Categorical Residency

The Categorical Residency is a three-year program dedicated to producing the finest clinicians and future leaders in Internal Medicine. The program focuses on the clinical skills, knowledge and humanistic qualities of the internist. 

The practice of clinical excellence, while utilizing a scientific thought process, is the central theme of our categorical curriculum. An evidence-based approach is emphasized both in the inpatient and the outpatient settings.

Through research projects, mentorship and extra-curricular activities related to three elective tracks, Medical Education, Global Health and Health Care Leadership, participants in the Categorical Residency have numerous opportunities to pursue interests directly related to their specific career plans. The program challenges each resident with progressively increasing responsibility in a setting characterized by close faculty mentoring.

PGY1

Each PGY1 spends several rotations on the inpatient wards at The Mount Sinai Hospital. The inpatient services encompass patients with gastrointestinal, cardiac, pulmonary, and oncologic diseases, as well as patients with HIV and advanced liver disease. Thus, in addition to learning general medicine, each inpatient rotation has specialized themes that present more intensive learning opportunities.

PGY1s spend one block in the MICU at The Mount Sinai Hospital where they care for the most critically ill patients under the supervision of an attending physician. They also spend one block in the Emergency Department where they work one-on-one with an attending physician in both the walk-in area and the main area of the ED. Many of the patients seen during this time are referred back to the PGY1s own clinic for continuity of care, allowing the trainee to build a practice rapidly.

Each PGY1 also rotates through the Elmhurst Hospital on the inpatient General Medicine Service.

All PGY1s have six or seven two-week blocks of outpatient medicine based in the continuity of care practice in the Center for Advanced Medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital. In addition, all PGY1s are assigned one block of elective time and four weeks of vacation. The rotations are designed to provide exposure to a remarkably diverse patient population.

A typical PGY1 schedule is as follows:

PGY1

Blocks

Ward Blocks

5-6

Outpatient

3-3.5

Night Med

1-1.5

MICU

1

ER

1

Elective

1

Vacation

1


PGY2

The PGY2 year represents a major transition for the house officer. During ward blocks, the PGY2 serves as team leader, taking more responsibility for patient care in a supportive setting. They rotate through the Medical Intensive Care Unit, the Coronary Care Unity, the inpatient floors of The Mount Sinai Hospital and do inpatient ward time at Elmhurst and the Bronx VA.

Trainees also have two elective blocks, six to seven two-week outpatient blocks and four weeks of vacation. One of the outpatient blocks is spent going on home visits as part of the popular and rewarding Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program, the nation’s largest academic home visit program.

A typical PGY2 schedule is as follows:

PGY2

Blocks

Ward Blocks

4-4.5

MICU or CCU

2

Outpatient

3-3.5

Elective

2

Night Medicine

1

Vacation

1


PGY3

The PGY3 year is intended to further develop leadership skills and extend the resident's knowledge base, complete research projects, and focus on future career transitions. Residents spend one or two rotations on the inpatient wards at The Mount Sinai Hospital. In addition, they have a block each in the Coronary Care Unity, as the Medical Consult Resident and as the Medical Admitting Resident. They spend time at the Elmhurst Hospital Center as senior resident supervisors. They have six to seven two-week outpatient care rotations, three elective rotations and four weeks of vacation.

A typical PGY3 schedule is as follows:
 

PGY3

Blocks

Ward Blocks

2-3

Elective

3

Outpatient

3-3.5

CCU

1

Medical Consult

1

Senior Medical Resident

1-1.5

Vacation

1

The Health Care Leadership Track is designed for residents interested in becoming leaders in inpatient medicine as critical care attendings, hospitalists, cardiologists, ID/HIV attendings, geriatricians, or other subspecialists.

Due to increasing clinical distinctions and financial pressures, hospitals require physician leaders who have both clinical expertise and skills in improving hospital systems and processes. In response to these demands, many internists are now focusing their careers on inpatient activities.

