Get answers to your most important questions about the PORTAL program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

A: You will take one additional class at a time during your second year. You will take a series of classes called Spectrum of Measurements in Clinical & Translational Research I-III, which focus on how to design clinical trials. This class meets twice a week for one hour. There is minimal homework, and the midterms and finals are open book.  You should expect to spend approximately three to four extra hours per week on PORTAL during your second year. The remaining coursework will be completed during the scholarly year. There are no additional courses required during the third and fifth years, which will allow you time to focus on the MD curriculum during that time.

A: Yes, PORTAL our students are involved in many extracurriculars at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, including the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, the Community Health Fair, student interest groups, and much more. Because the Master's classes meet no more than three hours per week, there is plenty of time to get involved in other activities. Classes typically meet in the late afternoons, leaving evenings free to pursue other interests, catch up with classmates, or explore NYC.

A: The clinical research courses include research design, biostatistics, grant writing, elective study, and a mentored clinical research project/thesis. Courses are small, so there is ample opportunity to ask questions and learn from the professors, all of whom are clinical investigators themselves. As a PORTAL student you are in class with graduate students, residents, and fellows interested in pursuing a clinical research career, so that you gain a broad perspective.

A: There is a lot of support for finding mentors. You will work individually with Keith Sigel, MD, PhD and Mary Rojas, PhD to find a research mentor for your scholarly year. As a PORTAL student you also meet with the PORTAL Peer Mentoring Group throughout the year to discuss issues such as finding a mentor and selecting a research project.

A: The MD/MSCR program provides you with formal training and the tools necessary to become a clinical investigator. You benefit from participating in a research year, knowing in advance that your funding is guaranteed, with some of Mount Sinai's top clinicians and mentors. In addition, the advising support is outstanding throughout your medical career.

A: There is some overlap among the degrees, but the ultimate aim of each degree is different. Traditionally, MD/PhD programs seek to train physician-investigators who are interested in basic science and want to apply basic science to patient care. The MD/MSCR degree is for students who also want to become physician-investigators, but with a focus on clinical and translational research (research involving humans or human specimens). The MD/MPH focuses more on public health, disease prevention, and community health.

A: The monthly journal clubs are facilitated by a physician-researcher who picks an article he/she thinks will be interesting and stimulating for the group. At the start of each meeting, the physician does a brief clinical overview of the topic. The rest of the meeting is led by two students who prepare the article with the faculty member.

A: For the 2019-2020, the stipend is $28,000, in addition to health insurance.

A: There are five to eight students admitted to each class.

A: The program is highly selective, with an admission rate that varies from year to year based on student interest and available funding. If accepted into the program, you must be in good standing and have clinical or translational research experience.

A: Current first-year ISMMS students will need to submit:

  1. An essay and
  2. Two letters of recommendation
    1. One recommendation letter should be written by a former research mentor. (They do not have to be a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine.)

Typically, the application deadline is during the early spring semester. Current students should check the Medical Student Research page on Blackboard for more details on the application process and deadline.