Sam Paci is a first-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is the Patient Navigation and Wellness Chair at EHHOP, the student-run free clinic, for which he also sits on the Steering Committee. Additionally, he leads the Harm Reduction Coalition at Mount Sinai and is currently working on a research project in the Mount Sinai Emergency Department.
A native of New York, Sam is happy to be back in the Big Apple for his medical training. Sam began his undergraduate studies at Bates College in Maine, where he was studying Philosophy and Latin American History. After his first year, he transferred to Brown University and with the change in school came a change in his academic focus. During the intervening summer, Sam was trained and licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician, which sparked his interest in Medicine. Upon arriving to Brown, he enrolled in Foundational Biology and Introductory Chemistry, excelled in both, and the rest is history as they say. While at Brown, Sam received the Watson Institute for International Studies LINK Award to work for a summer in Panama with Floating Doctors, a non-profit medical relief organization. He also received the Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award for the highest rank in his General Chemistry class.
Interestingly, Sam’s love of teaching began on the water. As a lifelong sailor, Sam began teaching sailing on the Long Island Sound at the age of 16. He worked at several Yacht Clubs in the Westchester area before working for a community sailing center in Manhattan, Hudson River Community Sailing. At HRCS, Sam worked as an educator in their Sail Academy program, which uses sailing as a medium to teach 9th graders geometry and the foundations of classical mechanics. Students earn academic credit through the program as they learn to sail, construct small wooden boats, and study the marine environment. Through this experience, Sam brought his teaching from the water into the classroom.
While at Brown, Sam further developed his teaching skills as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for several courses including Evolutionary Biology, General Chemistry, Foundations of Biology, Introduction to Oceanography, and a Public Health Course focusing on the intersection of Disability and Health. As a TA, Sam led interactive review sessions prior to exams and weekly laboratory sessions for Evolutionary Biology and Foundations of Biology. Sam often acted in the capacity of a private tutor as there were always a handful of students in each course who needed individualized attention and would meet with Sam on a weekly basis to review material.
During Sam’s final year at Brown, in addition to being a TA, he tutored an 8-year old boy with severe ADHD, anxiety, and explosive aggression. Five days a week, Sam worked to develop his student’s reading comprehension, organizational skills, and anger management. Over the course of the year, Sam was instrumental in helping his student’s family secure a Rhode Island state grant for specialized assistance throughout the remainder of the student’s schooling. Sam and his tutee still keep in touch and he is incredibly proud knowing that he helped change the young boy’s life.
While it is still early on in his medical training, Sam is most interested in pursuing a residency in Emergency Medicine. Having managed a diagnosis of ADHD himself he feels uniquely prepared for a career in Emergency Medicine, a specialty which requires quick thinking and a particular talent for multi-tasking.