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Teaching Tomorrow's Medicine Today

The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1963-2003

Barbara Niss, Jr., Arthur H. Aufses

Publication Year: 2005

The Mount Sinai Hospital was founded in 1852 as the Jews’ Hospital in the City of New York, but more than a century would pass before a school of medicine was created at Mount Sinai. In Teaching Tomorrow’s Medicine Today, Arthur H. Aufses, Jr., chairman of Mount Sinai's Department of Surgery, and archivist Barbara Niss chronicle the development of the medical school from its origins in the 1960s to the current leadership.

The authors examine the social forces that compelled the world-renowned hospital to remake itself as an academic medical center, revealing the school's departure from and subsequent return to its founders' original vision. In addition to a compelling history of each of Mount Sinai’s departments, Teaching Tomorrow’s Medicine Today describes the school’s methods for providing both graduate or resident training and post-graduate physician education.

Recognizing Mount Sinai’s central mission as a teaching institution, the authors close their account with perspectives of alumni and current students.

Published by: NYU Press

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

WHEN STARTING TO READ A BOOK, it is important to know what expect. What story are the authors telling? What is their viewpoint or bias; what ax do they have to grind? That is the purpose of this Preface, to provide the information on what we set out to do and why, and to thank the many people who have helped us along the way. This book relates the story of the founding and the subsequent forty years of maturation of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. We have...

Part I

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The History of the School

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pp. 3-73

IN THE MID-1950s, The Mount Sinai Hospital was at the pinnacle of hospitals in the United States. It had a reputation for attracting exemplary physicians who provided high-quality patient care and performed the clinical research that had made Mount Sinai’s name known around the world. It had state-of-the-art obstetric and research buildings, which had opened in 1952: the Klingenstein Pavilion and the...

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The Curriculum

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pp. 74-90

OF ALL THE tasks facing the founders of the new School, none was more daunting than the development of the curriculum. Yet, as Hans Popper, M.D., the founding Dean, pointed out, it was “an optimal time[to develop curriculum] because the vested interests of the faculty are not yet established and the opportunity for change diminishes fast as...

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The Graduate School of Biological Sciences

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pp. 91

THE GRADUATE SCHOOL of Biological Sciences currently encompasses the Ph.D., the M.D./Ph.D. (the Medical Scientist Training Program [MSTP]), the Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (SURP), and the Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP). In the beginning, however, it was a far more modest undertaking, but one with lofty goals that made it essential to the new Mount Sinai School ...

Part II

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The Basic Sciences

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pp. 113-156

LONG BEFORE THE existence of the Medical School, Mount Sinai had an overriding interest in basic science. The Hospital leadership demanded that house officers be well versed in the basic sciences. When admission to the House Staff was based on a lengthy oral examination, basic science questions were routinely asked of the applicants, and examiners duly noted when the answers were not up to the required level. In a 1934 report to the Medical Board, the Chairman of...

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The Centers and Institutes

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pp. 157-191

THE LATE 1980s witnessed the creation, emergence, and growth of new and productive basic science entities within the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In addition, as noted earlier,1 some of the existing basic science departments underwent major and often dramatic reorganization in both structure and leadership, a process that continued into the new millennium. Almost all of this occurred, or at the least had...

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The Department of Community and Preventive Medicine

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pp. 192-216

THE MOUNT SINAI School of Medicine (MSSM) created its Depart- ment of Community Medicine (now the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine) in 1965 at the time of the formation of the School. The first such department in an urban setting in the United States, the Department embodies an important component of the “Mount Sinai Concept”: interest in the health needs of the community...

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The Department of Human Genetics

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pp. 217-230

IN THE EARLY planning for the opening of the Medical School, it became evident that Mount Sinai required a stronger presence in the field of genetics, a discipline that would be essential in the teaching of both medical and graduate students. Horace Hodes, the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, took on the task of creating a Division...

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The Department of Health Policy

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pp. 231-239

THE DEPARTMENT OF Health Policy was conceived by John W. Rowe, M.D., then President of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, in the early 1990s. The Department became a reality in March 1995 whena letter of agreement was signed by Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., Senior Vice President for Clinical Quality at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and Health System. The plan was to develop a new initiative in...

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Graduate and Postgraduate Education

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pp. 240-253

IN THE JANUARY 15, 1852, Articles of Incorporation of The Jews’ Hospital, the founding fathers stated that they wished to associate themselves into a “benevolent, charitable and scientific” organization. The primary purpose of the Hospital was to provide “medical and surgical aid to persons of the Jewish persuasion.” 1 Dedicated to patient...

Part III

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The Faculty Practice Plan

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pp. 257-268

AS POINTED OUT by Kenneth Ludmerer in his book Time to Heal, a history of medical education in the United States in the twentieth century, clinical practice by full-time faculty is today an essential but problematic component of American medical schools. 1 Finding the right balance of time for teaching, research, and clinical care has long been complicated but has become even more difficult over the past decades by the changes in healthcare financing that encourage shorter...

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The Mount Sinai Alumni

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pp. 269-273

POPPER WAS NOT alone in believing that the work of a body of alumni can be used to judge an institution. Every school looks to the quality of its graduates, their impact in their chosen fields, as well as their devotion to their alma mater, as important indicators of success or failure. Since the Mount Sinai School of Medicine grew from a hospital with an already existing alumni group, its alumni organization...

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Student Voices: In Their Own Words

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pp. 274-320

A school is a living entity that changes over time and is infused with the spirit of the people that work and study there. Mount Sinai School of Medicine is no different. There is much to history that is ephemeral, or that can only be told by someone who was there. In the summer of 2002, Emily Falk, then an undergraduate student at Brown University, worked with the authors accumulating...

Appendix A

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pp. 323-324

Appendix B

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pp. 325-328

Appendix C

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pp. 329-331

Appendix D

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pp. 332-334


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pp. 335-392


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pp. 393-406

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About the Authors

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pp. 407

BARBARA J. NISS, M.A., is the Mount Sinai Archivist. ARTHUR HAUFSES JR., M.D., has been at Mount Sinai since 1954 and was Chairman of the Department of Surgery from 1974 to 1996. They previously co-authored This House of Noble Deeds: The Mount...

E-ISBN-13: 9780814759127
E-ISBN-10: 0814759122
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814707067
Print-ISBN-10: 0814707068

Page Count: 415
Publication Year: 2005

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Subject Headings

  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine -- History.
  • Medical colleges -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.
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