1. MD-PhD Program
Programs and Events

Programs and Events

In the MD-PhD Program, we recognize that fostering a culture of inclusivity and well-being is essential not only for the success of our students but as a key driver of biomedical excellence.

Our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives aim to create a supportive and equitable space for everyone, and our wellness resources promote physical, mental, and emotional health, enabling our students to thrive academically and personally.

Together with the efforts of the Graduate School, Medical School, and the greater Icahn Mount Sinai community, students have access to a diversity of support services. Some of our partners include:

Featured Activities

The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) initiative at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is a comprehensive effort to promote diversity and inclusion and address systemic barriers that prevent individuals from underrepresented backgrounds from pursuing and advancing in careers in science and health care. 

The initiative hosts Fireside Chats, which are virtual events that feature conversations with leaders in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These events provide an opportunity for members of the Icahn Mount Sinai community to learn from, and engage with, individuals who have experience and expertise in advancing equity and inclusion in academic and professional settings. 

Another program of the JEDI initiative is the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, a self-guided program designed to help participants develop a deeper understanding of issues related to race, equity, and inclusion. The program includes daily emails with readings, videos, and other resources, as well as opportunities for reflection and discussion. 

Finally, the JEDI initiative hosts a journal club, a monthly meeting that focuses on a scholarly article or book. The club provides an opportunity for members of the Icahn Mount Sinai community to engage in critical analysis and discussion of important issues related to social justice and equity in health care and academia.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Coaching is a specialized program designed to provide coaching to MD-PhD students in a group setting. Recognizing the unique needs of MD-PhD students as they navigate their dual-degree training and physician-scientist career goals, this initiative provides expert guidance and support to help students successfully navigate their academic and professional journeys. 

Led by an external coach who is an MD-PhD graduate and physician-scientist, MSTP Coaching offers a confidential space for students to discuss their challenges and concerns, receiving guidance from someone who has firsthand knowledge of similar challenges. 

Whether students are struggling with balancing their coursework and research commitments, managing their time effectively, or making decisions about their career path, MSTP Coaching provides a supportive and empowering environment to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

We believe that one of the best ways for our MD-PhD students to learn about career paths is through direct interactions with practicing physician-scientists. That's why we offer a monthly event called “Meet the Physician Scientist,” where students have a casual conversation with a practicing physician-scientist. 

These informal conversations give students an opportunity to learn about possible career trajectories, research interests, as well as how to navigate potential challenges. 

Knowledge Knuggets is a monthly session offered to MD-PhD students in their PhD years at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Designed to provide support as they navigate the challenges of the laboratory, students can build a strong cohort of peers who share experiences and insight. 

Each session covers a topic relevant to the PhD Phase, such as putting together a thesis advisory committee, time management, developing daily writing habits, and submitting fellowships. Sessions are led by MSTP leadership and senior students who have successfully navigated the challenges of the PhD Phase and can offer guidance based on their own experiences. 

In addition to providing valuable resources and guidance, Knowledge Knuggets also serves as a platform for building a supportive cohort of peers. Through the Program, students connect with other MD-PhD students in their cohort and build relationships that can last throughout their careers. 

The MSTP Leadership Course is a unique training program designed to equip MD-PhD students with the necessary leadership and management skills to succeed in their training and future careers as physician-scientists. Based on real-world research and experiences of graduate students and postdocs, the MSTP Leadership Course uses an active-learning format to teach skills in communication strategies, conflict management, and navigating organizational hierarchies. 

Structured into four weekly sessions that build on one another, the MSTP Leadership focuses on topics such as professionalism, leading without authority, working in teams, and creating inclusive cultures. Through discussions of authentic case studies, participants will learn how to develop functional teams that respect diversity and foster inclusion. 

This full-year course was designed with the goal of emphasizing cross-fertilization between basic science and clinical medicine, and as an additional mechanism for providing continued contact with the medical community for students during the PhD Phase.  

Student participation is required through the end of PhD training. Centered upon a clinical case presented by senior MD-PhD students with Mount Sinai house staff and clinical faculty, the student and house staff lead a discussion through the clinical reasoning that led to the diagnosis and treatment. The discussion of the clinical topic will then lead into the second part of the session, a presentation of PhD research by a senior MD-PhD student that provides some background behind the pathophysiology of a disease and/or a therapeutic approach. Senior clinicians and scientists are invited to attend and participate in the discussions. 

The sessions close with comments from the faculty regarding the significance of the topic and frontiers to be advanced by future research in the field. The objectives of this course are to: 

  • Interact with students at various levels of the MD-PhD Program 
  • Meet clinical and basic science faculty as potential mentors/advisors 
  • Learn about translational science as it pertains to a specific field 
  • Engage in a dialogue between clinicians and scientists through moderated panel discussion  
  • Identify key gaps in knowledge within specific fields.