Today I discovered a wonderful aspect of academic medicine – Grand Rounds. We all get the lengthy emails sent every Thursday notifying us of the wide variety of activities Mount Sinai has to offer yet I had never considered the notices about grand rounds to be directed at me, the first year medical student only 1/8th of the way to the MD degree. In last week’s announcement however, the Oncology Grand Rounds on the Role of Autophagy in Lung Cancer caught my eye. Armed with my knowledge from the Molecular Cellular and Genomics course that I just left behind in December, I went to the session held at noon in Seminar Room A in the Hess Center. Granted, there were several instances where I felt I knew nothing but then they would be followed by moments of illumination, where my classroom experience and medicine in the real world aligned. Grand rounds have since become one of my favorite pastimes.

At 2:30 pm this afternoon, I went to the Upper West Side to check on my Longitudinal Clinical Experience patient who is enrolled in the Visiting Docs program. As always, it was a joy to spend time with her. In the few months that I have had the opportunity of regularly visiting my patient, my partner and I have gotten to know her quite well and there is an ease of communication that exemplifies the type of relationship I strive to have with my patients as a doctor.

My last commitment of the day was at 6:30 pm with my resident mentor with whom I will be conducting HIV research with in Ethiopia. Today’s meeting was to outline the aim of our research and to begin the much-dreaded process of seeking IRB approval.

As you can imagine, today has been a long, busy day and I’m just about to begin preparing for my Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) tomorrow. Thank goodness for FlexTime (a half-day of protected time each week for us to dedicate to any educational pursuit we’d like).


The OSCE was today. I was scheduled to be tested at 10:45 am. It was the moment to prove how well I had mastered the communication and interviewing skills essential to any good physician. There were four stations at which we were tested and at three of them, I walked out feeling like I had done a decent job. However, at one, I immediately recognized there was more work to be done in polishing my interviewing skills. Although the OSCE had initially appeared to be a daunting hurdle to get past, I do believe it gave me the opportunity to self-assess in order to determine where I need to focus my energy more.

This evening, I attended a Global Health Fieldswork class on Mobile Technology in preparation for my summer projects abroad. I decided to take the rest of the night off and treat myself to dinner with a college friend at a cute Chinese restaurant in Midtown called Radiance. This friend came to visit me at my home in Ghana this past winter break and it was fascinating listening to her reflections on her first trip to Africa.


After graduating college and deciding to matriculate into medical school, I believed that it was time to bid my social life goodbye. Today made me realize that that was a misconception. Yes, I spent seven hours studying immunology and pathology, but at 7:30 pm, I made my way down to Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes—a spoken word show put on by the phenomenal Striver’s Row. As always, I was blown away by the magic they create with their words. Immediately after the show came to an end, I hurried over a few blocks for my dear college friend’s birthday celebration on Bowery Street. Surrounded by many “Yalies,” it was a soothing balm for the nostalgia for college that occasionally hits me. As much as I love my college gang, at the end of the night, I joined ISMMS folks at an Afropolitan event just down the same street.

Medical school in New York, and most importantly medical school at Icahn School of Medicine, has meant that I did not have to put my 20s on pause. There is nowhere else I would rather be these next few years.


I love Sundays! It is the day I get to go to church to worship God and fellowship with those who share a similar belief. The Hillsong church of New York is unique in many ways. I remember first walking into the dimly lit club that doubled as a church on Sundays.  I must admit, I was taken aback by the disco ball spinning lazily overhead as the band serenaded us with gospel music, but the church quickly became a place of solace for me and a place I could recharge my faith in Christ. As always, after the hour and a half spent at church, I felt rejuvenated and went straight to the Yale Club to get a few hours of studying in.

