MSHQ 016 : Interview with Mount Sinai – All About FlexMed

Session 16

Session 16

In today’s episode, Ryan talks with Dr. David Muller, the Dean for Medical Education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (MSSM) about FlexMed, a program that allows you to apply to medical school as early as high school senior or undergrad freshmen or sophomore as well as skip most of the traditional premed requirements like the MCAT, organic chemistry, biochemistry, or physics. FlexMed is basically an upgrade of what was previously called HuMed (Humanities in Medicine).

Today, David discusses all you need to know about FlexMed including how you can prepare yourself to become a competitive applicant to the FlexMed program in the future.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with David:

What is FlexMed?

  • An alternative path to medical school for students that don’t want to sacrifice broad and deep college experience or don’t want to go through the “detrimental” environment in the premed world
  • Students don’t have to take the traditional science requirements and instead explore their passions
  • Additional semester in the realm of health policy, public health, global health, bioethics, and biostats
  • The number of available seats for the program has increased from 1/4 of a class to 1/2 of a class

The structure of US medical schools vs. medical schools in Europe

Students having limited exposure to science:

  • Getting the bearings after the first semester and on par with their peers
  • FlexMed students are given a 6-week course to expose them to biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics to avoid “shell shock”

FlexMed students vs. “regular” students

  • 2010 published HuMed article showing no statistical difference between success
  • Non significant trend towards psychiatry and primary care residencies
  • Students coming in without hard sciences background don’t have any significant withdrawal from medical school

The ideal applicants for the FlexMed program:

  • Great degree of commitment to the field
  • The ability to articulate and demonstrate what they’re going to do with their education
  • Innovative and creative
  • Ambitious

Avoiding burnout and making students more happy:

  • Creating a system that won’t make people burned out before going to medical school, students will be less likely to undergo burnout
  • These students can be the drivers of a more dramatic change

Links and Other Resources:


2010 Published HuMed Article

Some criticism of the program

Wall Street Journal Article

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