This is one of the few programs in the country that offers Internal Medicine residents the opportunity to gain the skills and experience in:

  • Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
  • Hospital Leadership
  • The Business of Medicine
  • Hospital Efficiency and Utilization Management

The curriculum is integrated into the elective blocks of the second and third year of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and consists of a mix of didactics, clinical experiences, and direct involvement in hospital processes. All residents will develop and complete a longitudinal, mentored hospital leadership research project.

Applicants interested in the Health Care Leadership Track should apply to the Categorical Residency Program. Once enrolled at Mount Sinai, residents are encouraged to speak with Vinh Tung-Nguyen, MD, Director of the Health Care Leadership Track, about entering this program. Interested applicants should make note of their interest on their application, so appropriate interviews can be arranged.

The Medical Education Track for the residency program began in the 2015-2016 academic year for residents interested in careers in medical education. Housestaff are invited to apply for the track at the end of their intern year and work through a two-year curriculum covering learning theory, curriculum design and implementation, feedback and evaluation, and medical education scholarship. The core sessions of the track occur outside of elective time, preserving the ability of track residents to pursue subspecialty clinical experiences. Residents in the Medical Education Track will help to create and implement a medical education project through the two years of the curriculum, with support and mentorship from the program. Projects developed through the track have included a professional skills curriculum for the residency, a pathophysiology-based monthly conference for the residents led by core faculty members, an enhanced ambulatory nutrition curriculum, and a peer-observation program aimed at improving teaching skills on resident-led rounds.

In addition to a focus on curricular design, the track will develop residents' skills as a medical educator, with additional teaching opportunities both at the residency and medical school level. Track residents are exposed to mentors and leaders in medical education throughout the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System. The track is led by David C. Thomas, MD, MHPE and Andrew Coyle, MD.

As part of our commitment to expanding access to health care, investing in medical training and partnering in research worldwide, Mount Sinai offers a Global Health Track. Our three most popular sites where we send trainees to are Cameroon, Bangladesh, and Kenya although other training areas are available.

The program gives Mount Sinai medicine residents the resources to pursue global health work during their PGY2 and PGY3 years. The curriculum focuses on the delivery of medical services, participation in medical education and research in resource-limited settings.

Program requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a PGY1 at the time of application;
  • Must spend a minimum of six weeks at a resource-limited site;
  • Prior global health experience is not required although preference is given to those who have demonstrated a commitment to this area of medicine.

Applicants interested in the Global Health Track should apply to the Categorical Residency. Once enrolled at Mount Sinai, residents are encouraged to speak with Jennifer Jao, MD, Director of the Global Health Track, about entering this program. Interested applicants should make note of their interest on their application, so appropriate interviews can be arranged.

Categorical

Rajeev Samtani, MD, PGY3

Residency is a very formative time in a young phyisican’s career. Having studied the basic theory in medical school, residency is the forum in which we are given the opportunity to practice the art of medicine. The field of medicine is truly an art – something that cannot be learned in books, but must be passed down from seasoned clinicians. Mount Sinai not only fulfilled all the aspects I was looking for when continuing my medical education, but far surpassed them. I was thrilled by the atmosphere I experienced at Mount Sinai, residents from a very early stage in their training felt great autonomy in being the front-line providers for their patients, but always had the support of their senior residents and attendings at every step of the way. This cultivates an environment whose strong camaraderie is only matched by its passion for teaching. We are so fortunate to be learning from leaders in the field of medicine, not only how to practice medicine in an evidenced-based and compassionate manner, but also incorporating real-time changes in the way medicine is being practiced worldwide, with many of these changes starting right here at home from the truly innovative and groundbreaking research that is being conducted at Mount Sinai.

One of the main reasons for our rich learning experience is our patients. We are so fortunate at Mount Sinai given our unique location coupled with the experiences at our affiliate hospitals, where we are able to experience a myriad of vast disease pathology among a culturally diverse patient population. I am grateful everyday for being given the opportunity to further my passion for medicine at Mount Sinai! I look around at my fellow residents, armed with the tools and training received at Mount Sinai, I see future decorated physician scientists with cures for our most stubborn of diseases, leaders in the field of medicine, physicians who will bring healing to even the most remote of areas, advocates for healthcare reforms, but above all I look around and see compassionate physicians who will treat every patient like family and strive to heal even the most complex pathology.  I am proud to consider myself a member of this amazing family!

