Anesthesiology Residency

Program Overview

The Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a four-year, ACGME-accredited program that admits 17 PGY-1 residents per year.

Program Director’s Welcome

The Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine residency is structured to prepare physicians for careers as consultants in anesthesiology, in either academic medicine or private practice. Residents learn far more than safe techniques for anesthetic administration. They acquire the judgment and skills needed to care for complex patients and interact with physicians and other health care providers to ensure excellent care of patients in and outside the operating room environment, with expanded exposure and experience in perioperative medicine.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
“To this day, I recommend Hershey strongly and without reservation to medical students looking for an Anesthesiology residency. The clinical skills, basic science, and most of all teaching that I received from PSHMC are with me to this day, and I still see large swaths of my practice that are directly attributable to my attendings there.”

We are very enthusiastic about our innovative integrated four-year curriculum. It is innovative, as it is one of the few four-year programs in the country that integrates the clinical base rotations throughout the first three years of residency training. This approach is now becoming increasingly popular among other programs. We were one of the first to implement this continuum over 10 years ago. ACGME requirements are all followed for these rotations. We have selected rotations that will contribute to the experience and body of knowledge necessary to maximize the residents’ education in becoming superior consultants of anesthesiology. Rotations increase in complexity as the resident increases in experience in both the clinical base and the clinical anesthesiology rotations. This allows the resident both to contribute more to each patient’s care and to gain more depth of knowledge from their experience on every rotation.

Thank you for your interest in our unique anesthesia residency program. We look forward to the opportunity to meet you in the upcoming recruitment season.

Our Team

Department Chair’s Welcome

I would like to encourage you to peruse our website to find out more about the great residency program that you might join.

Berend Mets, MB, ChB, PhD, FRCA, FFA(SA); Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Berend Mets, MB, ChB, PhD, FRCA, FFA(SA); Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

I am proud of the residents in our program and the careful, well-informed, professional clinical care that they provide when administering anesthesia, managing acute or chronic pain patients as well as when attending in the ICU and preoperative assessment clinic.

The opportunities offered here are outstanding.

Do you want to become a superb general anesthetist with a view to a career in private practice?

You can start as a PGY-1 in our program integrating your internship with early anesthesia training throughout your PGY-1 and PGY-2 years. After becoming board-eligible and graduating the PGY-4 year, we offer a two-year Instructor Position as an attending, where you will gain further consultant experience in subspecialty anesthesia areas and have the opportunity to study and be prepared for your oral boards and final OSCE examination before venturing into private practice.

Do you want to become a physician educator and contribute to the knowledge and growth of our specialty by staying on in an academic department that values teaching and learning in its many forms?

You will be involved as a resident in simulation education and as a faculty member, we will plan a mentored academic career for you.

Do you want to become a physician scientist with a well-structured academic career founded on either clinical, translational or basic science research?

As a resident in our program, you will be mentored by one of our Professors to complete a Resident Academic Project of your choice. During the course of this project, you will learn how to develop an academic concept and bring this to the stage of presentation and potentially publication. Such projects can be interesting case reports, or a simulation scenario development, or could be basic, clinical or education research projects all developed with the intention of providing you with the skills to become an academic anesthesiologist should you so wish. Then you can apply for a fellowship year in one of the ACGME-approved subspecialties: adult cardiac anesthesia, adult chronic pain, pediatric anesthesia or adult intensive care. After this, you will be eligible to continue as an assistant professor in the department.

So whatever you may be looking for, we can challenge you and create the opportunity for your success as a clinician, clinician educator or clinical scientist. Come and see for yourself!

Berend Mets, MB, ChB, PhD, FRCA, FFA(SA)
Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

A Day in the Life of an Anesthesia Resident

Intern Year

Congratulations on all the hard work it took to get this far! The transition from medical school to residency is a very exciting time, but can also be anxiety-provoking. Within a single day, you are suddenly in charge of patient care and outcome. Fortunately, the Penn State Anesthesiology PGY-1 program will help instill the confidence and support you need to make this transition smooth.

Each month, you will spend time on a different rotation. You will gain experiences in critical care, trauma surgery, inpatient medicine, emergency medicine, and multiple months spent within our anesthesia department. You will spend approximately six months in the operating room, one month each in both acute and chronic pain services, as well as time as the junior perioperative resident.

While in anesthesia, you will become comfortable performing regional and neuraxial procedures, managing medically challenging physiology, and using a variety of airway tools.

