The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai incorporates a comprehensive and innovative content delivery for the Areas of Concentration or AOC Program. This approach aims to provide medical students with the essential knowledge and skills needed to become successful 21st-century physicians. The implementation of this content delivery consists of a three-pronged strategy, focusing on essentials, deep dives, and a scholarly product.
These Areas of Concentration are Scientific and Scholarly Discovery, Advocacy, Social Justice, and Anti-Oppression, Healthcare Delivery Science, and Leadership and Professional Identity Formation.
The first prong of the AOC content delivery emphasizes the critical knowledge and skills, medical students should possess as they progress through the curriculum. These essentials are carefully chosen based on their relevance to the day-to-day demands of the curriculum, both in classrooms and clinical settings. They are integrated in the Pre-Clerkship Phase through the systems-based blocks and the longitudinal clinical skills course. The essentials continue to be integrated throughout the Clerkship Phase in both didactic and experiential formats within the clerkships.
The second prong of the AOC content delivery involves knowledge and skills deemed important in the practice of medicine but not critical for meeting the school’s medical education program objectives. In general, these deep dive topics are designed to appeal to students with a specific interest within a particular field of medicine. In the Pre-Clerkship Phase, students attend deep dive topic sessions in a designated afternoon in the beginning of each integrated systems-based block. Students choose to participate in selective sessions developed by each AOC Director. Additional deep dive sessions are also offered outside formal curriculum hours. Sessions are also strategically implemented in the Clerkship phase to maximize participation from busy clerkship students.
The third prong of the AOC content delivery takes place in the Integration and Transitions Phase, where students develop a scholarly product aligned with their chosen area of concentration. This allows students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the previous phases, integrating them into a meaningful project that showcases their mastery and passion for their selected AOC.Towards the end of the Integration and Transitions phase, medical students have the opportunity to showcase their scholarly work, which may include research work, community-based projects, or other forms of academic output, through a school-wide dissemination session.
Through the strategic incorporation of essential topics and deep dive content within the fabric of the curriculum, link those to the development of a scholarly product aligned with their selected area of concentration, with an opportunity to disseminate that work, our Icahn Mount Sinai students are empowered to become skilled, innovative, and compassionate contributors as medical professionals in the 21st century.