Danielle Qing, MD, PGY-3
As I researched internal medicine programs toward the end of medical school, I knew that Mount Sinai would be my top choice. I knew it was a historic, well-respected medical institution in the heart of the greatest city of the world, but during my interview I was blown away by the research opportunities available. In particular, I loved the idea of having an opportunity to do research in innovative areas like genomics and personalized medicine. The residents I met during interviews were all so accomplished and intelligent, yet they were also immediately friendly and welcoming. As soon as I got to meet them, I knew this was the place for me.
And then, midway through my intern year, COVID-19 hit. Residency is difficult enough, but add a global pandemic to the mix? Nearly overwhelming. Yet its during times of adversity that institutions really shine. Even though Mount Sinai was my top choice, it wasn’t until I saw the camaraderie and teamwork during COVID-19 that I truly knew how fortunate I was.
Throughout these trying times, what has kept me going was the culture of kindness and respect from my peers. We’ve been able to depend on each other each and every day. When crisis called, Mount Sinai answered. Pediatric neurology attendings and PGY5 radiology residents working with us side-by-side; a testament to the can-do, egalitarian culture of our health care system as a whole. Daily updates from our program leadership made us feel safe and supported, knowing that they had our wellness in mind. I had a lot of things to worry about during those difficult months, but whether I had an advocate in the room was not one of them. For this, I’ll be grateful for the rest of my career. I’ll never second-guess my decision to choose Mount Sinai for residency.
Frank Beerkens, MD, PGY-3
I was raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and as is the case for many international men and women, moving to New York City was a childhood dream come true. Its five boroughs combine into a multinational and vibrant city that always has more left to discover. Since starting residency, I’ve realized how the diversity of New York City is at the heart of Mount Sinai. During our morning report, residents take turns discussing a multitude of astonishing medical cases and you quickly come to admire the diverse pathologies present at this institution. Discussions on various HIV-associated opportunistic infections, rare cases of Torsades-des-Pointes, or management of patients with heart and liver transplantations are not uncommon. You also rotate at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, the V.A. in the Bronx, and have a continuity clinic panel next door in East Harlem. I care for patients from every socioeconomic, cultural and religious background. Our training is unlike anywhere else.
My co-residents, fellows and attendings add to this diversity with their broad variety of ambitions and interests. There are endless research projects and willing mentors ever present. Mount Sinai has one of the busiest cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs in the nation, world renowned IBD experts, large COVID-19 related databases, artificial intelligence & machine learning, and the list goes on. In addition, residents often work together on academic projects, which creates a true sense of collegiality amongst the resident class. If you would like to broaden your focus to medical education, genetics, or quality improvement & patient safety, residents can enroll in dedicated educational tracks to further explore these interests. With the strong clinical training mentioned above, Mount Sinai does an excellent job preparing the next generation of leaders in medicine. You will leave this residency well prepared for whichever career path your heart is set on.
All that said, my favorite part of training here has been the welcoming, supportive and ambitious-yet-down-to-earth residents that you get to practice medicine with. Beyond the expected challenges that come along in residency, we all faced the COVID-19 pandemic in our own way. However, our residency has come together in ways that go beyond an average internal medicine program. There is always a friend around to talk, help in any way possible, and share a drink with at the end of the day. We have stuck together through thick and thin. I will always be grateful for my training, my friends, and for choosing Mount Sinai as my residency.
Health Care Leadership Track
Dorian Mendoza, MD, PGY-3
Originally from El Paso, Texas, I completed my medical school training at the University of Texas Southwestern prior to making the decision to come to Mount Sinai for residency. Among the myriad of reasons Mount Sinai appealed to me was the patient population. As a tertiary care center serving the entirety of New York City, we get to see some of the most unique and complex pathology from throughout the region. Nestled between the Upper East Side and East Harlem, our local patient population is diverse and dynamic. When choosing where to continue training, I wanted to find a place that would allow me to establish a good foundation of clinical experience accentuated by subspecialty exposure. At Mount Sinai, faculty is relentlessly excited to teach, and it’s not uncommon to be managing patients alongside national and world renowned leaders in subspecialty medicine, or those at the forefront of novel and boundary-pushing research. Opportunities at Mount Sinai go beyond the learning that happens in the hospital wards.
The Health Care Leadership track, of which I am a member, consolidates many opportunities and interest that I had hoped to glean during residency, including the opportunity to immerse myself further into hospital system operations, quality improvement, and mentorship. Most important to why Sinai appealed to me was picturing myself within the exceptional group of residents that comprise heart and soul of the program. The program attracts tenacious learners and passionate advocates. My time here has revealed a family that supports each other during challenging times and celebrates each other’s accomplishments. I knew I wanted to train in a place that supported and nurtured the passions of these residents, and wanted to count myself among them. Choosing Mount Sinai has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have made. While challenging, the opportunities provided and the community I have become a part of elevate me to meet the aspirations I set during my time as a medicine resident.
Medical Education Track
Robyn Jordan, MD, PGY-3
I’m originally from Maryland and attended the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for medical school. When looking for a residency program, I knew I wanted a program with strong clinical training and a diverse patient population in a friendly and collegial atmosphere. I knew from my time as a medical student that Sinai residents were very well-trained in general and subspecialty medicine. Being in NYC, our patient population was the most ethnically, socioeconomically and religiously diverse of all the places I interviewed. The fact that I could find these aspects in an institution that also provided me with such caring and invested mentors, even as a medical student, encouraged me to stay at Sinai.
Within the internal medicine residency, I joined the medical education track. I had prior teaching experience from graduate school and medical school and had completed an elective on teaching adult learners as a medical student. The med ed track provided an opportunity to build on my previous skillset in a practical way. By developing a needs assessment, implementing a med ed intervention of my own design and measuring its efficacy, I’ve been able to practice the skillset that I will use in my future career. The fact that the track is led by one of the best educators in our program, Dr. Andy Coyle, also didn’t hurt!
Genomic Medicine Track
Meghana Eswarappa, MD, PGY-3
Rotating on the internal medicine service was the highlight of my time as a medical student at Mount Sinai and set the bar for qualities that I was looking for in a residency program - a warm atmosphere, a diverse patient population in a bustling city, and a supportive program leadership who placed an emphasis on education. I remember working with residents whose knowledge, independence, and kindness I wanted to emulate. As a current resident, I am incredibly happy with my decision.
In addition to discovering great mentors and academic projects to pursue subspecialty interests, I have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Genomic Medicine Track. The track exposes us to genetics in the context of a wide variety of clinical fields and provides us with the opportunity to engage in projects to apply this knowledge to our individual areas of interest. Half-way into the year, I am already learning new skillsets that will be relevant to my future care of patients.