All rotations take place at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and, due to fluctuating requirements, the schedules vary each month. Despite being away from the anesthesia department for multiple months during your intern year, our department is very welcoming and residents are encouraged to attend educational and/or social events. The months that you spend off-service are a great time for you to get to know residents in other specialties; you will be interacting with them throughout the next four years here.

Weekly educational lectures and grand-rounds presentations are great opportunities for academic growth and gives you some time to catch up with your fellow residents. Despite this year being a significant adjustment for you, our program offers the educational and personal support, feedback, and singular attention that each resident needs to successfully navigate this year.

CA-1 Year

CA-1 year is a structured year, with the main focus on subspecialties in anesthesia. At this point, you have already been exposed to multiple months of general anesthesia and are comfortable in the operating room since our integrated program allows for intern exposure to general anesthesia.

With our integrated program, as a CA-1, you will finish six months’ worth of off-service that are coordinated with different anesthesia rotations. For example, you will have one month of the pediatric pulmonology service, with the following month in pediatric anesthesia. This is extremely well-organized and also provides continuity of care, because you may follow patients on the floor and then in the next month have them in the operating room.

The month of floor specialties also allows for a smooth adjustment, in terms of understanding pre-operative and post-operative management of that specific patient population. Throughout the year, you will rotate through Cardiac/Thoracic, ENT, Pediatrics, Neuro, OB/GYN, Surgical ICU, PACU, and have time for elective/research work.

This year provides residents with an extreme amount of personal growth and will build confidence from the early exposure to subspecialties and the variety of techniques you’ll learn providing anesthetics.

A typical day would involve coming to the operating room between 6 and 6:15 a.m. to draw up drugs, do a machine check, and prepare for your day. Once that is completed, you will meet patients in the same-day unit. Since most patients are screened by our preoperative clinic, you often confirm NPO status, lab work/studies and physical exam. Patients are transported to the OR between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m., where we will perform our anesthetic.

An attending will be there to supervise, provide support, and help you troubleshoot during this process, but you will also be given autonomy appropriate to your level of training. You are given two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch break by our CRNAs, attendings or fellow residents.

The day ends at varying times depending on how busy the operating rooms are that particular day. Before leaving, we always check in with our PACU resident to help out with pre-op assessments and call our attending to review the plans for cases the following day. During CA-1 year, you will begin taking 24-hour call, where you will have the opportunity to try out advanced cases with your fellow senior residents. They will guide you and teach you guidelines to get through nights on-call.

CA-1 year is designed to build upon the foundation that you created during your intern year. The early exposure to subspecialties can help you recognize interests in other areas of the field, and you may want to pursue a fellowship. During this entire year, you are given weekly lectures, as well as board exam preparation, for the Basic Exam that is completed in June.

Our residency has developed an organized and systematic approach to this test and our residents feel adequately prepared for the basic exam.

CA-2 Year

The CA-2 year is divided into month-long rotations that continue to give residents exposure and practice within multiple subspecialties in anesthesiology. Your typical day is similar to CA-1 year, except you are given greater responsibility and autonomy by your attendings.

As a “senior resident,” you will begin to guide the junior residents on the subspecialty rotations for the first time and start taking on more of a leadership role.

One unique aspect of CA-2 year is the opportunity to become “Call Chief.” This resident comes in at 4 p.m. and runs the operating board/schedule through the evening. Most of us will eventually need experience in this when we head into our respective jobs and although overwhelming at first, you will become efficient at prioritizing cases, making sure residents/CRNAs are assigned appropriate cases and relieved at designated times. As call chief, you are also the “pretending,” or in other words, with attending supervision, you will be able to help the junior residents start, manage and finish cases overnight. It is a very busy call position, but most residents find that having two years of this prepares them extremely well for managing personnel once residency is completed.

This year we have a month of OB anesthesia at Lehigh Valley Hospital (about an hour away), where we’ll gain a significant amount of OB experience. It is a private practice, so for residents who are considering this in the future, it is a great way to see how the system works. An additional rotation that you have during your CA-2 year is vascular/transplant. Our center is a heart, liver, kidney and pancreas transplant center, and if you have not already completed one of these procedures by your CA-2 year, you will have an entire month on rotation to gain experience.

While rotating in CT anesthesia, you will gain more experience with TEE intra-op, and subsequent lectures outside of the OR. This is a great year to get comfortable with all the subspecialties and you are now the “go-to person” for many of these cases. Again, like every other year, you will have weekly lectures on all the subspecialty topics that are easily applied to your OR cases.

