Primary Care Residency

Primary care physicians are on the front lines providing compassionate, patient-centered, high-quality, cost-effective care. Mount Sinai’s Internal Medicine Primary Care Residency Program Track aims to train primary care physicians who are:

  • Well-rounded and Competent Clinicians capable of providing high-quality, patient-centered, evidence-based clinical care in both inpatient and outpatient settings;
  • Outstanding Educators of both patients and fellow professionals;
  • Committed Advocates for patients and populations for improved health care;
  • Healthcare Leaders in all areas of primary care from the community to national level;
  • Scholars dedicated to primary care and population health research, medical education, and quality improvement.

Unique Aspects of Mount Sinai’s Primary Care Program

Secondary Continuity Clinics - One of the distinct advantages of our Primary Care Residency Program Track is the variety of locations and practices where our residents are able to train. All residents maintain a practice at Mount Sinai's Internal Medicine Associates, a hospital-based clinic and the largest primary care provider in the East Harlem community. Each primary care resident also develops a continuity practice in another setting such as a community health center, a federally qualified health center, the Visiting Doctors Program, or specialty primary care such as HIV medicine.

Curriculum – We offer a comprehensive, interactive, and project-based curriculum covering topics such as primary care core skills, advocacy and population health, research and scholarship, medical education, leadership, as well as personal development and reflection.

Tailored Programming - A key strength of our program is its focus on developing individualized paths for each resident and class. In order to provide our residents with the unique tools and skillsets for success in their future primary care careers, residents help to design their own goals and experiences.  

Unique Experiences – As noted below, our residents have the opportunity to engage with patients and local communities via experiences in the communities such as visits to Rikers Island, teaching at community health centers, and volunteering at local food pantries.

Four-Year Primary Care-Geriatrics Program - For applicants interested in a career in geriatrics, we have a new ACGME accredited PC-Geri program. Residents will train for three years in our IM-PC Track followed by a one year geriatrics fellowship here at Mount Sinai (insert link: https://icahn.mssm.edu/education/residencies-fellowships/list/geriatrics-fellowship). These residents will receive six months of geriatric training built into their IM residency, including a secondary continuity practice in geriatrics, and an additional 6 months of scholarship time in their fellowship.

Graduated Residents

Our residents go on to practice primary care in a number of settings as well as complete additional training in research and health policy.  Approximately 70-75% of our graduates go on to primary care practice or research while the other 25-30% enter specialty fields with an ambulatory focus such as endocrinology or rheumatology.  Graduated residents practice primary care in a variety of settings including academic practices, community-based practices, and private practice.  

Applicants interested in the Primary Care Residency should make sure to use the appropriate NMRP number and to contact Jennifer Weintraub, MD, Director of the Primary Care Residency Program Track, or Kenneth Fifer, MD, Assistant Director of the Primary Care Residency Program Track with any questions.

Our interactive and novel three year curriculum is delivered to residents during primary care elective blocks. These elective blocks are evenly spaced over the three-year residency to allow us to build and deepen our knowledge of a wide variety of topics, organized below:

Curriculum Layout

  • Primary Care Core: This is where we learn the “core” topics of primary care. Topics are quite varied but include topics such as: how to care for specific populations (geriatrics, LGBTQ health, formerly incarcerated individuals, etc), the practice of integrative medicine, management substance use disorders, advanced musculoskeletal exams, and many more!
  • Advocacy and Population Health: How to we learn how to be advocates for our patients, ourselves, and our healthcare system? How do we care for both individuals and populations? This series uses a mix of off-site experiences, interactive seminars from population health experts, and resident-driven initiatives to learn about our healthcare system and ways we can initiate meaningful change.
  • Leadership and Career Development: We recognize that no two career paths are identical. Our goal is to give our residents the tools necessary to build their own unique careers while becoming effective and confident leaders in the process. We accomplish this through a mix of readings and discussions, leadership training sessions with key leaders across our institution, and career sessions with physicians who practice medicine in different and inspiring ways. Connecting residents with mentors is another key aspect.
  • Scholarship and Education: In order to improve and grow the field of medicine, our residents all conduct their own research projects with mentors across Mount Sinai. Each resident also develops and teaches their own educational session that is delivered to their peers. Under close mentorship and guidance from our primary care track directors, we use a personized and step-wise approach to give residents a framework for future work in these areas.
  • Personal Development and Reflection: An essential part of caring for our patients also involves caring for ourselves. Through the use of narrative medicine and reflection, we join with our colleagues across the hospital to discuss spirituality, ethics, and create a safe space to process our experiences practicing medicine.

Secondary clinics: All residents have a primary care panel at IMA (the Internal Medicine Associates) practice on 102nd Street. In addition, our primary care residents are matched to a secondary elective site where they see a panel of patients longitudinally during their residency. This allows our residents to care for different populations than we typically see in clinic and experience practicing primary care in another setting. Sites include:

Clinical rotations: Each resident spends time in specialty clinics across Mount Sinai, including geriatrics, dermatology, rheumatology, cardiology, etc. We tailor clinical rotations to each resident’s individual interests.

