At New York Medical College, we teach that while being educated and skilled is critical to success, to truly make a difference and fulfill the duties and responsibilities that the medical and health service professions require, our students must also be compassionate. They must perform ethically and with empathy, delivering patient-centered care that provides emotional as well as physical benefits. To that end, we emphasize the following values that are infused throughout the curriculum and are an integral part of the overall culture at NYMC.
- Humanism – At the most basic level, our students must see their patients as people first. Though there may be a presenting illness or infirmity, focusing solely on the flaw can be dehumanizing, and can distance the care provider from the person he or she is treating. By learning early on that patients are more than just their problems, our students are able to provide compassionate care while engaging with and treating the whole person.
- Cultural Competency – Our community and the communities in which our students will learn to practice are diverse. Yet cultural competency is more than merely being respectful and accepting of difference. It’s also about being attuned to cultural values and cues. Language differences, beliefs about the body and medicine, varying socioeconomic and educational levels, and feelings of pride and shame relating to gender and ethnicity are present in every interaction. Being mindful – if not fluent – in these cultural issues can make all the difference in the world.
- Intellectual Curiosity and Scientific Inquiry – In their educations and in their careers, students are expected to seek out, master, and respond to the latest advances in their fields of study. At NYMC, we also educate students to be active participants and pioneers. Whether by conducting basic, clinical, or translational research, or simply challenging assumptions and testing established practices in their work, our students are never satisfied with pat answers and the status quo.
- Professionalism – At all times – in thought, speech, and action; in presentation and in performance; with peers, colleagues, and patients – our students are expected to act professionally from day one. In other words, they must always be ethical, respectful, conscientious, prepared and accountable. Everywhere they go, in everything they do, our students understand that they represent NYMC and their own personal and professional integrity.
- Multiple Modes of Learning – There are more ways to learn than simply through classroom and lab work. NYMC offers numerous opportunities for our students to enhance their curricular lessons, such as through student organizations, community service, research projects and internships. These activities help to build leadership skills, offer access to new knowledge and information, and enable students to broaden their perspectives and make friends and future professional contacts.
- Aptitude for Patient Care – The best reasons for providing patient care shouldn’t be a big paycheck. A strong desire to help people and the ability to provide exceptional care comprise the key traits every medical and health service professional should possess. Some of these things can be taught, but we find that NYMC students self-select our school because they truly wish to make a difference in people’s lives.
- Interpersonal Skills – In dealing with peers, faculty, and especially patients, it is essential to be an effective communicator. We expect our students to say what they mean, mean what they say, and be gracious, respectful, and flexible at all times. Strong interpersonal skills make students better able to work as part of a team and to engender support from fellow students and faculty.