Program Activities & Opportunities

The Bioethics program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai offers everyone in the ISMMS community unique opportunities to participate in a variety of conferences and seminars to enrich their learning experience with fellow students and faculty members.

An annual series of day-long conferences, which attract a broad audience of 150-200 participants, including physicians, medical students, nurses and other health care providers, scientists, lawyers, academics, and graduate students. Speakers come from medicine, philosophy, government, and law. Each year's conference focuses on a single timely issue. Past topics have included medical professionalism, organ transplantation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Transgender medical care. The proceedings of many of these conferences have appeared in special issues of The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine. These conferences are supported by a grant from The John Conley Foundations.

In 2019, the twenty-eighth conference in this series focused on The Learning Healthcare System:  Ethical Issues.

The conference proceedings are available on the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai YouTube channel:

Welcome and Builidng a Learning Healthcare System at Mount Sinai Panel

A Learning Healthcare System in Action Panel and Implementing Leraning Models in Hospital Operations Panel

Challenges for a Learning Healthcare System Panel

Consent for Resarch in a Learning Healthcare System Panel

Ethics, the Learning Healthcare Systems, and the Research Imperative in Medicine Panel and Ethical Issues for a Learning Healthcare System Full Panel



The Center-Wide Ethics Luncheons are co-sponsored by The Bioethics Program and the Medical Ethics Student Organization.  At each monthly luncheon, a guest speaker presents a case that poses an ethical dilemma. Faculty, students, and other medical professionals participate in stimulating conversation and debate on issues confronted in clinical practice and research. Recent focuses of case discussion involved transplant decisions for a liver transplant patient and decisions about medical futility and aggressive treatment for a patient without decisional capacity and no family members or friends to make decisions on his behalf. 

Upcoming Center-Wide Ethics Luncheons are scheduled for Monday 10/16/2017; Thursday 11/16/2017/2017; Monday 12/11/2017; Thursday 01/18/2018; Monday 02/12/2018; Thursday 03/12/2018; Thursday 04/12/2018; Thursday 05/17/2018; Monday 06/11/2018.  Lunch is served.

Twice a year, clinician-researchers present an ethical issue from their research for a group discussion.  By bringing a case from their research experience to this forum the presenting group learns to identify the ethical features of their work and all of the participants learn from trying to understand the issues involved and answering the questions that it raises.  Lunch is served.

Faculty from ISMMS and other institutions from the Mount Sinai Health System, The Graduate School, CUNY, and other institutions in the region meet monthly to discuss papers from the current literature of bioethics. These journal-club type seminar meetings take place on Monday evenings each month, from 5:15 pm until 7:00 pm. Recent seminars have discussed issues such as the ethics of identifying the sex of a fetus, conscientious objection, and parental refusal of vaccination.

Working Papers in Ethics and Moral Psychology is a speaker series conducted under the auspices of the ISMMS Bioethics Program. It is conceived as a working group where speakers are invited to present well-developed, as yet unpublished work. The focus of the group is interdisciplinary, with a primary emphasis on topics in ethics, bioethics, neuroethics, and moral psychology.

For more than 20 years, the Alexander Richman Commemorative Award and Lecture in Humanism and Ethics has been focused on ethics and compassionate care of patients. Touting a new name, the Alexander Richman, MD and Charlotte Yudell, MD Seminar Series on Humanism and Ethics in Medicine, will be an annual four-part seminar series with a central theme throughout the year. 

Additional Program Offerings

Our program also offers career development activities, an international consortium, a student-led organization, and several internship opportunities.

Nursing Ethics Council

This monthly meeting serves as a forum for nursing leadership to promote understanding of nursing ethics and clarify ethical practices that nursing staff encounter as health care professionals working throughout the Mount Sinai Health System. This aims at helping nurses familiarize themselves with the ANA Code of Ethics and integrating ethical awareness into day to day nursing practice.

Annual Oxford-Mount Sinai Consortium on Bioethics

This consortium is an interdisciplinary collaboration that emphasizes faculty development and encourages faculty, from both medicine and academia, to devote some of their research attention to bioethical issues. Participants include ISMMS, The Graduate Center, CUNY, Union Graduate School, Oxford University, King’s College London, the Free University of Amsterdam, and Bar Ilan University, Israel. The conference venue alternates between Icahn School of Medicine at the Mount Sinai in New York City and the campuses of the other participating institutions.

Medical Ethics Student Organization (MESO)

Medical Ethics Student Organization (MESO) sponsors several activities that foster dynamic conversations on ethical issues in medicine. It hosts a student journal club discussion of articles on ethical issues. The group co-sponsors and leads the monthly Center-Wide Ethics Luncheons. MESO also organizes and hosts creative evening events to promote the active engagement with issues in medical ethics.  

Internship Opportunities

College students, medical students, and other graduate students may spend up to two months as an intern at ISMMS. These internships offer first-hand experience in bioethics through research and participation in lectures, seminars, and discussions. These opportunities provide interns with exposure to the application of principles to cases that arise in the clinical practice of medicine.

Visiting Scholar Opportunities

Visiting scholars may spend one or two months at ISMMS. They may focus their attention on research ethics, clinical ethics, or bioethics education.