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Family and Community Medicine Residency (Hershey, PA)

Family and Community Medicine Residency (Hershey, PA)

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The Family and Community Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA, is a three-year, ACGME-accredited program that admits eight residents per year.

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Program Details

Family medicine appeals to students who have a wide-ranging curiosity, want to connect with patients in a long-term setting and in the context of their family and community, and who aspire to make the world a better place.

Based in an academic medical center rich in resources, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Family and Community Residency is a destination for medical students who are eager to take advantage of outstanding opportunities to indulge their intellectual curiosity as they care for patients. Residents thrive in a vibrant academic environment surrounded by family physician role models and fellow medical learners as they learn to provide excellent, compassionate family-centered care.

Residents learn the care of adults, children and pregnancy and delivery from more than 80 highly esteemed family medicine faculty. As a collaborative rather than an “opposed” program, residents are integrated into pediatric, emergency and obstetric teams. They work and learn as peers and teammates with specialist fellows and attendings who augment the strong educational foundation provided by family medicine faculty.

Residents enjoy the comfortable setting of Hershey, PA. It allows learners to be part of the highest level of academic achievement at an academic medical center, learning alongside other residents who are all striving to become the best doctors they can be, all while living in a small-town community with varied cultural, entertainment and outdoor attractions.

The Family and Community Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a setting where medical students of great promise develop into clinicians of excellence.

Learn More about the Residency

To Apply Expand answer

General Application InformationM

All applicants must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Please note that the program described on this website is Penn State’s Family and Community Medicine Residency Program in Hershey, Pennsylvania and listed as such in ERAS.

Applicants will only be considered for interview and entry into the program if they meet the basic eligibility criteria below.

Preference will be given to those applicants with solid academic standing at an LCME-accredited medical school and with a record of leadership, teamwork, compassion, and integrity.

Applicants are discouraged from making solicitations to the program via telephone call or through means other than ERAS.

Review the Office of Graduate Medical Education Eligibility and Selection of Residents Policy.

Eligibility Criteria for Graduates of LCME – Accredited Allopathic US and Canadian Medical Schools

  • Graduated from medical school within the past three years
  • Passed USMLE (Steps 1 and 2) with no more than one total prior failure
  • Passed the Clinical Skills (CS) exam on first attempt
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a family physician

Eligibility Criteria for Osteopathic Graduates

  • Graduated from medical school within the past three years
  • Graduates of colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • COMLEX scores passed with no more than one total prior failure
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a family physician
  • Understanding of the limitations on osteopathic-trained residents who train in an ACGME-accredited program in Pennsylvania

Eligibility Criteria for Graduates of Non-LCME Accredited Medical Schools

Very highly qualified graduates of non-LCME accredited medical schools may possibly be considered for an interview if they meet the residency’s high standards for consideration.

  • Graduated from medical school within the past three years
  • Passed USMLE (Steps 1 and 2) with no more than one total prior failure
  • Passed the Clinical Skills (CS) exam on first attempt
  • Minimum of three months clinical training in the US or Canada, or clinical experience elsewhere which clearly demonstrates an understanding and interest in primary care and Family Medicine in particular
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a family physician or primary-care physician

Non-U.S. Applicants

  • The program accepts only J-1 visas.
  • ERAS is available to students and graduates of international medical school through ECFMG, which serves as their designated dean’s office.
  • All graduates of international medical schools must hold a valid certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) to be appointed as a resident or fellow. For details on certification, please contact the ECFMG at

Selection and Interview Process

The program begins reviewing candidates when ERAS opens in September. Once a completed ERAS application is received, qualified applicants will be invited for an interview until all available interview spots have been filled.

Interviews are by invitation only and are scheduled for most Mondays and Fridays in October, November and December. The program will host interviewees at a local hotel and will arrange dinner with current residents the evening prior to the interview and breakfast at the hotel on the morning of the interview.

During the interview day, applicants will tour Hershey Medical Center and patient care locations, meet with residents and interview with the program director, faculty members and residents.

Faculty Expand answer

About the Program Director

Karl Clebak, MD, FAAFP, is a Penn State College of Medicine graduate and joined the Department of Family and Community Medicine as faculty in 2016. He has served as a core faculty member for the residency program and as medical director for Penn State Health Medical Group – Nyes Road.

Dr. Clebak has been instrumental in developing and implementing eConsults – electronic consultations of specialists – at Penn State Health. He has also written numerous scholarly works including indexed journals, book chapters and peer-reviewed electronic media on skin-related, procedural and evidence-based topics. He is currently pursuing a Master of Healthcare Administration degree at Penn State.

