Primary Care Scholars Program

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s (ISMMS) Primary Care Scholars Program is designed to prepare you, our next generation of primary care physicians, to meet the rising health needs of local and global communities. We do this by providing you with core training, mentorship, and longitudinal experiences in primary care. We recruit medical school applicants from diverse personal and professional backgrounds who are committed to becoming leaders in primary care while working with underserved populations. The program will create a forum for collaboration with your fellow students, faculty, scientists, and trainees, all passionate about improving primary care through direct care, research, quality improvement, and advocacy.

Throughout your years at ISMMS as a Primary Care Scholar, you will receive ongoing career guidance and mentorship from leaders in the field of primary care medicine.

In Years 1 and 2, you will work closely with your PCSP mentor to build a panel of continuity patients at the Institute for Family Health’s Family Health Center of Harlem, a Federally Qualified Health Center in East Harlem.  You will learn about the mission and history of Federally Qualified Health Centers and become immersed in their operations, working with your mentor, the clinical team, and your patients throughout your medical school experience.

To supplement these clinical experiences, you will also visit community-based organizations and health centers learning from primary care practitioners, public health experts, and multidisciplinary care team members working to achieve health equity for underserved communities.  Year 1 will focus on Chronic Disease Management with specific focus on Asthma, Diabetes, and Heart Failure. Year 2 will focus on Care of Marginalized Populations with specific focus on LGBTQ+ Health, Care of People Living with HIV, Addiction Medicine and Care of Justice-Involved Patients.

The summer after your first year in the program, you can participate in a primary care immersion experience and learn core principles of patient-centered care, health care disparities, team-based care, health policy, and quality improvement.  Like all ISMMS students, PCSP scholars will complete a scholarly project.  As a PSCP scholar, you are encouraged to pursue a scholarly project in an area of primary care that matches your interests and career goals.  Before graduation, you will be expected to present your scholarship.  Prior PCSP scholars have published their work and presented locally, regionally, and nationally.

In the third year, you will participate in the longitudinal clerkship InterACT, which provides a strong foundation in ambulatory medicine and chronic illness care through experiences at a variety of outstanding clinical practices in the Mount Sinai Health System and the Institute for Family Health. At the end of the InterACT clerkship, you will conduct a multidisciplinary case conference presentation on one of the patients you have cared for longitudinally over the course of the program.

In your final year, you have the opportunity toparticipate in a Primary Care Sub-Internship experience at the Institute for Family Health and serve as a peer-mentor to incoming PCSP scholars and InterACT students.

As a Primary Care Scholar you are eligible for $80,000 in loan repayment towards medical school tuition ($20,000 for each year of medical school) once you have been in a primary care practice in an underserved community for two years following the completion of your residency or fellowship training.  If you choose to pursue a specialty other than primary care, you will be required to repay your award as a low-interest ISMMS loan.

Victor Sta. Ana, MD, MSEd 
Director, Primary Care Scholars Program

Mindy Brittner, MD
Mentor, Primary Care Scholars Program

Leila Hagshenas, MD, MS, FAAP
Mentor, Primary Care Scholars Program

Joshua Issack, MD, MPH
Mentor, Primary Care Scholars Program

Kelly Kirkpatrick, DO
Mentor, Primary Care Scholars Program

Lucia McLendon, MD, MPH
Mentor, Primary Care Scholars Program

Veronica Rivera, MD
Mentor, Primary Care Scholars Program