Meghan Acho, MD, Class of 2017

Having been born and raised in the Midwest (from the great state of Michigan!), moving to New York City for my medical education and training was a life-changing experience. Not only did moving to New York provide me with the opportunity to live in one of the most exciting and eclectic cities in the world, it also allowed me to gain a new perspective on the art and practice of medicine.

When I was evaluating medicine residency programs as a student, I knew I had three goals in mind: to care for underserved populations, to work and learn in a rigorous academic environment, and to surround myself with supportive peers and mentors. In each of these capacities, Mount Sinai has truly exceeded my expectations.

From Mount Sinai floors to the Internal Medicine Associates, the VA, and, certainly, Elmhurst, I continue to be impressed by the diversity of patients we see and treat on a daily basis. Our patient population encompasses people from an incredible variety of ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds, allowing for a more nuanced and individualized approach to medical care. This takes place in an academically stimulating, evidence-based environment in which residents are given the autonomy needed to grow and develop as clinicians.

On my very first day of intern year, I was encouraged to be my patients’ primary doctor, creating treatment plans and preparing for longitudinal care. This degree of responsibility, while slightly intimidating at first, was also very liberating, allowing me and my co-interns to gain a sense of the types of physicians we aspire to become from the very onset of residency. Perhaps the most important thing that Mount Sinai has offered is the camaraderie and support of my fellow residents. The IM program truly is a family—we work together, celebrate our successes together, and turn to each other during rough patches. I could not imagine a more enthusiastic, bright, unique, caring group of people to be surrounded by each day. I am privileged to call Mount Sinai my residency program.

Health Care Leadership

Hersh Shroff, MD, PGY3

My decisions to venture out of New Jersey to attend college at the University of Michigan, and then to come back to the east coast for medical school at NYU, were both instinctive choices. Those places just felt right from the start. Choosing a residency program was no different. Mount Sinai felt right from day one. Looking back after almost one year of residency, that feeling has never wavered, and every day it becomes clearer to me why.

For one, the people at Sinai are the type that I want to be surrounded by for the rest of my career: they drive you to be your best on your own, but support you when you need it; they are motivated by academic pursuits, and still emphasize life outside of work; they are focused on teaching, yet humble enough to learn from others. Moreover, being in New York City and having three different hospitals, Sinai offers a clinical experience that is unmatched by most other places in the country. The diagnostic and therapeutic challenge posed by the heterogeneity of our population—rich and poor, immigrant and native, literate and uneducated—provides a learning environment that is richer than most.

The Healthcare Leadership Track is a unique aspect of the program that also really drew me to Sinai. It indicated to me that the residency is focused on creating leaders in the field; people who are versed in both the clinical and operational aspects of the medical profession and can one day drive advances and improvements in the way medicine is delivered throughout the country.

I couldn't be happier to have chosen Mount Sinai as a place to start my journey in medicine. I don’t yet know where my career will take me, but I have a feeling that Mount Sinai will put me on a path to succeed in whatever I do.

 

Meera Bhardwaj, MD, PGY3

I grew up in the suburbs of New York City and was excited to come back to New York for residency. New York City is extremely vibrant, as are the patients and pathology we encounter daily at Mount Sinai.  At one moment you are working up community acquired pneumonia, and the next chikungunya appears on the differential diagnosis.  In this program we have a diversity of locations and experiences from the Bronx VA to the depths of Queens and international gateway at Elmhurst Hospital.  At Mount Sinai we meet patients from all walks of life and some who sadly have very rare and advanced diseases processes.

While interviewing for residency programs, I was very impressed by the emphasis placed on learning and evidence-based medicine at Mount Sinai. The Internal Medicine morning report process really pushes everyone to understand landmark trials and new developments in medicine. This fervor for evidence-based medicine permeates through the entire program even during simple one-on-one discussions on individual patients with my supervising residents.