Faculty Directory

Current Residents Expand answer
Past Residents Expand answer

Past residents may be found all over the Unites States in all varieties of practice settings. Some graduates practice in large metropolitan areas such as New York City, and others practice in small towns in Indiana and Georgia. Several recent graduates have gone on to fellowships in sports medicine, global health, faculty development and hospitalist medicine. Others work as residency and medical school faculty members. Residents are well-prepared for all manner of practice following graduation.

About Hershey: Benefits, Stipends and More Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine is in Hershey, PA, a town known as the home of the HersheyPark amusement park and the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Two banners depicting cartoon candy characters are seen on a light pole in downtown Hershey, PA, in summer 2016, with a brick building with large glass windows in the background.

About Hershey

Interested in learning more about living and working in Hershey, PA? See details here:

The program understands the importance of family in the life of a resident and believes Hershey is a wonderful place to live, with a beautiful setting, relatively low cost of living, excellent schools and ample employment opportunities.

Contact Us Expand answer

Mailing Address

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Department of Family Medicine
500 University Drive, H154
PO Box 850
Hershey, PA 17033-0850

General Contact Information

Phone: 717-531-8186

Email: FMRes@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Curriculum Details

Curriculum Overview Expand answer

The program’s curriculum is designed to expose residents to diverse clinical experiences taught by family physicians and specialists who are experts in their fields.

Upon graduation from the program, residents will feel confident in providing their patients with excellent, comprehensive care in a wide variety of clinical settings. For residents with particular interests, the program offers areas of concentration in global health, sports medicine, and leadership and advocacy.

In addition to standard rotations, residents participate in various elective, selective and longitudinal rotations. These rotations supplement resident education in specific areas of interest and take advantage of the educational opportunities at our academic medical center. Rotations are subject to change.

Certain important training experiences are taught in a progressive “longitudinal” format and do not appear as distinct rotations. The nature of training of behavioral health, population health and health systems management lends itself to education in time, and thus resident training in these areas is interwoven throughout all three years. One month of vacation time is provided each year, and will be incorporated into each resident’s individual schedule.

Program Strengths Expand answer

The program is distinguished by its:

  • History. Recognizing the importance of family medicine, in 1967 Penn State College of Medicine established the nation’s first Department of Family and Community Medicine in an academic health center. With the residency established in 1971, the department continues to lead the way in family medicine education today. It has well-designed clinical sites and structures, is stable and rich in educational resources, and is overseen by highly talented faculty who are mentors and invested in resident education.
  • Faculty. Residents learn from and are mentored by family physicians who are accomplished in the delivery of excellent patient care, global health, sports medicine, advocacy, research and education, among other talents and interests. More than 80 esteemed family medicine faculty members collectively represent a diversity of Family Medicine-relevant talents and interests that is unrivaled in the nation. Learn more about the faculty.
  • Residents. The program’s residents are highly accomplished, motivated and enthusiastic, and graduates practice competent and compassionate medical care as physicians in large cities and small towns and match into competitive fellowships. Some have even been hired as faculty in the Medical Center. Residents have had a 100 percent pass rate for the American Board of Family Medicine exam for the past several years. Meet the current residents.
  • Embedded within an academic medical center, residents can access resources such as a world-class Simulation Center and electronic resources that are not readily available in smaller hospitals.
  • Family systems theory. This branch of psychology explores how people interact with one another in intimate relationships and is woven into the curriculum, taught by an experienced psychologist who helps residents understand their patients’ behaviors outside of the office visit.
  • Integrated behavioral health. This program models a future in which a very highly trained psychologist sees patients alongside residents in outpatient clinics as a ready and skilled teacher and consultant who helps residents appreciate the interaction of physical and mental health.
  • Care for community. Residents graduate with very practical, highly valued experiences in quality improvement to help them optimize their patients’ care in the clinical setting. Because patients spend 99 percent of their lives outside the clinic, residents also work with faculty to work with the people of the community, developing skills in community needs assessment and engagement and making real, positive impact for the underserved populations of central Pennsylvania.
  • Patient diversity. Underserved patients from rural backgrounds, farmers, those with challenging socioeconomic backgrounds, highly educated physicians, corporate executives, and those from small towns and suburbs – program residents care for all of these populations and are thus prepared to communicate, connect with and care for a truly diverse patient panel upon graduation.
  • Scholarly activity. Supported by experienced faculty and with curricular time devoted to the area, program residents have gained national and international recognition for dozens of publications, posters and presentations in journals and at national and international conferences.
  • Wellness. Dedicated curricular time and a Wellness Committee jointly run by residents and faculty helps ensure that residents learn to “relax hard” while also working hard during residency. Learn more about wellness.
  • Areas of concentration. Residents with special areas of interest are encouraged to enhance their skills with structured curricula in Sports Medicine, Leadership and Advocacy, and Global Health. Explore areas of concentration.
Program Structure and Details Expand answer

Advisers

An adviser is assigned to each resident at the outset of training. Advisers meet with residents regularly to review progress, share feedback, develop educational plans and serve as general support. The program also encourages residents to develop less formal, elective mentorships with other faculty for support and guidance in any specific areas of interest.