Throughout each year, there are designated Simulation Center Lectures that allow you to deal with common problems that arise in the operating room. The Simulation Center provides a great and safe environment to learn how to manage these issues. It’s also great practice for the OSCE examination that all residents will take.

CA-3 Year

You are almost to the end of residency! At this point, some of you will have already gone through the fellowship match and know where you are heading the following year. About half of our residents pursue fellowships, many of them staying at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

We offer four different fellowship opportunities: Cardiac Anesthesia Fellowship, Anesthesia Critical Care Fellowship, Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship and Anesthesia/Pain Management Fellowship.

Your final year is what you make it! You have multiple months that you can choose your own “flavor” of anesthesia. You can request complex cases, additional cardiac, pediatric, APMS, chronic pain and ICU rotations. It is completely tailored to your interests. You start to learn how to be an attending, and many residents start building confidence toward independent practice, as team leader and “teacher” to the junior residents.

Some unique rotations to your CA-3 year include a month at our neighboring hospital that is run by private-practice anesthesia group. Many of our residents have gotten jobs with them in the past and it is one of the most enjoyable rotations for residents who are interested in private practice. You also get an additional month of Acute Pain Medicine as a senior resident, Ultrasound/TEE, SICU and Outpatient Surgery Center (which is still on our hospital campus).

The goal of CA-3 year is to help you find or confirm your niche. During this year, some residents will choose to travel abroad for mission work and attend/present at academic conferences. You continue to supervise younger residents, which helps you realize how far you have come since intern year. You are given appropriate time and support from administration for job interviews and life-planning. We have lectures covering topics such as how to read a contract, financial planning, malpractice and more to help us understand the basics of what we will face in the future.

There are also lectures and board review each week, with simulation center experiences and mock orals throughout the year to help prepare you for upcoming board exams.

Penn State Anesthesiology is a fantastic place to train, and our residents move on to their respective jobs confident, skilled, knowledgeable, and prepared. Hopefully you can see that you will gain a breadth of experiences in and out of the operating room if you decide to join Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Why Penn State Anesthesiology?

Most residencies will promise great training, good breadth of case experience, a strong educational program, and so on. So why chose Penn State?

Resident Wellness

This is not just a buzzword, but a call to action in our program. We have many initiatives throughout the year. A few highlights include:

  • Early Relief Days: Beginning in the CA 1 year, residents are scheduled one day per month to be relieved from all clinical duties at 2 p.m. You can study, schedule your doctor’s appointments or just plain enjoy the weather or your favorite TV shows.
  • Dedicated Education Time: Weekly education sessions are scheduled from 2 to 4:45 p.m. Residents are then relieved for the day following these sessions. This is another block of guaranteed time that offers you the ability to make plans with your friends and family freely without the fear of cancelling last minute due to being stuck in an OR.
  • A Thriving Social Committee: This group offers weekly inter-departmental gatherings, huge perioperative parties quarterly with all of our surgical resident friends, and many other events. We offer so many things that a shared social calendar is available to keep us organized.
  • Department Appreciation: Our department recognizes the value of appreciating their residents, so they treat us to dinner and drinks twice a year. This is a chance to vent, bond, and enjoy each other outside the ORs. Faculty also open their homes each season for a department potluck party. These range from pool parties and luaus, to Halloween costume festivities, and Super Bowl bashes.

From the moment you walk onto campus, you will become a member of the Penn State family. You will make friends for life!

International Experience

Dr. Katie Donahue

Dr. Katie Donahue

The goal of the International Experience is to support outstanding anesthesiology residents with interest in outreach and medical mission services.

Our cherished friend and mentor Dr. Katie Donahue graciously supported our passion for giving back to the world with the Dr. Katie Donahue Resident International Anesthesia Endowment, also supported with alumni and friends.

This endowment funds the resident with designated travel opportunities such as those outlined below. Our goals are to provide acute care for the patients as well as create long-term relationships, and assist in solutions for education, research and clinical care with local people. More opportunities are also available for discussion.

Donate now

Application Process

Submit an application to include the following items:

  • Statement of your career goals
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae
Cathy Paige, MD

Cathy Paige, MD

The International Experience Selection Committee, led by International Experience Director Cathy D. Paige, MD, will review all applications and interview selected residents.

