 05.11  ClinicalKey Nursing Training MSH 05.25

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

Article in the Spotlight

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we’re taking a closer look at highly cited articles by Mount Sinai faculty and researchers using PlumX to determine their altmetric impact. This month, we’re looking at a multi-author article with contributions by Dr. Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences, and the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Dr. Ruth Loos, PhD, Professor of Preventive Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Genetics of Obesity and Related Metabolic Traits Program in the Charles R. Bronfman Institute of Personalized Medicine.

Citation: Locke AE, Kahali B, Berndt SI, Justice AE, Schadt, EE, Loos, RJ, et al. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature. 2015;518(7538):197-206.

Article Summary: This is the largest Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) meta-analysis for BMI.

genetic studies

BACKGROUND: Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 × 10−8), 56 of which are novel. Five loci demonstrate clear evidence of several independent association signals, and many loci have significant effects on other metabolic phenotypes. The 97 loci account for ~2.7% of BMI variation, and genome-wide estimates suggest that common variation accounts for >20% of BMI variation. Pathway analyses provide strong support for a role of the central nervous system in obesity susceptibility and implicate new genes and pathways, including those related to synaptic function, glutamate signalling, insulin secretion/action, energy metabolism, lipid biology and adipogenesis.

Citation: Locke AE, Kahali B, Berndt SI, Justice AE, Schadt, EE, Loos, RJ, et al. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature. 2015;518(7538):197-206.

URL to this article on PlumX

Dr. Schadt’s profile

Dr. Loos’ profile

Academic Medical Illustrators Participate in the Art of the Brain Exhibition

Members of the Icahn School of Medicine’s Academic Medical Illustration Department are honored to be included in the Art of the Brain exhibition, currently on display at the Grady Alexis Gallery in Manhattan.


ISMMS Medical Illustrators Christopher Smith, MA (left) and Jill Gregory, MFA (right)

Organized by The Friedman Brain Institute, the Art of the Brain showcases photographs and illustrations that celebrate the beauty of the brain as seen through the eyes of some of the world’s leading researchers and medical illustrators.

With the aid of the latest technological advances, as symbolized by these images, scientists are better able to understand how the brain works and accelerates the development of new treatments for many brain disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism, Drug Addiction, Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease.


Figure 1 – Illustration of a pituitary tumor by Jill Gregory, MFA and developing brain in an embryo by Christopher Smith, MA

The Grady Alexis Gallery is located at 215 East 99th Street and is open 10-6 Monday through Thursday, 12-4 on Friday and 10-1 on Saturday. The Art of the Brain exhibition is on display from March 14-19, 2016.

For more information about commissioning custom illustrations or animations from the Academic Medical Illustration department, please visit or contact AMI’s Manager, Jill Gregory, at

For more information on The Friedman Brain Institute and Brain Awareness Week events, please visit

Need Help Improving Your BLAST® Search? Bioinformatics Support Services Coming Soon to Levy Library!

Last week Levy Librarian Rachel Pinotti, MLIS traveled to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland to attend a course offered by the National Center for Bioinformatics (NCBI) called A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI.  The course was designed to help librarians learn to use several databases administered by NCBI including Nucleotide, Gene, Protein, Structures, dbSNP, and MedGen.  The course also covered use of NCBI tools such as BLAST® and Cn3D.  Through lectures, demonstrations and exercises, the class learned the purpose of these important resources, how to use them, and how to assist and support users of these tools at their institution.

LibsGuide to NCBI 2

The week-long course wrapped up with a tour of the National Library of Medicine, including the library’s impressive Rare Books and Special Collections room which contains such gems as Dr. Marshall Nirenberg’s Nobel Prize and a first edition copy of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.


Says Rachel, “I came out of the course with a clear understanding of the central dogma of molecular biology and of how to utilize sequence data databases.  Search techniques needed in these databases is quite different than searching traditional literature databases such as PubMed.  I am excited to develop services to support basic and translation scientists here at ISMMS improve their search capabilities and make more meaningful use of the incredible tools offered by the National Center for Bioinformatics.  The quality and quantity of sequence and variation data accessible through these tools is really quite amazing.”

Rachel can help with improving your BLAST® search and can help you navigate through a GenBank flat file or Gene record. She can be reached at

LibsGuide to NCBI 1

Levy Library Education & Information Forum Wrap Up

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

Thanks to everyone for making the first ever Levy Library Education & Information Forum a great success. The event took place on Tuesday, March 8th in the Mount Sinai Hospital Guggenheim Atrium. Our visitors learned about library resources and services and gave us valuable feedback about how we can better serve the Mount Sinai community. Medical Illustrators Chris Smith and Jill Gregory and representatives from the Masters in Healthcare Delivery Leadership program also participated in the Forum. We also offered attendees a booklet featuring our Women in STEM interview series in celebration of International Women’s Day.

We’ll see you all next year!

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