Hospital and community leaders, local legislators, and residents of Western Queens gathered on Monday, October 21, to break ground on a $125 million expansion project at Mount Sinai Queens, which will enhance emergency and outpatient care, and diagnostic and laboratory services, when it is completed in 2016.
In 2008, a first-year medical student named Jennifer Ling developed a program called the First Generation College Application Essay Writing and Scholarship Program, under the sponsorship of Students for Equal Opportunity in Medicine (SEOM). There were six students in the program, all of whom enrolled seeking help with their college application essays.
Three years later, Jennifer’s program merged with the Mount Sinai Scholars Program, a tutoring program originally sponsored by Mount Sinai’s Department of Health Education. The combined program was renamed the First Generation Scholars Program, and continues as an SEOM-sponsored program. Since then, the program has grown to include more than sixty students and mentors.
In the increasingly complex world of medicine where clinical knowledge is estimated to double every 18 months, four Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai students recognized that their education was missing an important component. Salina Bakshi, Marie Hennelly, Andrea Jakubowski and Aisha James took a critical look at the medical school curriculum and realized that while anatomy trains future surgeons and child development trains future pediatricians, there was no designated course discussing important issues in social justice. Thus, in 2011, the midst of their busy first year schedule, they started the Human Rights and Social Justice Scholars Program (HRSJ), a comprehensive one-year track giving students the tools, resources and mentorship to pursue the diverse aspects of health equity and social justice.
I met Salina, Marie, Andrea and Aisha in the student lounge during the week before they would begin their third year clerkships. Given their tremendous accomplishment, I was expecting a rambunctious group, eagerly speaking and interrupting each other. Instead, I was met by a group which exuded quiet confidence and intelligence. They spokethoughtfully and precisely – each contributing their unique expertise and experiences.
In medicine, as with other fields, developing effective leaders and educators is essential to our profession. Teaching is a vital role of all physicians, and good teaching directly improves patient care. Similar to other aspects of medical practice, becoming an effective teacher requires training and experience. An increasing number of medical students, residents, and practicing physicians are seeking advanced training in education to provide them with a conceptual and scholarly foundation for their educational responsibilities, and to enhance their leadership potential and increase their effectiveness in their profession.
Mount Sinai’s Institute for Medical Education (IME) serves the vital need for creating, educating, mentoring and retaining the best educators for our students, residents and faculty. Fostering the success of our educators includes recognizing and rewarding those who display dedication and excellence in their work, and providing programs that develop and reinforce their scholarship, teaching skills and successful promotion.