Eligibility

The competitive international opportunities will be awarded to residents for travel in their PGY-4 year or the latter portion of their PGY-3 year based on the following:

  • Outreach interest
  • Clinical performance including competence and satisfactory progression as judged by the Clinical Competency Committee
  • Academic performance including passing ABA Basic Examination and in-service training exam scores greater than the 50th percentile
  • Completion of pediatric anesthesia rotation

Options

Operation Smile

When: Fall or Spring

Type: Medical mission

Where: Most recent sites have included Vietnam and China

Details: This is a 12-day clinical opportunity for a PGY-4 resident or pediatric anesthesia fellow to provide anesthesia for children with cleft lips and palates under supervision by Patrick McQuillan, MD, FAAP, and/or Jansie Prozesky, MBCHB; Carolyn Barbieri, MD; or Padmani Dhar, MD.

Anesthetic environment: Teams of in-country, regional and international credentialed volunteers work together with interpreters. Equipment includes local and imported supplies that meet their Global Standards of Care, state-of-the art sophisticated equipment. Practices, equipment and anesthesia are standardized, regardless of geographical location. Operating rooms are equipped with the most up-to-date supplies.

American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Global Health Outreach

When: September, January and/or March

Type: International Anesthesia Rotation

Where: Ethiopia

Details: These are three separate one-month rotations for a PGY-4 resident (or PGY-3 eligible for Call Chief) at the CURE Hospital in Addis Ababa under direct supervision of the American Anesthesia Program Director. This includes clinical care of pediatric orthopedic patients in the operating room, active involvement in the ongoing outcomes research project investigating postoperative mortality, and teaching of Ethiopian master’s students.

Anesthetic environment: This is a state-of-the-art 35-bed hospital established in 2008 using modern equipment and monitoring of the caliber with which we are familiar here at Penn State.

Casa de Luz/Island Impact

When: Spring

Type: Medical mission

Where: Dominican Republic

Details: This is a one-week clinical opportunity for a PGY-4 resident to provide anesthesia for children and adults for ophthalmologic cases under supervision by Shannon Grap, MD, or Melissa Coleman, MD.

Anesthetic environment: This is an austere environment in a public hospital with severe shortages. You will use old, unfamiliar anesthesia machines as well as our portable Glostavent. Agents include sevoflurane, halothane and nalbuphine. Cases are outpatient, healthy track, ASA 1-2. All general anesthetics require LMA and spontaneous breathing in light of a sparsely equipped ICU for backup.

Joseph Priestley Scholarship

The goal of the Joseph Priestley Research Scholarship is to provide additional support to outstanding Penn State Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Residents who desire to become clinical researchers and academic anesthesiologists. The scholarship will help these anesthesia scholars, during their anesthesia residency training, to obtain knowledge and experience that will prepare them for a career in academic medicine.

The Priestley Scholarship is an extensive research commitment which includes a formalized research project, completion of a clinical research certificate program, and formal presentations at local and national levels throughout the course of residency.

One resident per year may be awarded the Priestley Scholarship. The scholarship support will start at the end of successful completion of the initial twelve months of clinical training (PGY1). Each scholar will receive $10,000 per annum during the scholarship period, in addition to their normal salary.

(Note: Priestley Scholars, in conjunction with a faculty mentor, will also be eligible to apply for departmental funding support for their research projects.)

Participation in the Priestley Scholarship program will greatly enhance your qualifications to compete for an appointment in an academic anesthesiology department, including at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and begin a research career.

A completed application must be submitted to be considered for this scholarship. More specific information will be distributed during the first year of residency. Please see the Residency Education Program Office for details.

Department Events

The Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine celebrates several events throughout the year. These events can be an opportunity to dress up and break up the monotony of everyday life. We host two formal events, one picnic per year and a number of informal events where significant others are also invited.

Welcome Picnic

The first event of the academic year is celebrated in August. The department congregates at Mount Gretna Lake for a catered picnic, socializing, and friendly sportsmanship. Department members and their families are welcome to play volleyball and race canoes across the lake. These activities allow us to get to know each other on a personal level. This event allows us to welcome our incoming faculty, CRNAs, fellows, residents and new staff members to the department.

The Priestley Event

The Priestley Event is held every year on the first Friday of December, at Hershey Country Club. In recognition of the great scientist Joseph Priestley, our former Chairman of Anesthesiology inaugurated the annual Joseph Priestley Lecture Series to the department in 1995. The speakers in this well-established lecture series includes pre-eminent anesthesiologists from across the globe to deliver a series of two lectures over two days.

