Science and Medicine in the Service of Society

Read the full commentary published in the New York Times by Dr. John Morrison, Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. David Muller, Dean for Medical Education.


The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of several free-standing medical schools in the country that has developed independent high level graduate programs leading to the PhD or MD/PhD degrees, as well as several MS programs.

Historically, medical schools emerged within universities primarily to educate physicians, yet Master’s and PhD programs centered at medical schools now produce the vast majority of the scientists trained in biological arenas relevant to medicine.

All too often, these programs simply co-exist, isolated by different curricula and cultures. If we are to maximize our capacity to impact clinical practice through scientific discovery, we need to produce leaders in biomedicine and health care who see themselves as members of large, interactive teams committed to clinically relevant breakthrough science. Clinically oriented medical school courses should be part of the graduate school curriculum and translational scientists should be part of bedside rounds for teaching physicians-in-training.

Teaching tomorrow’s physician scientists that science, service, and advocacy are unrelated is an injustice to both our students and society.  Medical schools must acknowledge the equal importance of these missions if we are to produce leaders who will be agents for change, translating the bounty of scientific discovery into improved quality of life in our communities and across the globe.


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