Second Year

*To continue delivering forward-thinking and innovative programming, Icahn Mount Sinai is launching a re-envisioned curriculum.  

ASCEND, the new MD Program curricular name, will debut during the 2024 academic year. For more details, visit our Change Now website.

The Year 2 curriculum at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) builds on the foundational scientific principles taught in Year 1 and emphasizes an organ system-based approach to the pathophysiology and treatment of illness and disease. In addition, students apply and refine core patient care skills through longitudinal ambulatory and inpatient clinical exposure.

The second year includes a formal skills-based curriculum in research data analysis as well as an emphasis on advocacy, human rights, evidence-based medicine, and career planning. In addition, students pursue milestone-based, self-directed learning, discovery, and leadership development opportunities during the protected half-days of Flex Time.

Innovative opportunities in Year 2 include:

  • Core competency training in human rights, advocacy, and evidence-based medicine
  • Formal coursework on data analysis and research dissemination
  • In-depth and personalized career planning and guidance
  • Continued mentorship and guidance in required research
  • Frontiers in Science lecture series and exposure to innovative researchers throughout the year
  • Third-year preview embedding Year 2 students with near-peer educators in the clinical workplace to prepare for Year 3

Year 2 Courses

The Art and Science of Medicine (ASM) Year 2: This integrated two-year course provides the core knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes essential for clinical practice. Through meaningful and sustained patient contact in a wide variety of clinical settings, supervised by a diverse faculty body of inter-professional educators, you establish a strong foundation in patient-centered, compassionate care and also practice history-taking, physical exam and clinical reasoning skills.

Brain and BehaviorThis interdisciplinary course addresses structural, functional, genomic, and biochemical aspects of the neurological and psychiatric systems, and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs. You learn about normal and abnormal functioning of the brain and mind.

Pulmonary PathophysiologyYou will study diseases affecting the respiratory system and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs.

Cardiovascular Pathophysiology: This course provides a clinically-oriented framework for understanding common pathophysiologic derangements of normal cardiac function and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs.

Gastrointestinal-Liver Pathophysiology: This course explores diseases affecting the digestive system and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs. It emphasizes the mechanistic basis of digestive diseases, with a strong underpinning in pathology and therapeutics.

Hematology Pathophysiology: You will learn about the normal physiologic production and regulation of blood cells, the pathophysiologic events leading to disruption of the normal blood system, and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs.

Musculoskeletal Pathophysiology: You learn about a series of diseases that overlap the disciplines of pathology, radiology, orthopedics, and rheumatology. The course bridges the gap between basic science and its clinical application to diagnosis and treatment of connective-tissue diseases.

Sexual and Reproductive HealthThis course addresses the fundamental issues of female and male sexual and reproductive health, and explores the pathophysiology of common conditions of these systems and the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs.

Endocrinology Pathophysiology: In this class, you learn about the pathophysiology of common endocrinological diseases, as well as the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs.

Renal Pathophysiology: This course introduces students to kidney homeostasis and the pathophysiology of renal disorders. It emphasizes the therapeutic and adverse actions of major classes of clinically-used drugs.


InFocus weeks are innovative and immersive courses taught through all four years of the ISMMS program, focusing on vital topics for medical practice and biomedical research in the 21st century. During these weeks you do not have other class obligations. In Year 2, InFocus weeks continue to emphasize developing critical research training skills and relevant content areas.

Courses include:

  • Research and Scholarship: You develop skills in data analysis and dissemination. The course focuses on advanced concepts of hypothesis testing and statistical inference as well as on presentation skills and dissemination of scholarly work.
  • Evidence-Based Medicine: You learn the fundamental principles of evidence-based medicine and participate in journal clubs to become familiar with current research, learn to critically evaluate research studies, and facilitate clinical application of research findings. This curriculum provides a bridge from more formal learning in Years 1 and 2 to clinical clerkships in Year 3.
  • Career Planning: This program provides opportunities to explore specialties and make informed decisions about your career path through programming, individualized counseling, small-group activities, seminars, student-run specialty interest groups, and personal exploration. You are exposed to four themes: understanding yourself, exploring options, choosing a specialty, and getting into residency.
  • Advocacy and Human Rights: This InFocus theme examines the intersection of health and human rights with a focus on the application of human rights concepts for promoting and protecting health. Through case-based sessions, you will examine the framework and genesis of the field and analyze particular topic areas including environmental health, gender and sexual violence, mass incarceration, infectious disease, nutrition, mental health, and disaster relief.

Frontiers in Science

Frontiers in Science talks showcase cutting-edge translational biomedical research and real world applications of scientific knowledge. Each Year 2 course invites a translational researcher who is doing relevant and meaningful work to lead an interactive large group session with students.

Flex Time

A protected half-day per week in Year 2 allows you time and space to pursue self-directed learning, discovery, self-care and leadership development opportunities. Flex Time also permits you to meet competency-based milestones and participate in relevant content sessions focused on cross-cutting themes like mentorship, feedback, careers in medicine and science, and learning skills.

Nexus Learning

Nexus Learning comprises a range of courses aligned with the mission and vision of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Nexus courses are geared toward Year 1 and 2 medical students and allow you to gain insights, knowledge, and skills to enhance your practice of medicine. These optional course offerings enable you to deepen your knowledge in particular areas of interest or discover an entirely new discipline, as well as to engage with faculty and other students with shared interests.”