I think Sinai is unique in a couple of ways.
So Mount Sinai has this really unique pathway for military veterans to transition from active duty to medical school. It's called the institutional partnership with the US military. And I applied as I was transitioning out of the Marine Corps and got accepted, and I'm now in my second year med school.
There is clinical excellence in all different areas, so that we have a program that takes care of homebound patients called the Visiting Doc's program. We have the biggest adolescent health center in the country. We have a program that's relatively new in transgender medicine. So I give those examples because if you want to work in a certain specialty or a certain community or with a certain patient population, we likely have that opportunity for you.
What makes our program and curriculum special, some would say unique, but I'll say just special, is the combination of incredible academic rigor and flexibility.
This is the best place for flexible learning.
I love the flexibility that Mount Sinai provides its curriculum. So, you know, everything is recorded online.
I think the flexibility has made me such a happy medical student. I think that that curriculum is fair, it's tough, but the autonomy and being able to decide when I take my exams, whether that's Friday night or Monday morning, possibly, and figuring out how I need to study and what works best for me, in reality, that's how the real world works. And I appreciate that Sinai is preparing us adequately for that.
We are able to offer really individualized educational plans for all students so that they're supported in whatever way that they want to use medicine to be change agents.
You know, I hadn't taken two years off before med school. I knew that I only wanted to take one year off during med school, and working with the Department of Medical Education to try to make this work and find the time in the curriculum has been really wonderful. And so they were really great with helping me think about how do I need to structure things, is there a possibility of doing one rotation maybe a little bit earlier than otherwise. And just really trying to, again, if it made sense to me, trying to help support me in that.
There are courses that are very academically rigorous and have very high expectations. And then there's InFocus, where we provide an unbelievable array of learning experiences for students from global health and social justice and human rights to the business of medicine, to entrepreneurship, to leadership skills, research skills, and sort of everything in between. So that flexibility and flow coupled with what I think is an amazing rigorous academic high quality program is the secret sauce.
And I think for me that was like also something that I think has now kind of come together in a way that I didn't fully expect to happen so quickly, where like, you know, during the peak of the COVID outbreak in New York City, like I have a bunch of friends who are MD/PhDs who were writing reviews on immunology of COVID. And like, I was working on a review paper beforehand, and now we're like talking with lab members about different types of COVID projects. And so it's like, a really interesting interplay to see the kind of fusion of both this kind of like really expansive medical knowledge that you gain within the first two years in combination with the kind of fact that like, I've chosen my lab and like, I kind of know my areas roughly.
I also think that Sinai has probably one of the best articulated initiatives for racism and bias that I think really comes to bear in my mind as a student, but then also what the institution puts resources behind. And I think sometimes when we tend to separate out the clinical and see that is very separate from the psychosocial, when that's actually not true at all. They obviously are related. I really appreciate that Sinai encourages that type of thinking. And honestly, I don't think, you know, you can be as good of a doctor as you could be if you don't think about that and approach your patients that way. So I do think that that's a huge strength, and then one that I see very explicitly kind of addressed by Sinai, and I really appreciate that.
I think Mount Sinai talks a big game in terms of advocacy, but they also walk the walk and they really follow through, and I've been just really honored to be a part of it. Seriously, that's not like a line for this. It's true.