Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Establishes First Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program in New York City
-Specialized training at Settlement Health in East Harlem prepares physicians to care for patients from infancy to adulthood, including their families -Efforts represent Mount Sinai’s commitment to marginalized communities and efforts to reduce health care inequities
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has established a new, combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency program, the first and only medical training program of its kind in New York City, which enrolled its inaugural group of first-year residents in July. The goal of the new residency program is to reduce health care inequities in marginalized and oppressed populations by training medical school graduates to be leading internal medicine and pediatric primary care clinicians.
Graduates of the program will be trained by Mount Sinai experts, will care for patients in community medical settings in East Harlem, and will be board-eligible in both internal medicine and pediatrics. The program focuses on both the delivery of specialized, high-quality health care and breaking down barriers to deliver health care to populations placed at risk for health disparities.
“At Mount Sinai we strive to meet the emerging and lifelong health care needs of the people that we serve,” said I. Michael Leitman, MD, FACS, Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Professor of Surgery and Medical Education, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This unique residency training program addresses both the health care needs of infants and children, as well as specialized adolescent and adult primary care. It includes curricula that address needs of underserved, oppressed and marginalized populations. It will develop the knowledge and skills physicians need in order to care for patients with complex medical conditions within the context of social inequities. Our overall goal is to train and develop future clinical, academic and policy leaders in primary care.”
The four-year program enrolled its first class of four physicians in July, and will ultimately provide training to 16 resident physicians during an academic year, graduating four trained residents each year and enrolling four new first year-residents. The first year’s class includes recent medical school graduates from across the United States. The residency program operates under the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine, as well as in collaboration with the East Harlem community and local community health care partners, including Settlement Health, the program’s major collaborator.
Collaborating with the Community to Break Down Barriers
“As an urban medical center serving diverse and often oppressed populations, we will recruit applicants to the program from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine,” said Joseph Truglio, MD, MPH, Program Director, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program at Mount Sinai. “More importantly, we aim to shift power in residency recruiting and training away from something the academic medical center solely controls to a more collaborative effort involving the patients and communities that will be cared for by the doctors in training.”
Early in the program’s planning, Mount Sinai held a meeting that included stakeholders from within the medical system and local communities, including community health care workers, leaders from local community-based organizations, local faith leaders and pastors and patients. This team worked to develop the program’s mission and to identify characteristics of applicants that would best align with this mission and the experiences and priorities of the community. Recruitment metrics move well beyond academic performance to focus on demonstrated commitment to primary care and social and racial justice.
Settlement Health Serves as “Heart” of Training Program
The clinical and educational “heart” of the program is a combined internal medicine and pediatrics practice at Settlement Health, a community health center that has provided comprehensive primary health care services to East Harlem in New York City since 1978. Residents care for patients of all ages, and deliver high quality primary care wherever patients need it most – in the health center, in the patient’s home, school or in the community. Training in both internal medicine and pediatrics, residents can care for entire families, and also provide continuity of care to patients transitioning from childhood to adulthood. Such continuity is of particular importance for patients with special needs and complex medical conditions.
Focus on Quality of Care and Specialized Populations
The program residents will also conduct quality-improvement projects and public health initiatives to improve the quality of care they deliver to patients and to identify and address systems of oppression and lack of access to care within the current health care system.
Such efforts will focus on the special health care needs of patients with medical complexity, people experiencing homelessness, refugees, transgender and gender diverse patients and patients and families impacted by mass incarceration. The program also will have a special focus on development of anti-racist clinical stills so that residents develop the skills needed to mitigate their own biases and to dismantle structural racism within the healthcare system.
“At Settlement Health, we have more than 40 years of experience delivering community-based health care, focusing on meeting diverse needs and improving quality outcomes,” said Warria Esmond, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Settlement Health. “We are pleased to collaborate with Mount Sinai on this important new residency program that is aligned with our mission to offer high quality primary care to diverse individuals throughout life. We are aligned with the program’s focus on social justice and its goals to meet patients’ complex health care needs and to address the social determinants of health.”
For more information about the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s new, combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency program or to apply for next year’s class, please contact (212-241-6850) or go to Icahn.mssm.edu/medpeds.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.