Advising and Counseling
From the moment a student steps on campus, they have advising team that includes Faculty Advisors, Wellness Advisors, and Student Advisors.
Faculty Advisors offer support, information, and referrals to department-specific mentors and guide students through the career planning process. From the moment a student steps on campus, they are assigned to one of ten (10) Faculty Advisors. Each advisor meets with their students as a group as part of our InFocus curricula, as well as individually. Students can sign up for appointments with their advisor through the online scheduling system. Advisors offer guidance on a number of areas, including:
- Residency application process
- Academic issues, such as courses and clerkship scheduling
- Academic support
- Career planning
- Personal advising
- Locating resources
We encourage students to communicate with their Faculty Advisor whenever questions or problems arise.
Wellness Advisors are social workers within the Mount Sinai Health System. They are paired with Faculty Advisors to provide a more robust package of support. The social work role supports the Faculty Advisor through consultation about his/her panel of advisees, and to meet each of those students in an annual, individual meeting. Social work responsibilities center on providing each student with strategic, anticipatory guidance and resources to help manage both normative and individualized challenges associated with being a medical student.
Student Advisors participate in the advising of, and serve as a resource for, first through third year medical students. Student Advisors are in their Fourth Year or students on Scholarly Year and partner with their Faculty Advisor. They participate in advisory group didactics, serve as a resource for students seeking advice, liaise between students and Faculty Advisors, hold open office hours as needed, meet one-on-one with students throughout the year, and proactively communicate with students around critical milestones. Student Advisors are familiar with a wide range of school resources and can refer students to other support structures as needed.
The Office of Medical Student Affairs partners closely with and students may develop close relationships with many other members of the faculty in addition to their Faculty Advisors, including but not limited to:
- The Office of the Ombuds is available to any medical student to give counsel and feedback around academic, career, or personal concerns. They are also available to discuss informally any situation students have encountered around harassment, discrimination or other unfair treatment, interpersonal disputes in need of a neutral third party, uncertainty about or unfair application of a policy, or knowledge of misconduct. This Office is a confidential resource for students except in cases where legal action is needed (e.g., unlawful discrimination or harassment, assault/harm to student or patient). The Office serves as the student’s advocate in situations where the student will need to file a formal report with the Harassment Grievance Committee or the police. The Medical School’s Ombudsperson is Imuetinyan Asuen, MD. More information can be found on the the Office of the Ombuds' web page. They can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
- Medical Student Research Office helps students find mentors in specific fields and areas of research, offers training in research communication skills, and navigates and advises around the required scholarly product around graduation.
- The Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA) offers an array of academic and non-academic resources and advising through a holistic lens for medical students who are underrepresented in medicine and science and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Advisement and support may take place at the individual level as a 1:1 or a group level to enhance community building through affinity-oriented student groups. CMCA’s advisement and student support efforts are also conducted in partnership with the Department of Medical Education’s Office of Medical Student Affairs Faculty Advisor team to provide holistic support and advocacy when applicable. The CMCA provides advisement and support in the areas of career planning, navigating the culture of medicine and medical education as an URiM and or DA student, financial support for emergent and urgent academic and non-academic needs (e.g. USMLE Step exam preparation and scholarly year funding), facilitating connection to URiM faculty for professional networking and mentorship, and strategies for academic readiness and becoming a competitive applicant for residency over the course of their training.
- Specialty Advisors are within clinical departments and give students advice regarding that discipline. For more information about Specialty Advising, see the section on Career Planning Services below.
Academic Resources and Programming
The Office of Programs and Resources for Academic Excellence
The Director of Programs and Resources for Academic Excellence meets with students one-on-one to address learning skills. Students can book a meeting at any point in their medical school career to discuss the transition to medical school, selection of academic resources, higher-efficacy study and memory strategies, test-taking approach, and time management. Students may also book to create study schedules for courses and USMLE exams. Sessions are available in MARC or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peer Tutoring program is a student-run initiative that provides support with pre-clinical course work. Two second-year students serve as coordinators who match students with volunteer tutors to work through content. Students who are interested in meeting with a tutor should send their request to email@example.com.
The Senior Tutoring program provides assistance with learning issues across multiple courses, course remediation, or clinical skills and reasoning. Senior Tutors may also help with test preparation, including USMLE Step 2 CS. Senior Tutors are students in good standing who have completed their third year and have been trained to recognize and address learning barriers and help students develop tools to improve their performance. Students may be referred to a Senior Tutor by their Faculty Advisor, the Director of Programs and Resources for Academic Excellence, or Student Affairs staff.
USMLE Step 1 Preparation
Resources: In an ongoing effort to make the most useful Board resources accessible to all students, every second year student will be given a 6-month subscription to the UWorld question bank beginning and January and a 12-month subscription to Pathoma starting in September.
NBME Customized Assessments: To support students with board-style questions and resources, first and second-year students will have the option to take NBME Customized Assessments several times each year. NBME Customized Assessments are exams created by course directors from an NBME bank of basic science questions. These assessments are not used in the grading process; students can use their results to assess and proactively address their strengths and challenges with content and test taking.
