Daniel Noyes Brown Primary Care Scholars Program

The Daniel Noyes Brown Primary Care Scholars Program is a four year longitudinal mentorship program for students interested in primary care.  The program is led by a small group of faculty from the Center for Family and Community Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Internal Medicine and offers a structured longitudinal experience at community-based outpatient sites.  It enhances students’ exposure to urban primary care delivered to the community that surrounds the medical center.

"The program has provided me with insight into the myriad of opportunities for research and publication in primary care as well as the knowledge of untapped community resources for building health-care related partnerships."

This selective does not involve extra coursework; instead, it affords students the critical advantage of having clinical experiences (first-year clinical practice clerkship, physical diagnosis course experience, primary care clerkship, and pediatric clerkship-outpatient block) at the same site with the same group of committed primary care faculty. Students will have the advantage of a true mentoring experience in these foundational courses.

Students from the Class of 2019 at their Graduation from the Brown Scholars Program

"I am grateful for the consistent mentorship across all four years and the interaction with students in different years who share similar values."
"Working in the same clinic for several years gave me the opportunity to see the same patients more than once and to appreciate the cultural and social context of the Washington Heights community."


History of the Daniel Noyes Brown Primary Care Scholars Program

The program is funded by a private endowment to the School of Medicine in honor of Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown was a graduate of VP&S's Class of 1932 as well as of the intern and residency training programs at then Columbia-Presbyterian, completing a specialization in internal medicine. Until World War II he was in private practice as an internist in New York City, and during the war, he served in a Presbyterian medical unit providing medical backup to Allied troops, first based in the then-Belgian Congo and later in North Africa and France. In 1946 he and several colleagues, including some from his wartime medical unit, founded the first medical group practice in New York State, with the goal of providing comprehensive medical care to a community that had previously only had access to general practitioners (licensed physicians without residency training). As an internist within a group of other specialists, he served as the primary point of care. More than 60 years later, the CareMount Medical Group (formerly the Mount Kisco Medical Group) is thriving with over physicians and 43 locations.

Dr. Brown’s wife, Mary Thatcher Brown, and his daughter, Cynthia Brown Lloyd, were major donors to the endowment, along with numerous grateful patients, friends, and family members. In recent years, since the death of Dr. Brown’s widow, his daughter, Cynthia, has taken a special interest in the management of the endowment, in particular assuring that the goals of the program in its current form stay true to its original intention: that students be encouraged to pursue primary care medicine and be taught the values and dedication to patient care that her father exemplified throughout his career.

In 2012, a generous donation from the estate of Judith Sulzberger allowed us to double the size of the program, increase to four faculty mentors in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics, and add a program coordinator.  Dr. Sulzberger was a physician and a graduate of VP&S, and we are very grateful to her support of primary care and our students.


Program Directors

M. Christine Krause, MD, is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine and a clinical educator in VP&S's Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child and Adolescent Health. She is devoted to teaching primary care pediatrics while maintaining her own practice at the Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center, part of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Ambulatory Care Network. She was selected as Teacher of the Year by the pediatrics residency program in 2006 and is a member of the Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators.

Heather Paladine, MD, attended Columbia University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She then completed a residency in Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University and went on to do a fellowship in maternal and children's health care. She is the residency director of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/CUIMC's Family Medicine Residency Program and a co-director of the Brown Scholars program.

Natasha Mehta, MD, graduated from Yale University with a degree in English Literature. She received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, where she was very involved in the student-run clinic for the uninsured, which solidified an early interest in Primary Care. She came to CUIMC for residency in Internal Medicine in the Generalist-Primary Care Pathway, and subsequently did a fellowship in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai. She then returned to Columbia as a clinician-educator in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She sees patients at the AIM clinic at CUIMC, where she also supervises residents, and helps to coordinate the Geriatrics rotation.   

Daniela C. Diaz, MD, attended Williams College for her undergraduate education and completed medical school and residency at Columbia University College of Physician’s and Surgeons and New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Program respectively. After 4 years working in a federally-qualified health center in Westchester country she returned to CUIMC. Dr. Diaz teaches medical students and residents and is also engaged in patient care and quality improvement work at NYPH’s Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. Community Health Center.