Resident and Fellow Graduation

Every year we gather to celebrate the accomplishments of our residents and fellows as they complete their training through our department’s residency program. This event is held in late June at the historic Hotel Hershey. All department members and significant others are invited to attend, as well as the families of the graduates. The event features a formal cocktail hour and dinner, as well as a commencement speech given by a former graduate of our program. Each graduate is then honored for their accomplishments with a certificate of completion and a coveted Penn State Nittany Lion. The evening dinner is a great time reflect on the past four or more years of education and development and award the graduates for their hard work and accomplishments.

Resident Social Time

A resident social committee plans group outings, cookouts, and celebrations that occasionally include residents from other specialties. Several of these events are held during the end of June/beginning of July to give the incoming residents can be given the opportunity to meet as many of their colleagues as possible prior to their start in our program. Some of the social venues over the years have included Troegs Brewing Company in Hershey, Spring Gate Winery in Harrisburg, baseball at Clipper Magazine Stadium and concerts at HersheyPark Stadium.

Curriculum and Didactics

Curriculum: Clinical Base/Program Year 1

  • CB: Emergency Department
  • CB: Internal Medicine Consults
  • CB: Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)
  • CB: Surgical Anesthesia Intensive Care Unit (SAICU)
  • CB: Trauma Surgery
  • CB: Pain Medicine
  • CB: Quality Improvement (QI)
  • CB: One-on-One Anesthesia
  • Acute Pain Management Service
  • Orthopaedic Anesthesia
  • Outpatient Anesthesia
  • General Anesthesia (x2)
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
“In the end, it’s a great place to train. Just thought I’d give you my perspective. For what it’s worth, I love my job and I truly feel blessed to be part of such an exceptional profession. I owe Penn State a big ‘thank you.’ Not all residencies are created equal.”

Curriculum: Clinical Anesthesia I / Program Year 2

  • CB: Cardiology Consult Service
  • CB: Pulmonary
  • CB: Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
  • CB: Pediatric Pulmonary/Cardiac Critical Care Unit
  • CB: Elective
  • Pediatric Anesthesia I
  • Obstetrical Anesthesia I
  • Neurosurgical Anesthesia I
  • Cardiothoracic Anesthesia I
  • ENT Anesthesia
  • Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
  • Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit (NSICU)
  • Surgical Anesthesia Care Unit I (SAICU)

Curriculum: Clinical Anesthesia II / Program Year 3

  • Perioperative Medicine
  • Pediatric Anesthesia II
  • Obstetrical Anesthesia II
  • Neurosurgical Anesthesia II
  • Cardiothoracic Anesthesia II
  • Vascular/Transplant Anesthesia
  • Pain Medicine II
  • Preoperative Anesthesia Clinic
  • Advanced Clinical Anesthesia (x4)
  • Surgical Anesthesia Care Unit II (SAICU)

Curriculum: Clinical Anesthesia III / Program Year 4

  • Advanced and Complex Anesthesia (x2)
  • Hershey Outpatient Surgery Center (HOSC)
  • Regional Anesthesia
  • Endo/Alternate Site Anesthesia
  • Surgical Anesthesia Care Unit III (SAICU)
  • Electives (x7)

Curriculum: Electives

  • Advanced and Complex Anesthesia
  • Hershey Outpatient Surgery Center (HOSC)
  • Pediatric Anesthesia III
  • Obstetrical Anesthesia III
  • Neurosurgical Anesthesia III
  • Cardiothoracic Anesthesia III
  • Vascular/Transplant Anesthesia
  • Pain Medicine III
  • Preoperative Anesthesia Clinic
  • Ultrasound / Advanced and Complex
  • ICU Subspecialty

Didactics

A variety of didactic opportunities are available for anesthesiology residents.

New Resident Lecture Series

During the summer, daily one-hour lectures are given to the new residents during their one-on-one rotation. The topics are introductory level discussions on the basics of anesthesiology practice. Reading assignments are from Basics of Anesthesia by Stoelting and Miller, using Clinical Anesthesiology by Morgan and Mikhail as a supplement.

Resident Core Curriculum Series

The Resident Core Curriculum is a structured didactic sessions for the residents on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 2 to 4:45 p.m. from late August through June.