To learn how to fully care for a community, we leave the walls of our hospital to get out and truly engage our patients and their communities in the following ways (not a comprehensive list):

  • Tour of East Harlem
  • Visit to local food pantries
  • Health educational partnership with Union Settlement
  • Supportive housing experiences
  • Riker’s Island healthcare delivery tour

We organize a variety of health trainings so our residents are fully equipped to take care of the most vulnerable people in our society. Examples of these trainings include:

  • Buprenorphine/naltrexone substance use disorder treatment training, with the opportunity to spend time in the REACH program
  • Intimate Partner Violence Training
  • Human Rights Forensic Asylum Training
    • Residents will be trained how to perform medical examinations and document findings in an affidavit as part of the legal case for persons who are fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States
  • Suicide Prevention Training

We also participate in advocacy work, including a trip to speak with our national representatives in Washington DC for SGIM’s Hill Day. Residents have met with local representatives to advocate for vital health topics in New York City and have participated in a variety of marches across Manhattan to stand up for change.

Each resident creates a scholarly project under close mentorship from Sinai faculty, and most present their work at local or national conferences at least once during their residency.

We are proud of this selection of posters and oral presentations by our residents at National SGIM 2019!

  • Wellness for Primary Care Providers: The Impact of Wellness Committee Interventions on Provider Satisfaction
  • Clozapine: An Under-Recognized Culprit
  • Rash and Liver Disease in a Patient with Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • Khat Got Your Liver? A Case of Khat-Induced Liver Injury
  • REACH-IN: Using the Inpatient Encounter to Expand Access to Primary-Care Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Hypertension Care Delivery in Resource-Limited Settings: A Literature Review

PGY1

PGY1s complete 6 additional weeks of an ambulatory primary care elective, complementing the 14 weeks of ambulatory primary care, for a total of 20 weeks of primary care.  In conjunction with the comprehensive primary care ambulatory curriculum delivered during ambulatory primary care, the intern year focuses on developing core basic skills in primary care. The clinical rotations center on providing continuity of care at our ambulatory care sites along with specialty clinics that focus on geriatrics, visiting doctors, HIV care, and cardiovascular medicine. The curriculum introduces residents to topics such as health policy, advocacy, scholarship, and integrative medicine. During this year, PGY1s begin to identify a mentor and an associated research project based upon mutual interests.

 

PGY2

PGY2s have 8 additional weeks of an ambulatory primary care elective, complementing the 14-week program of ambulatory primary care, for a total of 22 weeks of primary care.  In the PGY2 year, residents hone their primary care skills by rotating through other specialty care clinics in addition to their continuity practices. The curriculum further delves into health policy, advocacy, ethics, and spirituality in medicine. Early in the year, residents select their research mentor and begin work on their major scholarly project.

 

PGY3

PGY3 residents have 8 additional weeks of an ambulatory primary care elective, complementing the 14 weeks of ambulatory primary care, for a total of 22 weeks of primary care. In the PGY3 year, residents begin to take on leadership roles in the outpatient setting. The curriculum focuses on medical education, teaching, and leadership development.  PGY3s ultimately complete their scholarly projects and present their work at Medicine Research Day as well as at regional and national meetings.

Aleesha Shaik, PGY2

Aleesha Shaik, MD, PGY3


A common refrain I heard during the residency application process was that I would know where I wanted to be after the interview day. Like most, I found this hard to believe and instead prepared my spreadsheet to pragmatically consider all my options. To my surprise, I left Mount Sinai completely enamored. I still went through the motions of comparing programs, meticulously color coding my spreadsheet, but I found myself captivated by what I’d encountered at Sinai: genuine camaraderie among residents, the memorable morning report showcasing residents’ impressive medical knowledge, the palpable passion and dedication that everyone--from interns to faculty to staff--had for medicine and for patients, the unparalleled energy and enthusiasm of the program director, the number of women in leadership positions, and the strength of the Primary Care Track. And so, I joined the Sinai family.

It didn’t take me long to realize that what I’d witnessed at the interview day wasn’t just a pretense and the COVID-19 pandemic only made that more evident. Despite all the challenges we encountered in caring for these critically ill patients, the one thing we could always count on was our colleagues. Here, senior residents are fervent teachers, making sure new interns feel comfortable caring for the sickest of patients. On-call cardiology fellows bring 3am snacks and the ultrasound to help you practice evaluating ventricular function. We are surrounded by world-renowned faculty performing cutting edge research who are passionate about educating residents.

Here, you’re pushed to be the best version of yourself with the endless support and guidance of friends and mentors who are always rooting for you.

I knew coming into residency that I wanted a career in Preventive Cardiology with a focus on healthcare disparities and public health. The biggest strength of the Primary Care Track, besides the incredible leadership, is the flexibility of the program and the ability to tailor it to your individual needs and interests. Our program leadership went above and beyond in making sure I had relevant outpatient experiences and found the best mentors, while regularly checking in on my wellbeing during residency. In addition, my secondary clinic site--a unique feature of our Primary Care Track--allowed me access to an even more diverse patient population that has taught me much about social determinants of health and about being a compassionate physician.

When I was applying to college in 2009, one of my essay questions asked me to reflect on what I wanted my life to look like in 10 years. “I wake up every morning excited to go to work and do what I love,” I wrote then. Perhaps the greatest testament to the quality of this program is that I am exactly where I hoped to be.