Teaching Tomorrow's Medicine Today: The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1963-2003

Teaching Tomorrow's Medicine Today: The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1963-2003

Teaching Tomorrow's Medicine Today: The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1963-2003

Teaching Tomorrow's Medicine Today: The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1963-2003


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.


When starting to read a book, it is important to know what to 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 placed the emphasis on an analysis of the early years of the School, along with a more general report of the current state of the institution. Wer ecognize that we do not have the distance of time or objectivity to place today’s events in context, and so we relate the current shape of things and rely on others in the future to assess the meaning.

This leads us to the inevitable question of why we are writing this book now (2003), on the fortieth anniversary of the School. There are many reasons why we have chosen to write about the Mount Sinai School of Medicine at this time. the most obvious reason is that this is the time when we could write about it; in ten years, for the fiftieth anniversary, it is not certain that we will have the desire or time to devote to such a project. Another compelling reason for pursuing this work now is that many of the founders and early leaders of the School are still active and available to us to provide insights and information that are not otherwise recorded. Finally, the publication of the School’s history now completes the wider telling of the Mount Sinai story that was begun in This House of Noble Deeds: the Mount Sinai Hospital, 1852–2002 and The Sinai Nurse: a History of Nursing at the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York, 1852–2000.

Clearly, as people who have worked at Mount Sinai since 1954 (Aufses) and 1986 (Niss), we are not unbiased reporters of past events. Aufses had the experience of being actively involved in many of the events recounted here; he was in fact a representative of the Department of Surgery on the original Curriculum Committee. Still, we have . . .

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