Second Year

Year 2 builds on the foundational scientific principles of Year 1 and emphasizes an organ system-based approach to the pathophysiology and treatment of illness and disease. In addition, students apply and refine core patient care skills through longitudinal ambulatory and inpatient clinical exposure throughout the second year.

The Year 2 curriculum also includes a formal skills-based curriculum in research analysis to prepare students for dissemination and publication of data. Core content in advocacy, human rights, evidence-based medicine, and career planning rounds out the Year 2 curriculum. Finally, students pursue milestone-based self-directed learning, discovery and leadership development opportunities during protected half-days of Flex-Time.

Innovative opportunities in the Year 2 curriculum:

  • Core competency training in human rights, advocacy, and evidence-based medicine
  • Formal course work on data analysis and research dissemination
  • In-depth and personalized career planning and guidance
  • Continued mentorship and guidance in required research
  • Frontiers in Science and exposure to innovative researchers throughout the year
  • Third year preview embedding Year 2 students with near-peer educators in the clinical workplace to prepare for Year 3

Year 2 Courses

The Art and Science of Medicine (ASM): This integrated two-year experience provides medical students with the core knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes essential for clinical practice. Through early, meaningful, and sustained patient contact in ambulatory and inpatient settings, students establish a strong foundation in patient-centered compassionate care. Students spend an entire year honing their clinical skills in ambulatory and inpatient venues during the second year of ASM. The Longitudinal Clinical Experience (LCE), partnering patients cared for at Mount Sinai with medical students, continues in Year 2.

Brain and Behavior: This interdisciplinary course addresses structural, functional, genomic, and biochemical aspects of the neurological and psychiatric systems and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically used drugs. The inclusion of such topics as child development, the aging brain, emotion, cognition, behavior, resilience, learning, and personality enables students to learn about normal and abnormal functioning of the brain and mind.

Cardiovascular Pathophysiology: This course provides students with a clinically-oriented framework for understanding common pathophysiologic derangements of normal cardiac function and therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically used cardiovascular drugs.

Pulmonary Pathophysiology: This course focuses on diseases affecting the respiratory system and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically used respiratory system drugs.

Gastrointestinal-Liver Pathophysiology: This course provides an overview of diseases affecting the digestive system and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used gastrointestinal and hepatic system drugs. Emphasis is placed on understanding the mechanistic basis of digestive diseases, with a strong underpinning in pathology and therapeutics.

Hematology Pathophysiology: The course focuses on the normal physiologic production and regulation of blood cells, the pathophysiologic events leading to disruption of the normal blood system and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically used hematologic and oncologic drugs.

Musculoskeletal Pathophysiology: This course introduces students to a series of diseases that overlap the disciplines of Pathology, Radiology, Orthopedics, and Rheumatology. The course bridges the gap between basic science and its clinical application to the diagnosis and treatment of connective tissue diseases.

Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Genitourinary Pathophysiology: This course introduces students to the fundamental issues of female and male sexual and reproductive health, and provides a foundation for their understanding of the pathophysiology of common conditions of these systems. Emphasis is also placed on the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically used gynecologic and genitourinary system drugs.

Endocrine Pathophysiology: This course explores the pathophysiology of common endocrinological diseases and emphasizes the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically used endocrine system drugs.

Renal Pathophysiology: This course introduces students to kidney homeostasis and the pathophysiology of renal disorders. In addition, emphasis is placed on the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically used drugs.


InFocus weeks across all four years provide core curricula in vital topics for medical practice and biomedical research in the 21st century. These in-depth immersion experiences bring together outstanding interdisciplinary faculty and emphasize skill development and knowledge application. During these weeks students do not have other class obligations. During Year 2, InFocus weeks continue to be devoted to developing critical research training skills and promoting exposure to content areas relevant to scholarship and leadership.

  • Research and Scholarship: The goal of this Year 2 InFocus theme is to provide students with skills in data analysis and dissemination. The course will build on fundamental research skills gained by students in Year 1 and focus on advanced concepts of hypothesis testing and statistical inference as well as on presentation skills and dissemination of scholarly work.

  • Evidence-Based Medicine: Students will learn the fundamental principles of evidence-based medicine during this InFocus course and will participate in journal clubs to become familiar with current research, to develop skills in how to critically evaluate research studies, and to facilitate clinical application of research findings. By focusing on the application of research findings to patient care, this InFocus curriculum will provide a bridge from learning in Years 1 and 2 to clinical clerkships in Year 3.

  • Career Planning: This milestone-based program provides students with opportunities to explore specialties and make informed decisions about their career path through programming, individualized counseling, small group activities, seminars, student-run specialty interest groups, and personal exploration. Students are exposed to four themes: Understanding Yourself, Exploring Options, Choosing a Specialty, and Getting into Residency.

  • Advocacy and Human Rights: This InFocus theme will examine the intersection of health and human rights with a focus on the application of human rights concepts for promoting and protecting health. Through case-based sessions, students will examine the framework and genesis of the field and analyze particular topic areas including environmental health, gender and sexual violence, prison, infectious disease, nutrition, mental health, and disaster relief.

Frontiers in Science

Frontiers in Science talks showcase cutting edge translational biomedical research and real world applications of scientific knowledge. By introducing students to impactful ideas we hope to foster intellectual curiosity and inform clinical practice. Each Year 2 course invites a translational researcher who is doing relevant and meaningful work to lead an interactive session with students.


A protected half-day per week in Year 2 allows students time and space to pursue self-directed learning, discovery, and leadership development opportunities. Flex-Time also permits students to meet competency-based milestones as well as participate in relevant content sessions focused on cross-cutting themes like mentorship, feedback, careers in medicine and science, and learning skills.

Nexus Learning

Nexus Learning comprises a diverse range of courses aligned with the mission and vision of the Icahn School of Medicine. Nexus courses are geared toward Year 1 and 2 medical students and reflect the remarkable interests and talents of faculty and programs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Nexus Learning builds on the required curriculum and allows students to gain new insights, knowledge, and skills to enhance their practice of medicine. These optional course offerings give students an opportunity to deepen their knowledge in particular areas of interest or discover an entirely new discipline, as well as to engage with faculty and students with shared interests.