Academic and Career Counseling

Creating a place of encouragement, self-discovery, and academic success is important to the Office for Medical Student Affairs. Led by the Director of Programs and Resources for Academic Excellence, Lauren Linkowski, EdD, students begin understanding how to maximize their learning potential as early as week one of their start at ISMMS. Individual and group sessions and topics cover adapting to the rigors and pace of medical school, creating a tailor-made board examination study schedule, selection of academic resources, higher-efficacy study and memory strategies, test-taking approach, time management, and more. 

Our staff provide counseling and support for students who are exploring other pathways to graduation offered at ISMMS including dual-degrees, pursuit of scholarly work, an academic plan that allows for remediation, life events, and other important needs. 


The Tutoring program matches student tutors with students to assist with course content, study strategies, or clinical skills, and reasoning. Tutors may also suggest resource selection and preparation for exams, including USMLE Step 1 and 2CK. Tutors are students in good standing who have been trained to recognize learning barriers and help students develop tools to improve their performance.

USMLE Preparation

  • Step 1 Resources
    • In an ongoing effort to make the most useful Board resources accessible to all students, every second year student receives a six-month subscription to the UWorld question bank and a 12-month subscription to Pathoma. Students also receive a voucher for a free NBME CBSSA practice exam to use when starting dedicated study.
    • Review Course: At the start of the dedicated study period for Step 1, a board-review course delivered by an external tutoring company is offered to all students free of charge. Sessions review question strategy, high-yield content in a variety of subjects, and advice on how to study. Students may attend live or asynchronously.
  • Step 2CK Resources
    • Every third-year student receives a 12-month subscription to the UWorld question bank.
    • Review Course: Each July, a Step 2CK board-review course is delivered by an external tutoring company available to all fourth year students for elective credit, free of charge. The course reviews high yield topics in each discipline on the exam, as well as test-taking strategy. Students may attend live or asynchronously.

Career Planning Services

The Office for Student Affairs coordinates a comprehensive Career Planning Services (CPS) curriculum overseen by Monica Dweck, MD, 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
    • 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:
    • Partnership with the Office for Alumni and Development, including:
      • Access to a comprehensive database of alumni mentors around the country committed to providing support and guidance to students
      • Alumni Connect sessions that allow for specialty and career-based conversations with alumni from around the country and world
    • 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 specific individual(s) 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 about pursuing a residency in their discipline.

We encourage you to meet with clinicians, scientists, and faculty to discuss career opportunities and to take advantage of the multiple student-run specialty groups that offer additional activities to explore residency. 

Second Degrees: You may choose to enhance your medical training by pursuing an additional academic degree at another institution or complete a dedicated research year.   

MD/Management Consulting Programs: While at ISMMS, you have the opportunity to participate in consulting opportunities. Our students have spent their time working at companies such as Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company. More about this can be read in the Student Handbook.