Student Engagement

Students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) can take part in a wide range of enriching service and training programs that enhance the educational experience. We at ISMMS pride ourselves on teaching the art of teamwork and collaboration from the very first day of school. We are also one of the few schools that gives students the opportunity to interact with school leadership at all levels, from the chairs and deans to the CEO and trustees. Students bring their concerns and suggestions to meetings with these leaders, learn firsthand about the School’s vision and mission, and participate actively in helping us achieve that mission.

Beyond the walls of the School, our students engage with the surrounding community through clinical, educational, and research outreach efforts. Some of the many opportunities for student engagement include:

  • East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP): A free student-run health clinic serving uninsured residents of the East Harlem community.
  • MedDocs: A nine-week after-school program held twice each year in the fall and spring to teach high school students about the heart.
  • MedStart: A summer program offered to East Harlem middle school students interested in science and medicine.
  • Human Rights and Social Justice Scholars Program: A student-created program that enables selected students to participate in community service and research projects under a faculty mentor, with the goal of acquiring the skills they need to pursue social justice work in their medical careers.
  • Leadership Development Elective: A student-created elective designed to develop competency in navigating and implementing health care reform.
  • Medical Mandarin: A student-run organization offering language and cultural competency education, to train current and future health professionals not only to become better communicators, but also to be better caregivers who understand the intricacies of Chinese cultural traditions and their impact on healthcare.
  • Medicina en Espanol: Since 2005, three separate course modules, each with three language proficiency levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) have been available to first- and second-year medical students. The subjects of the Spanish language courses parallel what students are learning in their medical training.

In addition, we encourage and support students who wish to develop programs, ideas, and concepts that inspire them.

Awards and Honor Societies

At ISMMS, we assess your performance in clinical, research, and community outreach settings which frequently lead to recognition through awards and acceptance to honor societies. Opportunities for scholarly acknowledgement include the following.

The AOA is composed of fourth-year medical students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, research, professionalism, service to the school and community, and clinical acumen. Distinguished faculty members are also eligible for election as Honorary Members. Our Board of AOA elects students from the top quartile of the class using the following criteria.

  • Academic performance during the first three years of the medical curriculum as measured by third-year grades and USMLE Step I score
  • Successful research activities as documented by formal presentations at national meetings, publications, or other scholarly work
  • Leadership in school activities and community service
  • Professionalism and humanism

Selection occurs in September of each year.

Recognizes students who have distinguished themselves by their humanism, which the Gold Foundation defines as "those attributes and behaviors that emanate from a deep sensitivity and respect for others, including full acceptance of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds" and "is exemplified through compassionate, empathetic treatment of all persons." Peer nomination happens at the end of third year and selection takes place in August.

Dr. Arthur H. Aufses, Sr. Prize in Surgery
Given to a student entering the field of general surgery or a surgical subspecialty, who has demonstrated excellence in the surgical clerkship.

Dr. Barry Coller Award
Awarded to a graduating student entering internal medicine who has shown excellence and professionalism in the clinical realm.

Mrs. David A. Dreiling Surgery Prize in Memory of her Mother, Florence L. Oppenheimer
Given to a student going into a surgical subspecialty, noting scholarly efforts.

The Eugene W. Friedman, MD Prize for Clinical Excellence
Awarded to a graduating student who will continue his/her residency at The Mount Sinai Hospital in general surgery and shows promise of exemplary clinical skills.

Dr. John Bookman Memorial Prize
Recognizes excellence in academic achievement for a student specializing in internal medicine, with an optional focus in diabetes or nutrition.

Milton C. Engel, MD Award in Geriatric Medicine
Conferred on a graduating student who has excelled in geriatric medicine.

Ellen Parker Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service in Geriatrics
Given to a student who has demonstrated initiative and ingenuity in improving the quality of life of older adults in disadvantaged communities.

James Felt Memorial Prize for Highest Overall Standing
Awarded to the student who has displayed the highest all-around performance throughout medical school.

Distinction in Medical Education (DIME) 
Recognizes students who have taken leadership roles in medical education and have developed and implemented a scholarly project related to the field of medical education. Focuses on students who have dedicated significant time to, and demonstrated excellence in, teaching, mentoring, education administration, curriculum development or assessment, or who have taken a scholarly approach to their work in education. Learn more about the Distinction in Medical Education award

Distinction in Research 
Awarded to students who publish a peer-reviewed manuscript on which they are the first author or who submit a first-author manuscript that is judged to be of publication quality by an ad hoc Distinction in Research Committee. Learn more about the Distinction in Research award