The Tuesday afternoon sessions will be for the CB and CA-1 residents. The Wednesday afternoon sessions will be for the CA-2 residents and the Thursday afternoon sessions will be for the CA-3 residents. Throughout the resident core curriculum series, there will be various simulation-based educational sessions. Residents are relieved by other residents, faculty or CRNAs from all clinical duties and are expected to attend core lecture on all rotations (departmental and clinical base) except Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Junior Core (CB/CA-1) Resident Basics of Anesthesia (Tuesday)

The Tuesday Junior Core curriculum sessions are faculty directed with active resident participation. The sessions are focused on basic anesthesia physiology and pharmacology. Reading assignments are assigned from Clinical Anesthesia by Barash. All residents are expected to read the assigned readings before lecture. The entire text will be covered during the year. Each year will be divided into five or six blocks.

Senior (CA-2/CA-3) Lectures and Case Discussions (Wednesday/Thursday)

The Wednesday and Thursday Curriculum sessions are faculty-directed with active resident participation. The sessions are focused on the sub-specialties of anesthesiology at the senior resident level. There will be five subspecialty blocks per year.

Board Review Sessions (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday)

Junior Core Board Review Sessions are held on Tuesdays from 4 to 4:45 p.m., focusing specifically on topics needed for the ABA BASIC Exam. Attendance is highly suggested. This session is organized and directed by an anesthesia faculty member. Recently, a CA2-specific sessions on Wednesdays following core lecture was established for continual study and in-service training exam preparation.

Board Review Sessions held on Thursdays from 4 to 4:45 p.m., for all resident levels, are focused on reviewing frequently missed keywords. These sessions are organized by the Chief Residents and presented by resident peers. Attendance is highly suggested and required for those in remediation.

Chair’s Rounds

Chair’s Rounds will be held quarterly (September through May) during the resident Core Lecture time. Topics and discussions are led by the Department Chair. All residents are required to attend these sessions.

Keyword Sessions

Keyword Sessions are incorporated into the Core Lecture Schedules for each resident level. Residents give presentations on keyword topics followed by a discussion of several board-format questions pertaining to the topic. These keyword topics will be selected from the keyword concepts collected from the in-service examination and selected/assigned by the resident keyword coordinator.

Anesthesiology Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds are held every Thursday morning from 6:45 to 7:30 a.m. Presenters include faculty (both within and outside the department and institution) fellows and residents. These programs are designed to be of interest to the entire department, as well as anesthesiologists from regional hospitals.

A Chair’s Update is presented by our chair immediately following the weekly Grand Rounds speaker, including topics such as quality and safety updates, patient satisfaction, educational/scholarly opportunities, research opportunities and progress reports and general department announcements.

Anesthesiology Case Conference

The Anesthesiology Case Conference is held on the first Wednesday of each month. A quarterly Combined Case Conference with the Department of Surgery is held in the hospital auditorium.

Journal Club

Journal Club is typically held on the third Monday of the month from September through May, either on campus or at a faculty member’s home. Each month will be moderated by one of our senior faculty members and will cover recent articles from one of the major anesthesiology publications. Teams of three residents will be asked to present each of the articles selected for the session (one CA-1 resident, one CA-2 resident, and one CA-3 resident).

Anesthesia Research Conference

The Clinical Research Conference is typically held on the fourth Monday of the month. Each month a department member will briefly and informally discuss a clinical research project that they are interested in pursuing. The purpose of these discussions is to elicit broad comment on research proposals in the early stage of planning and facilitate submission of proposals for approval/funding.

Visiting Professor Lecture Series

The Visiting Professor Lectures are periodically scheduled on Wednesday evenings in the department library.

Application Process

Penn State College of Medicine is a participant of ERAS and the NRMP Match. All application material must be submitted through ERAS. Applicants with suitable qualifications will be invited to interview and visit with the department.

We recruit 17 PGY1 (categorical) positions each year through the NRMP Match process. Due to NRMP Match policy, we can no longer offer out of the Match positions for PGY-1 or PGY-2 candidates. Please refer to our program information listed in FREIDA online for further information.

Our application deadline is Dec. 31. You are invited to check the status of your application by simply calling the Residency Coordinator at 800-206-7718 or email through MyERAS. All email correspondence regarding applications should be conducted through MyERAS to avoid any delays.

Applications will be reviewed in their entirety. However, we prefer to see:

  • US clinical experience is not required; however, anesthesia electives and/or anesthesia experience is preferred
  • USMLE Step 1/COMLEX 1 is required to be selected for an interview. Step 2 is not absolutely essential for a PGY1 position, but is recommended and may enhance your application. USMLE Scores no less than 200 (80%) (and COMLEX of 500 or higher for Osteopathic graduates). Osteopathic graduates are encouraged to take USMLE Step 1.
  • Three letters of recommendation, Dean’s letter, medical school transcripts, Curriculum Vitae, and personal statement
  • ECFMG certification must be supplied before you begin as a resident

There is no official limit for attempting Step 1 or Step 2; however, the number of times you have taken the exam may impact your application. An invitation to interview will be based on your entire application and not simply your exam scores. The USMLE is not required if you have taken COMLEX. Your application will be reviewed in its entirety. USMLE Step 1 is encouraged as it will add to your qualifications.