MountSinaiJan2013_169Efe “Chantal” Ghanney is an MD Candidate, Class of 2017

A Place for Narrative Medicine within Ophthalmology

Narrative medicine combines medical practice with humanism and art. One fourth-year medical student has co-founded an online publication that shares medical professionals and students reflections after treating patients who have suffered from opthalmological issues—through creative narratives. 
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Vision (1-3): Perception, Self-Awareness, and Fantasy

Vision (1-3) alludes to our naive fascination—an exploration of perception, self-awareness, and fantasy.
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Let’s Talk: Superwomen in Medicine

Conferred to medical students in their first year of training, the white coat is a symbol of professionalism that creates a sense of responsibility to become compassionate healers for those who wear it. We invited seven of our future women in medicine to share their personal journeys and thoughts about becoming a superwoman in a white coat. 
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Medical Students Advocate to #ProtectOurPatients

Medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) are trained to be informed advocates, activists, and change-makers for their patients and society. A few ISMMS students joined the #ProtectOurPatients movement in Washington, DC to sound a clarion call for change.
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Medical Students Dare to Enter the Tank

To culminate InFocus 7, the Department of Medical Education designed the School's first #MedEdTank, allowing third-year medical students the opportunity to pitch health care process improvements to leaders of the Mount Sinai Health System—in "Shark Tank" fashion.
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Outside the wind tears

still-green leaves from their branches

pulling them up and off 

like a corn shucker

ripping husk from kernels.

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Drag Queen

Earlier this year, oSTEM at Mount Sinai and the Stonewall Alliance hosted the first Mount Sinai Charity Drag Race. As one of the organizers, I can honestly say that the inception of this event started as a joke. Hosting a drag competition at a Hospital/Graduate School/Medical School was a nice thought, but it would be an over the top event that we definitely didn’t have the means to bring it into fruition. Thinking of planning such an enormous event was a little intimidating, but we figured that we could gauge interest from the Mount Sinai Community. We were shocked by the enthusiasm we received, so we kept on rolling with the punches. 
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Shape the Times

On Thursday, September 13, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai celebrated its twenty-first annual White Coat Ceremony welcoming the Class of 2022. 
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Queer and Here: Leading Urban Youth with Pride

I was five years old when I knew for the first time that I was slightly... different. I had gotten into my mom’s closet, tried on her black strappy high heels, and found a beautiful dark red lipstick in her makeup bag. At the time, I thought that it was perfectly normally for any five year-old boy to strut up and down their parent’s bedroom in high heels, rocking the imaginary runway but alas— years later I discovered it wasn’t a shared experienced amongst my peers. 
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Over this past summer, after my first year of medical school, I decided to live in Fukushima for two months in order to understand how mental health is affected by large-scale disasters. My first days, and subsequent impressions, in Fukushima left me quite confused about its spirit and reputation.
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How to Save a Life: Confessions from the Front Line

As is the case with most medical schools, the institution at which I receive my medical education is home to a myriad of student interest groups for nearly every clinical specialty.There’s your standard fare of IMIG, PIG, and SIG (for internal medicine, pediatrics, and surgery respectively), but then there are a few that are a bit more esoteric, such as the Transplant Surgery Interest Group (TSIG).
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Race and Racism in Medicine: An Evening with Dr. Mary T. Bassett

When we invited Dr. Mary T. Bassett, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to speak about racism in the health care system at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), we knew that it would be a powerful conversation.
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Pitching Novel Ideas for Sustainable Solutions

Doctors do incredible things; they treat disease and improve the health of their patient populations.  Unfortunately, this has come at a price. Literally.
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Inspiring Innovation One High School Student at a Time

As the health care sector continues to face new challenges every day like rapidly rising costs and an increasing prevalence of chronic disease, the need for innovation is becoming exceedingly apparent. Now more than ever, we need people to disrupt the status quo and develop revolutionary innovations aimed at solving some of our most unsolvable problems. 
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Skipping the Gym to Walk with a Doc

In a city where gym memberships run as high as $200 a month (with restrictive hours and the long term commitments), two of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s best qualities really come to a fore: 
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We Are Not Throwing Away Our Spot

It started with a simple Facebook post in October 2016.
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Still Waiting for Someone to Pinch Me

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for beginning medical students that creates a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of medicine. Slavena Salve Nissan, MD Candidate 2020, reflects on the ceremony's impact on her first step towards becoming a doctor. 
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Looking In

Every year, students at the Icahn School of Medicine write Op-Ed articles about topics in health care and advocacy to culminate InFocus 4. Charlotte Austin's article, “Looking In” was one of the 10 exemplary articles selected to appear in the  Physicians as Advocates—InFocus 4, and focuses on marginalized identities. We share her story. 
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