New Curriculum Structure

New Curriculum Structure

The new curriculum at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides multiple opportunities for extensive and integrated training in the foundational sciences and clinical disciplines of medicine. There are three distinct phases:

Phase 1

This phase is 18 months long and is a one-pass curricular instruction. Integrated within the learning of foundational, normal biological and physiological concepts is instruction in pathophysiology and abnormal function due to injury and/or illness.

Phase 2

This 14-month period focuses on direct care of patients in the various core disciplines of medicine. The first 12 months of this biphasic period are devoted to the care of patients in acute and emergent/urgent settings. This is followed by a 2-month clinical rotation focused on chronic disease management and health promotion.

Phase 3

This 16-month phase offers clinical rotations that emphasize the acquisition of advanced clinical skills related to semi-independent and team-based patient care as well as preparatory sessions for PGY-1 level skills and procedures. Phase 3 is also the period of individualized differentiation through the exploration of areas of interest via internal and extramural rotations and focused sessions related to one’s chosen Areas of Concentration (AOC). The Phase culminates with the completion and dissemination of the scholarly product graduation requirement.

Periodic Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (PEAKS)

At the conclusion of each phase of the curriculum, students are provided an opportunity to demonstrate the competencies they have achieved.  The Periodic Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (PEAKS) are summative assessments that gauge students’ achievement of defined competencies and of phase-level program objectives.

Next Steps

As the new curriculum structure takes shape, the phase working groups will focus on content and how it will be delivered.

First Annual LEAD Conference  

The first annual Office of Curricular Affairs curricular leadership conference where faculty and staff engage in our community of practice, share ideas, learn one another and hear from experts in the field was held on September 30, 2022.

The LEAD (Learn-Educate-Assess-Develop) conference was focused on bringing our educators and staff together to learn about the redesign and hear from other experts in the field. Over 100 participants joined to listen to Dr. Dennis Charney provide opening remarks and then a plenary session lead by Dr. Dr. Melvin Rosenfeld Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.  

Learner Assessment Committee Callout 

We are starting up our Learner Assessment Committee.  This committee will be responsible for developing learner assessments for the new curriculum as well as deciding the frequency of assessment methodologies.

Want to be involved? 

If you are a faculty member, staff or medical student who wants to actively (and creatively) engage in this incredible process, join us!  We are currently recruiting volunteers to be part of one of three content working groups: 

  1. Pre-Clerkship Phase Working Group 
  1. Clerkship Phase Working Group 
  1. Post-Clerkship Phase Working Group 

We will close the applications on November 18th , so be sure to express your interest now. 

Get Involved!

Student Q&A Sessions  

We are excited to update provide student sessions on the progress of the MD program curriculum redesign that has been underway for the past several months. Thank you to all the students who have contributed to the redesign process so far! 

The new curriculum will begin with the entering class of 2024. It features an 18-month pre-clerkship phase, a 12-month core clerkship phase, and an 18-month post-clerkship phase. Note that many elements of the redesign are very much still under discussion. 

If you’re interested, please join us:  September 28 at 4PM and  September 29 at 7PM over Zoom. More details to be sent out over email listservs.  

Welcome to Nicola Feldman, Academic Fellow

The Department of Medical Education is excited to announce the first recipient of the Office of Curricular Affairs Academic Fellowship, Nicola “Nikki” Feldman.  

During her time here at Sinai, Nikki has served in multiple teaching roles such as a teaching assistant for the Sumer Enrichment Fellowship and a cohort leader for Structures. In addition to teaching, she acts as a senior tutor and helps students prepare for courses and the boards. Beyond her work at Sinai, NIkki has a long history of education. Prior to medical school, NIkki served as a high school teacher through Teach for America where she designed a year-long chemistry curriculum. In the role of Academic Fellow, Nikki is excited to continue share this experience in the curriculum redesign process and be a voice for the student population.  

The Academic Fellow role was designed to stimulate or sustain student interest in medical education especially in curriculum design, development, implementation, and assessment. Starting in July 2022, Ms. Feldman will be intimately involved with the inner workings and will function as a vital member of the Office of Curricular Affairs and report directly to the Senior Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs, while working closely with the Curriculum Co-Directors and the Associate Dean for UME Affairs.  Nicola will be responsible for amplifying the student perspective in all processes within the Office of Curricular Affairs and serve as a consistent student voice throughout the curricular revisioning project. 

Content Committee – Working Group Progress

Members of the three Content Committee Working groups began meeting this month.  Once charged by Dr. Soriano, the first few minutes focused on acclimating faculty to the curricula at other medical schools and reviewing journals on current trends and issues within medical education. Moving forward, each working group will meet twice a month and will work on a set of decisions that need to be made by August 2022.  

Phase 1: 

  • Determine order of blocks  
  • How to integrate threads  
  • Decide what goes in the foundational block and transitional block and how they should be structured (hours per week, pedagogy %, arrangement of day, should there be built in time for meetings w advisors, SA, research, feedback? Consider faculty development as built-in, what about flexibility – does less lecture means more mandatory sessions, etc.)  
  • Determine locations for all the topics that don’t have a full block 
  • Determine how best to teach skills such as communication, physical exam, procedures, advocacy, etc.  
  • Identify how best to build specific and individual formative feedback to students 

Phase 2: 

  • Define phase 2 objectives 
  • Determine phase 2 block schedule/framework 
  • Identify assessment blocks 
  • Identify how best to build specific and individual formative feedback to students 

Phase 3: 

  • Determine Phase 3 blocks: Scholarship/Exploration (1st part) and Career Planning/Differentiation (2nd longer part) – goals   
  • Identify Scholarship block – development and completion of scholarly project requirement including timing of dissemination    
  • Identify Exploration block – electives and Advance Clinical Experiences (ACE)    
  • Identify Career planning block including Step prep   
  • Determine Differentiation block including Areas of Concentration (AOC) including AIs   
  • Determine Phase 3 capstone