USMLE Step 1 Review Course: Each May, at the start of the dedicated study period for Step 1, a board-review course is offered to all students free of charge. An external test preparation and tutoring company delivers the course. Sessions review question strategy, high-yield content in a variety of subjects, and advice on how to study in dedicated. Students may attend in person, or watch recordings online.
USMLE Step 2 Preparation
Resources: Every third-year student will be given a 12-month subscription to the UWorld question bank, considered one of the most useful tools for success on NBME Shelf exams and Step 2 CK.
USMLE Step 2 CK Review Course: Each July, at the end of third year, a board-review course for Step 2 CK is available to students for elective credit, free of charge. The course is delivered by an external test preparation and tutoring company and reviews high yield topics in each discipline on the exam, as well as test-taking strategy. All students may access course materials and recordings online.
Career Planning Services
The Office for Medical Student Affairs coordinates a comprehensive Career Planning Services (CPS) curriculum overseen by Dr. Monica Dweck, Director of Career Planning Services that covers an array of topics, resources and access to mentors. Medical Student Affairs also encourages students to explore careers early by shadowing and getting involved in specialty interest groups.
Following AAMC’s Career in Medicine Program, ISMMS offers a longitudinal curriculum throughout a student’s time in medical school:
- Year 1—Understanding the big picture and understanding yourself, including:
- Introduction to Career Planning Services programming and the School’s Career Planning Services (CPS) app
- Summer experiences panel
- Careers in Medicine introduction and milestone.
- Year 2—Exploring your options, including:
- Career fair with program directors
- Planning for Year 3
- Elective planning
- Year 3—Choosing a specialty and starting the residency application process, including:
- Planning for Year 4; intramural and extramural elective planning
- Preparing the MSPE and overview of the Residency Application Process
- Hearing from peers about their perspectives to the match
- Optional sessions about scholarly years and early match
- Year 4—Getting into residency, including:
- In-depth residency planning
- Understanding preliminary vs transitional years
- Personal statement support
- Interview preparation, including mock interview night
- The main match and how to create a rank order list
- All Years
- Breadth of Physician Careers panel, including MDs and students who have paired their clinical work with, or have gone on to careers outside of medicine
- Access to the School’s Mentor Database, a searchable database of faculty members from throughout the Mount Sinai Health System.
Specialty Advising: Each clinical department has designated a specific individual to give students advice regarding that discipline. Among other things, this individual will provide career guidance when applying into residency. The department chairs support the residency application process, and are available to speak with you for a residency in their discipline.
We encourage students to meet with clinicians, scientists, and teachers to discuss career opportunities. Career interest groups in family practice, geriatrics, internal medicine, pediatrics, and other specialties offer students a spectrum of role models to choose from.
Second Degrees: Students may choose to enhance their medical training by pursuing an additional academic degree at another institution between third and fourth year. Students are considered on Extended Scholarly Status during this time and should reach out to the Director of Career Planning Services for guidance around these opportunities.
MD/Management Consulting Programs: While at ISMMS, students have the opportunity between third and fourth year to participate in consulting opportunities.
Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) MD Scholar Program allows current medical students to spend their time working as consultants in a diverse healthcare practice that includes project work with payers, providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and medical technology companies.
BCG offers an opportunity to take a 1-2 year break from medical school between third and fourth years, to work as a consultant at BCG. All MD scholars must complete their medical degree prior to returning to BCG full-time.
To apply for the MD Scholar Program, students should click on the “apply now” button on the full-time consultant page. Students should specify interest in the MD Scholar Program and outline availability in the cover letter of the application. The application can be found on the BCG website.
McKinsey & Company
Third-year ISMMS students have the opportunity to apply to McKinsey's two-year paid Fellowship in Health Care Consulting before returning for their fourth and final year of medical school. MD Fellows will serve on client project teams alongside traditional consultants, gaining broad exposure to the business challenges and operations of the health care sector. MD Fellows will have many opportunities to develop and expand your business acumen.
After completing the two years as an analyst and the fourth year of medical school, fellows will have the option of applying to join the firm full-time or continuing on to residency training, depending on their performance during the fellowship.
Students interested in applying for this paid Fellowship in Health Care Consulting should submit their application on the McKinsey & Company website.
Students are considered on Leave of Absence during this time and should reach out to the Director of Career Planning Services for guidance around these opportunities.
Medical Student Wellness
The Office for Medical Student Affairs and the Office of Well-Being and Resilience collaborate in supporting your well-being. The Associate Dean for Medical Student Well-being and Student Affairs, Alicia Hurtado, MD, oversees assessment of wellness needs and execution of wellness initiatives. In order to ensure your wellness during medical school, the Office for Medical Student Affairs hosts a variety of wellness initiatives that includes:
- Collaboration with other wellness groups such as IcahnBeWell and Student Council
- Mental health destigmatization and education activities, and advocacy for mental health resources
- Community building events such as Annual Medical Education Picnic and study breaks
- Development and execution of wellness curriculum throughout the four years of medical school
- Annual Wellness check-ins carried out by Wellness Advisors