Mount Sinai is an amazing place to attend residency because of the patients, the pathology and the education; however, the best parts of the program are my co-residents. Intern year has at times been extremely stressful and grueling, but it has been made much sweeter by my friends and teachers in the program. We support each other through thick and thin. We let each other vent, and we find ways to help each other smile. When you spend as many hours in the hospital as we do, you need good friends to help you carry on.

I am so grateful to be apart of the Sinai family, and to have the opportunity to work with the communities of the Bronx, East Harlem, and Elmhurst.

 

Kaitlin Klipper, MD, Class of 2017

I was born and raised in Long Island and knew that I wanted to train in the New York area. I thought that deciding on a residency program would be one of the most difficult career decisions I would make, but it turned out to be quite simple. Sinai was a place where I felt surrounded by extremely smart and driven colleagues who were also down to earth and friendly. My co-residents have become my dearest friends and I have gotten to know them so well over the past year.

But the biggest reason I chose Sinai is because of the program's strong emphasis on evidence-based medicine (as exemplified by our morning report). I believe it establishes a culture of constant learning and understanding which is the basis for all the medical decisions that we make. Between Sinai, Elmhurst and the VA, I have seen such a vast array of interesting cases and managed all different types of patients from the critically ill, end of life, exotic diagnoses and beyond.

I am part of the Healthcare Leadership Track and I chose this tract because I am extremely interested in learning more about the way a hospital functions and how it can deliver the highest quality of care. One of my career goals is to shape health care reform in a way that supports patient wellness rather than just treating sickness.

Residency is a very busy time life, but I am so glad I chose to do my residency at Sinai. I feel extremely supported by the program and my colleagues, and I wouldn't want to be at any other place.

Eric Alter, MD, Class of 2017

Many aspects of the Internal Medicine program at Mount Sinai initially attracted me; however, what stood out the most upon completing my first year, were the exceptional people I had the pleasure to work with. My co-residents, as well as the attendings, fellows, and general support staff, foster an environment that is not only supportive and full of camaraderie, but also one where education and clinical training are of paramount importance.

Residing and training in NYC has its advantages as well. We spend time at three very different hospitals across three boroughs (Mount Sinai in Manhattan, Elmhurst in Queens, and the Bronx VA). The diversity of our patients and their medical issues bring new and exciting challenges daily. We truly see it all! Additionally, during our free time, we have access to an incredible city and all that it has to offer.

The Healthcare Leadership Track is another valuable aspect of the program. It provides supplemental education in quality improvement, the business of medicine, and hospital efficiency. These areas are not typically addressed in residency training. Acquiring this knowledge and skill set prepares us for the constantly evolving health care landscape and to ultimately become future academic hospital leaders.

I am fortunate to be part of the Mount Sinai Internal Medicine Residency Program and look forward to the opportunities and experiences that lay ahead.

Global Health Track

Allison Glaser, MD, Class of 2015

Born and raised in Brooklyn, I knew that someday I would make my way back to the city for residency. I was looking for a program with a diverse patient population, varied hospital experiences and a rigorous yet non-competitive atmosphere. I wanted to be where questions are appreciated, where residents learn together and  develop long-lasting relationships. After the effortless conversations I had during my interview day, I knew that Sinai’s residency program encompassed all of these traits. The juxtaposition of the Upper East Side and East Harlem sold me. Our patient population is truly unique, and I appreciate that I can get both authentic Caribbean food and a gourmet Sriracha donut within a one-block radius.

Another requirement was access to Global Health opportunities.  I spent the year between college and medical school working in rural Honduras and then later in Guatemala, and I hope to integrate international medicine into my career in Infectious Diseases.  Through the Global Health Track and mentors in my field of interest, Sinai has provided me with the opportunity to create a research project and work abroad for six weeks during my third year.  While I am excited to have another adventure, after my recent rotation at Elmhurst, where tuberculosis and histoplasmosis are popular diagnoses on the differential, I have learned that I do not have to travel too far to see the “zebras” of Medicine.