From Acquaintances to Advocates: Longitudinal Clinical Experience

The Longitudinal Clinical Experience (LCE) gives Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai students the earliest and most intense exposure to patients of any medical school in New York City. Through LCE, pairs of students begin caring for chronically ill patients within weeks of starting school and continue their close provider-patient relationships into the beginning of their third year.

LCE allows students to choose from a wide variety of physician-mentors – geriatricians, nephrologists, oncologists, internists, psychiatrists, and transplant surgeons – and begin caring for chronically ill patients from that mentor's practice. Over time, each student pair builds a small panel of patients, eventually caring for several chronically ill patients whom they will follow into the clinics, at home, and in the hospital.

"There are certain salient moments in your medical education, certain patients that you never forget, and for many students, LCE is that kind of experience," says Valerie Parks, MD, Associate Dean for Admissions.


LIVE LESSONS IN REAL TIME


Student participants in the Longitudinal Clinical Experience (LCE) have access to patient-specific blogs that they can contribute to at any hour on any day. The blogs give students a dedicated space where they can describe visits with their SAM and LCE patients, discuss coursework, and reflect on their emotional experiences as junior physicians.

Here is a sample:

"On first sight, you can't tell Mr. A (not his real name) apart from any other New Yorker you'd see in the street. His friendly demeanor and casual style hides the hardships he's been through in this life: drug and alcohol addiction, rehab, HIV, hepatitis, a liver transplant, and a host of other problems," writes on LCE blogger who met Mr. A as part of LCE in 2009. "He's also been through plenty of things you wouldn't find on a medical chart, such as losing touch with his family members, becoming estranged from his wife, and finding out that his loved ones are also HIV positive."