The institution currently accepts residents on J-1 visas only; however, the application process and applicable fees are your responsibility.

The Residency Recruitment Team prefers to see graduation from medical school within five years of submitting your ERAS application. However, this is dependent upon what clinical/research experience you have had since graduating from medical school.

Interview Process

Our typical interview season begins in late October or early November and continues through January. The interview process is designed to put the applicant at ease and provide you with detailed information about our program. We offer a single-day interview process (with dinner the evening prior with a small group of our residents and spouses).

Although we cannot reimburse you for travel costs incurred to interview at Hershey, we will pay for one night’s lodging to accommodate our two-half day interview process as well as providing appropriate meals during your visit. Arrangements to extend your hotel stay may be available at a discounted rate.

Evening Prior to Formal Interview

The entire interview process would not be complete without you having the chance to meet our residents and have a candid discussion asking them any questions you may have. Thus, we provide a resident host during your time with us. The resident host along with several residents and spouses will join the group for dinner in a relaxed stress-free environment. Your significant other is welcome to attend dinner if arrangements are made in advance.

Formal Interview Day

The day begins with a tour of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pain Medicine Center and Penn State College of Medicine, followed by a welcome, program overview and Q-and-A by the chairman, program director and/or associate program director. The more formal part of the interview process will then follow consisting of individual interviews with the program director, associate program director, program faculty, and a chief resident and end with a debriefing with our chairman. Applicants are provided with an opportunity to visit our nationally acclaimed Simulation Center, where you can experiment with the mannequin and other equipment that makes the Simulation Center unique. A luncheon is provided, maximizing your opportunity to meet available residents and faculty.

Application FAQs

Do you participate in ERAS?
Yes. All applications must be received through ERAS.

How many positions will you have open this year?
We enroll 17 PGY-1 (categorical) positions each year through the NRMP Match process. All applications must be submitted through ERAS. Please refer to our program information listed in FREIDA online for further information.

How many individuals do you interview each year?
We typically interview 180 to 200 individuals each year.

What is your application deadline?
Dec. 31. You are invited to check the status of your application by simply calling the Residency Coordinator at 800-206-7718 or by sending a message through MyERAS. All email correspondence is requested through MyERAS to avoid any delays.

What are the minimum requirements?
Your application will be reviewed in its entirety. However, we prefer to see:

  • US clinical experience is not required; however, anesthesia electives and/or anesthesia experience is preferred
  • USMLE Step 1/COMLEX 1 is required to be selected for an interview. Step 2 is not absolutely essential for a PGY-1 position, but is recommended and may enhance your application. USMLE scores no less than 200 (80%) (and COMLEX of 500 or higher for osteopathic graduates). Osteopathic graduates are encouraged to take USMLE Step 1.
  • Three letters of recommendation, dean’s letter, medical school transcripts, Curriculum Vitae and personal statement
  • ECFMG certification must be supplied before you begin as a resident

Is there a limit to the number of times an applicant can attempt Step 1 or Step 2?
There is no official limit for attempting Step 1 or Step 2; however, the number of times you have taken the exam may impact your application. An invitation to interview will be based on your entire application and not simply your exam scores.

If I have taken COMLEX, is the USMLE required?
The USMLE is not required if you have taken COMLEX. Your application will be reviewed in its entirety. USMLE Step 1 is encouraged as it will add to your qualifications.

What visas do you sponsor?
The institution currently accepts residents on J-1 visas only; however, the application process and applicable fees are your responsibility.

Is there a cut-off date of medical school graduation?
The Residency Recruitment Team prefers to see graduation from medical school within five years of submitting your ERAS application. However, this is dependent upon what clinical/research experience you have had since graduating from medical school.

When will you be conducting interviews?
We begin our interview process in late October and finish by mid-January. Formal interviews will be scheduled on Mondays and Fridays, with a group dinner arranged the evening prior. An informal dinner will be hosted by an assigned resident host accompanied by a few additional residents and available spouses. The interview day will start off with a tour of the institution, an information session with our department chair, our program director and our associate program director. Formal interview sessions will follow. The sessions are designed to familiarize the applicant with the department, the staff, our Simulation Center and the hospital environment. The interview day will also include an open discussion luncheon between the applicants and available residents and faculty.  For more detailed information, please refer to the “Interview” tab at left.

