FAQ for Residency in Emergency Medicine
Living in New York City
Can I afford to live as a resident in NYC?
You will be able to enjoy a comfortable life in the country's most exciting city. Housing will be your major expense. Mount Sinai offers all residents partially-subsidized apartments within walking distance to the hospital, and about half of our residents take advantage of them. Many of our residents live in non-Sinai housing throughout Manhattan, and many of those with families live in Queens or outside of the city.
New York City offers a wealth of free or very inexpensive entertainment. Mount Sinai Hospital borders Central Park which has free outdoor concerts and shows during the summer, ice skating during the winter, and pick-up games and leagues for many team sports year-round. Festivals and street fairs abound across the city during the summer, and the subways and commuter trains take you to nearby beaches and hiking spots. It won't take much exploring before you discover that some of the best restaurants in the city aren't the most expensive, and many museums are free one night a week.
What are the neighborhoods surrounding the hospitals like, and are they safe?
New York City is now one of the safest large cities in the U.S., and during the day there are few places one would be advised to avoid. However, as in any other city, common sense and caution should guide you. Mount Sinai Hospital straddles the tony Carnegie Hill neighborhood, home to the mayor's mansion, and Spanish Harlem; Sinai residents live in the neighborhood and walk to and from the nearby subway stops without any difficulties. Elmhurst is in Jackson Heights, a colorful, vibrant area, and a mecca for foodies with international tastes. Residents feel safe walking to the nearby subway stop or around the neighborhood, although as is true anywhere, late at night one would be advised to walk with a friend. Many visitors are surprised to find that the New York City streets and subways are packed with business people, families, and young people going out until midnight or later year-round and even during the week.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Though it is a great asset to be fluent in Spanish it is not a necessity. A number of residents have done electives in Spanish-speaking countries to improve their skills, and several are taking a free, hospital-based course geared towards medical professionals. Translators are always available for those who do not feel comfortable with their language skills. Most residents who enter with little Spanish find that it improves noticeably during their time here. You may even learn a few words of Mandarin, Korean, Hindi, Russian, Tagalog.
The Application Process
How is the interview day organized?
Interviews take place on Mondays and Fridays. Applicants are invited to join Mount Sinai residents for drinks and light food on the evening before interviews. The interview day begins at 8:00 A.M. with a welcome breakfast. After breakfast, an overview of the residency is presented by the Program and Site Directors. The applicants then tour the EDs at Mount Sinai and Elmhurst. Lunch is provided and residents join the interviewees to answer questions. Each applicant has (3) interviews.
How much do the residents work?
ResideEM-1s do many non-EM rotations, and schedules vary by service. EM-2s work 18 12-hour shifts per 4-week block. EM-3s work a combination of 12 8-hour shifts and 6 12-hour shifts that include peds and "fast track" shifts. EM-4's work a combination of 8 and 12-hour shifts for a total of 15 shifts per block, including peds and "fast track" shifts. Time is reserved for electives and research during each year of the residency.
Do the residents see enough trauma, and how are the traumas organized?
Our residents have plenty of exposure to trauma. Elmhurst is a level I trauma center which sees over 2000 traumas per year. When a trauma patient presents to the ED, the attending and senior resident use a set criteria to determine whether or not a trauma team is called. All traumas resuscitations are run by the senior emergency resident present. The surgery team alternates with the emergency department residents in doing procedures during traumas. In addition to the trauma experience at Elmhurst, PGY-1s spend one month doing a surgical ICU rotation during which they care for the critical and post-op trauma cases. During their PGY-3 year, residents spend a month at Jersey City Medical Center, a Level II trauma center (but the only trauma center in that region of the state), which often sees trauma as high acuity as at Elmhurst.
Kaushal H. Shah, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
One Gustave Levy Place, Box 1620
New York, NY 10029
If you are interested in doing a 4th year student rotation with us, contact us here.
Find conference dates, rotation schedules, and other residency-related activities at sinaiem.org