Electronic medical record

The Medical Center uses a Cerner product called PowerChart. Reflecting the value placed on continuity of care, the same PowerChart tool is used in outpatient clinics as well as the inpatient hospital.

Fellowships

The program has two affiliated sports medicine fellowship programs, one in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and one in State College, Pennsylvania.

Integration

This program is neither an “opposed” or “unopposed” program. In this collaborative program, residents have plenty of patient volume and variety on the family medicine adult inpatient service and do not “compete” with internal medicine or other colleagues for patients.

On pediatric, obstetric and surgical rotations, residents are essential members of the team and are treated as such because they are integrated and counted on by the clinical team.

The main “competition” in the program is within the individual resident – to become the best family doctor they can be.

Meals

Residents are all provided with meal cards that act like prepaid debit cards, which may be used at any Hershey Medical Center dining location.

Procedures

Residents learn essential procedural skills in Resident Procedure Clinic sessions. During these sessions, which are within their continuity clinic, residents work with faculty to learn skin procedures such as biopsies, injections and foreign body removal. This is augmented by workshops and simulations throughout the second year of residency to hone procedural skills. Additional procedures in which residents gain expertise include common gynecological and obstetric procedures when on gynecology and obstetrics rotations, suturing on emergency department rotations and circumcision on newborn nursery rotations.

Research

As an academic medical center, there are limitless opportunities for research. Our faculty members are eager to pair with residents to publish novel research, and our Department of Family and Community Medicine highly values scholarly work. Residents receive training on how to develop projects, gain IRB approval, implement their work and present their findings. Our residents routinely present independent research at local, regional and national forums and receive strong support from the program to do so.

Resident Input

The program schedules regular resident business meetings, sometimes with faculty present and sometimes without, to provide residents with a forum to convey their opinions on the program and suggest improvements. Residents also provide feedback through annual surveys. Residents assist in selecting chief residents, who will serve as their voice in the program. Finally, residents actively participate in the process of selecting how interviewed applicants will be ranked in the NRMP match.

Teaching

Residents teach Penn State College of Medicine students on the adult inpatient service and also in continuity clinics. Teaching by residents is so highly regarded by medical students that they have awarded several of residents recognition as exceptional teachers and role models.

Wellness Expand answer

The Family and Community Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recognizes the challenges faced by primary care clinicians in a changing health care system. The program strives to prepare residents for a lifetime of effective management of stress and adversity to optimize health, well-being and success at work and at home.

  • The program has an annual retreat with residents, faculty and staff.
  • The Wellness Leadership Group, consisting of a dedicated group of faculty and residents, works together to organize 10 hours of didactic time in our weekly afternoon conferences. This time has included a “mini-retreat” with team-building and relaxation exercises.
  • The program also organizes extracurricular outings to help reduce stress and foster connectedness among residents and faculty.

Together, these efforts help create a stable foundation for lifelong growth and resilience in a challenging career.

Community Involvement Expand answer

All residents participate in a Community Health longitudinal experience. During this rotation, residents visit local employers to learn about occupational health and wellness and disability and related issues.

Resident visit a local interfaith shelter to understand the health problems of the homeless and observe a local Intermediate Unit to participate in assessments of children with developmental delays.

All residents are also mentored in a community-based project of their own choosing to engage with a local community organization to improve the health of a specific population. Residents have focused on addressing health care needs of urban LGBT and HIV populations, health promotion for Coptic Christians, health promotion for an urban art/dance group, LionCare and group tobacco cessation in a homeless population with a history of drug addiction at a local mission.

Clinical Sites

Site Overview and Patient Populations Expand answer

As a tertiary-care referral center, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center provides care to patients who have unique medical problems and provides for highly educational learning opportunities.

However, as the only hospital in the community, the medical center also provides care for “routine” diagnoses as a family doctor would expect to see in any community where they might practice. 

Caring for patients with pneumonia, cellulitis, heart disease and other common conditions on inpatient service prepares residents for real-world hospital practice after graduation.

