After a visit to the Family Health Center of Harlem during one of the earlier Art and Science of Medicine sessions, I had the pleasure of being introduced to a doctor who had himself been a medical student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As a student, in order to use his French speaking skills in a medical setting, he had found an organization with which he was able to work and still continues to do so till this very day.

Having no knowledge of Spanish but being fluent in French (I was a French major in college), I had failed to find my niche at the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP). Tuesday morning found me at the doors of the afore-mentioned organization, the African Services Committee (ASC). I was welcomed with open arms since they had a long-standing relationship with not only Icahn School of Medicine students but with the hospital as well. I spent the day meeting with patients, predominantly Francophone African immigrants, who had difficulties navigating the complex medical system. At the center, they could be tested for various sexually transmitted infections and receive counseling appropriate for any medical conditions they may have among many other services.


My Longitudinal Clinical Experience (LCE) partner and I met our preceptor bright and early at 8:30am to meet our assigned patient for the first time. In the hour spent in her home, my partner and I took her blood pressure, listened to her lung sounds and gave her the flu shot; however, amidst the medicine, we spoke to her about her pets and sports. She was indeed a gracious hostess and we.

Today, we had lecture as usual at 10am. Professor Blitzer spent the morning shedding light on how enzymes function in the presence of inhibitors. Although all of this was utterly fascinating to me, having been a chemistry major in college, the patient presentation during the Art and Science of Medicine session was my reminder of the day that I indeed was a part of the medical community here at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Two individuals stood before my class and revealed intimate information about their struggle with drug addiction. They spared no details as they walked us through the course their life had charted with the understanding that even as first year students, we had been sworn into a group who could be entrusted with the most sensitive of information. I, Efe Chantal Ghanney, was a doctor-to-be. I was humbled beyond words.

Every Wednesday afternoon, from 4pm till 5pm, I teach ninth graders basic anatomy as a part of the Med Docs program. Today, however, was special because it was Competition day, where the students got to show off what they had learnt thus far by answering questions at various stations in order to earn points. Observing my ninth graders as they recalled concepts (some of which I had only ever learned in medical school), I could not help feeling a sense of pride in my kids.

At 7:30pm, I was back in Aron hall for a Clinical skills workshop. As first-year students, we had already learnt how to take blood pressures but then we were introduced to two new skills – conduction of a foot exam for diabetics and performance of venipuncture!


Only this past Monday, we had learnt about the Long QT syndrome in lecture and today, a nine-year old girl, along with her mother and her physician, presented her case. Everything we had studied on the topic was suddenly brought to life as I listened to this brave young lady’s story and how she and her family have had to cope. It is easy for one to forget why the small seemingly mundane scientific details are salient but nothing counters that more than seeing the dots connected in a clinical case.

This afternoon, I was further convinced of the importance of the Molecular Cellular and Genomics Foundation course (not that I was not before). This time, we spent the afternoon in our small group discussion groups, deliberating on what the implications of reactions on the molecular and cellular levels were to how a patient would present with a condition.

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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