Program Activities & Opportunities

The Bioethics program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai offers everyone in the ISMMS community unique opportunities to participate in a variety of conferences and seminars to enrich their learning experience with fellow students and faculty members.

An annual series of day-long conferences, which attract a broad audience of 150-200 participants, including physicians, medical students, nurses and other health care providers, scientists, lawyers, academics, and graduate students. Speakers come from medicine, philosophy, government, and law. Each year's conference focuses on a single timely issue. Past topics have included medical professionalism, organ transplantation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, money, and access to health care. The proceedings of many of these conferences have appeared in special issues of The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine.  In 2015, the twenty-fifth conference in this series focuses on Ethical Issues in Nursing.

These conferences are supported by a grant from The John Conley Foundations

The Center-Wide Ethics Luncheons are co-sponsored by The Bioethics Program and the Medical Ethics Student Organization.  At each monthly luncheon, a guest speaker presents a case that poses an ethical dilemma. Faculty, students, and other medical professionals participate in stimulating conversation and debate on issues confronted in clinical practice and research. Recent focuses of case discussions involved transplant decisions for a liver transplant patient and decisions about medical futility and aggressive treatment for a patient without decisional capacity and no family members or friends to make decisions on his behalf. 

Upcoming Center-Wide Ethics Luncheons are scheduled for Thurs. 11/19/2015; Mon. 12/21/2015;  Thurs. 1/21/ 2016; Mon.  2/22/2016; Thurs. 3/24/2016; Mon. 4/18/ 2016; Thurs. 5/19/2016; Mon. 6/20/2016; Thurs. 7/21/2016; Mon. 8/22/2016; Thurs. 9/22/2016; Mon. 10/24/22016; Thurs. 11/17/2016; Mon. 12/19/2016.  Lunch is served.

Twice a year, clinician-researchers present an ethical issue from their research for a group discussion.  By bringing a case from their research experience to this forum the presenting group learns to identify the ethical features of their work and all of the participants learn from trying to understand the issues involved and answering the questions that it raises.  Lunch is served.

Faculty from ISMMS and other institutions from the Mount Sinai Health System, The Graduate School, CUNY, and other institutions in the region meet monthly to discuss papers from the current literature of bioethics. These journal club type seminar meetings take place on Monday evenings  each month, from 5:15 pm until 7:00 pm.   Recent seminars have discussed issues such as the ethics of placebo research and physician aid in dying.

The Working Papers in Ethics and Moral Psychology is a speaker series conducted under the auspices of the ISMMS Bioethics Program. It is conceived as a working group where speakers are invited to present well-developed, as yet unpublished work. The focus of the group is interdisciplinary, with a primary emphasis on topics in ethics, bioethics, neuroethics, and moral psychology.

The Alexander Richman Commemorative Lecture in Humanism and Ethics in Medicine is an annual lecture and award presentation.  Since 1984 the award for Humanism and Ethics in Medicine goes to an ISMMS physician who exemplifies commitment to humanism and ethics in medical practice.

Additional Program Offerings

Our program also offers career development activities, an international consortium, a student-led organization, and several internship opportunities.

Nursing Ethics Council

This monthly meeting serves as a forum for nursing leadership to promote understanding of nursing ethics and clarify ethical practices that nursing staff encounter as health care professionals working throughout the Mount Sinai Health System. This aims at helping nurses familiarize themselves with the ANA Code of Ethics and integrating ethical awareness into day to day nursing practice.

Annual Oxford-Mount Sinai Consortium on Bioethics

The consortium is an interdisciplinary collaboration that emphasizes faculty development and encourages faculty from both medicine and academia to devote some of their research attention to bioethical issues. Participants include ISMMS, The Graduate Center, CUNY, Union Graduate School, Oxford University, King’s College London, the Free University of Amsterdam, and Bar Ilan University, Israel. The conference venue alternates between Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Medical Ethics Student Organization (MESO)

Medical Ethics Student Organization (MESO) sponsors several activities that foster dynamic conversations on ethical issues in medicine. It hosts a student journal club discussion of articles on ethical issues. The group co-sponsors and leads the monthly Center-Wide Ethics Luncheons. MESO also organizes and hosts creative evening events to promote the active engagement with issues in medical ethics.  

Internship Opportunities

College students, medical students, and other graduate students may spend up to two months as an intern at ISMMS. These internships offer first- hand experience in bioethics through research and participation in lectures, seminars, and discussions. These opportunities provide interns with exposure to the application of principles to cases that arise in the clinical practice of medicine.

Visiting Scholar Opportunities

Visiting scholars may spend one or two months at ISMMS. They may focus their attention on research ethics, clinical ethics, or bioethics education.