Do you reimburse travel expenses for the interview process?
Although we cannot reimburse you for travel costs incurred to interview in Hershey, PA, we will pay for one night’s lodging to accommodate our two-half-day interview process as well as providing appropriate meals during your visit. Arrangements to extend your hotel stay may be available at a discounted rate.

How many residents are in your program?
We are a mid-sized program consisting of 61 residents ranging from PGY-1 to PGY-4. We are gradually increasing to a total of 68 (17 per class). Our program is a diversified program consisting of highly qualified American and international graduates.

What fellowships do you offer?
We currently offer ACGME-accredited fellowships in Pain Management, Critical Care Medicine, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, and Pediatric Anesthesia. We plan to begin a Regional Anesthesia fellowship once applications can be accepted with the ACGME.

Do you offer Out-of-the-Match positions?
Due to NRMP Match policy, we can no longer offer Out-of-the-Match positions for PGY-1 or PGY-2 candidates.

Do you offer couples matches?
If you have been invited to interview and are couples matching with an applicant interviewing with another department at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, we will be happy to help coordinate with the other department as much as possible. Please contact our office about your partner’s interview, as we may not have the information.

If you are couples-matching with another applicant in Anesthesia and have been invited to interview, we will make every attempt to schedule both interviews for the same session. Each applicant will be ranked appropriately based on individual qualifications and not solely on a couples match.

A Commitment to Teaching

Over the years, the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine has attracted and cultivated an outstanding faculty team, most with subspecialty interests that serve as a focus for their teaching and research endeavors. Seven hold the PhD degree, which is evidence of their commitment to advancing the scientific basis of anesthesia.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
“Residency can be tough for anybody going through those four years… I feel that at Penn State Health, residents can really reap a great deal of clinical experience. You don’t have to look very far to learn from a case or an attending mentor… I learned a ton.”

In addition, the backgrounds of the faculty reflect a refreshing diversity. A fine balance exists between those trained within the department and those trained at other leading institutions around the world. The former provide stability to the educational program, while the latter bring perspective and innovation. The department has achieved a nationwide reputation for academic excellence. Achievements by individual faculty add to its prominence.

The present faculty includes:

  • 13 with subspecialty certification in critical care medicine
  • Seven with subspecialty certification in pain management
  • 14 with fellowship training in pediatric anesthesia
  • 10 in neuro-anesthesia
  • 12 in cardiac, thoracic and vascular anesthesia
  • Four research scientists

Three of the faculty have been elected for membership in the prestigious Association of University Anesthesiologists. Strong basic and clinical research activities lie at the center of the Department of Anesthesia’s program. The faculty holds positions on various national committees and boards of national societies and serves as directors of organizations.

Meet Our Faculty

Current Residents

Past Residents

To see where our residents practice after graduation, view our “Life After Graduation” map.

Stay in Touch

Testimonials from Penn State Health Anesthesiology Resident Alumni

“When I chose a residency program in medical school, I wanted one that would prepare me to take care of any patient, in any clinical situation. HMC taught me that and much more.”

“This is a great program. It’s a great honor to be a Penn State Health Alumni.”

“PSU really prepared us for Private Practice. From pediatrics to regional to cardiac/thoracic to OB, etc….The first days are always a little scary, but that goes away quickly as one realizes that the training shines through in what you do. Coming out of residency we both feel confident…”

“I am extremely impressed at the quality of my education, having now moved on to a directorship at a children’s hospital. With what I learned in Hershey, I can walk into any OR, and feel safe that I have the skills, expertise and a healthy sense of doubt (thus attention to safety detail) to manage patients and emergencies. Part of this is the mentoring I received at Hershey, part of this is the solid basis of knowledge that was a priority for our anesthesia medical education program. I have now had the opportunity to observe others, and realize that Hershey is an echelon above the rest when it comes to GME in anesthesiology… kudos!”

Past Resident Listing

Contact Us

Mailing Address

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive, H187
Hershey, PA 17033

General Contact Info

Phone: 717-531-5522 or 800-206-7718

Fax: 717-531-0826

Email: jswierczynski@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Penn State College of Medicine is an equal-opportunity employer and accepts all qualified applications regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or religious background.