Outpatient medicine is an essential aspect of family medicine. Residents will be the personal physician for an individual panel of patients at one of two outpatient practice sites: Fishburn Road Medical Group or Nyes Road Medical Group. Both of these sites offer a premier educational setting unlike most other family medicine residency practice sites. Residents at both practice sites benefit through immersion in full-spectrum family medicine, and upon graduation are well prepared for the rigors of family practice.

The Fishburn Road and Nyes Road clinics are both located in suburban areas. Residents at Nyes Road, located closer to the state capital of Harrisburg, tend to take care of patients who are younger and who tend to live downtown. The Fishburn Road patient population tends to be a bit older, and given its proximity to surrounding farmlands, has more of a rural population base. Because Penn State Health is the major health care provider in the area, both sites provide care to patients who have limited access to insurance and to health care, and who have challenging socioeconomic situations. The patient population is therefore diverse, from Hershey Co. and hospital executives, Medicaid and private-insurance consumers, urban individuals and the under-served.

Residents also receive training on providing care to underserved patients within the community health longitudinal experience. Those residents who have further interest in serving the underserved volunteer at LionCare, a nonprofit, free clinic dedicated to serving the medical, psychological and health needs of the underserved in nearby Harrisburg, PA.

Inpatient medicine rotations complement residents’ patient care education. Residents care for patients on the Family Medicine Inpatient Service within Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This educational setting provides for intense, direct patient care under the direction and guidance of attending physicians.

Experienced preceptors provide on-the-spot education for resident clinical encounters and also work alongside residents in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

Outpatient Care: Nyes Road, Harrisburg, PA Expand answer

Nyes Road, located close to the state capitol of Harrisburg, is the primary location for 14 family medicine attending physicians with a variety of interests including prenatal care, evidence-based medicine and health care management. The suburban practice site serves a population consisting of primarily younger, privately insured patients and families. Patients receive care from residents and attending physicians, complemented by on-site specialties including OB/GYN, dermatology, nephrology and neurology.

In addition to resident teaching, Nyes Road serves as a medical student clerkship site and has been named a Penn State Medical Student Clerkship Teaching Site of the Year for several years. Nyes Road also features on-site phlebotomy and radiology services. The practice care for a wide variety of patients, including a growing Nepali panel. The site offers easy access to numerous nearby restaurants and a short drive to downtown Harrisburg, a popular social destination among residents from all Penn State College of Medicine residency programs.

Outpatient Care: Fishburn Road, Hershey, PA Expand answer

Distinguished by its close proximity to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, this site’s 14 attending physicians have diverse interests including sports medicine, acupuncture and geriatrics in addition to working with residents. 

The practice site’s population is primarily suburban and middle-income, with a notable population of patients receiving government assistance for insurance. Resident exposure to a diverse group of patients of various ages is rounded out by maternity care and patients from a nearby assisted-living facility. 

Resident teaching and learning opportunities are facilitated by the presence of first-, second-, third- and fourth-year College of Medicine students on clerkship rotations. The practice site also boasts on-site lab phlebotomy and x-ray capabilities. A coffee shop, a restaurant and a pizzeria are nearby. Additionally, Fishburn Road Medical Group is just down the street from Hershey Medical Center and from Briarcrest Square, a popular housing option among residents from all Hershey Medical Center residency programs.

Inpatient Care: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Expand answer

Founded in 1963 through a gift from the Milton S. Hershey Foundation, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is one of the leading teaching hospitals in the country. Rigorous pursuit of academic knowledge is the hallmark of the Medical Center. Dedicated conference rooms and call rooms facilitate this education, and the Harrell Health Sciences Library provides easy access to any electronic and printed medical reference that a resident needs to enhance his or her education.

Residents also learn in the brand new, cutting-edge Clinical Simulation Center. Virtual-reality, computer-based and model-driven simulators help residents master skills such as resuscitation and surgical techniques for adult and pediatric patients.

Family medicine residents can recharge at Au Bon Pain and Starbucks as well as the large Rotunda Cafe, all located within the Medical Center. The University Fitness Center, across the street from the Medical Center, offers state-of-the-art equipment, services and programs to meet every individual’s needs. Learn more about the Medical Center here.

Inpatient Care: Penn State Children's Hospital Expand answer

Penn State Children’s Hospital, adjacent to the Medical Center, includes surgical suites, inpatient rooms and outpatient clinics for children. Learn more about the Children’s Hospital here.

Rotations

PGY-1 Rotations Expand answer
  • Adult Inpatient Medicine – one and a half months
  • Night Float – one and a half months
  • General Surgery – one month
  • Inpatient Pediatrics – one and a half months
  • Subspecialty Pediatrics – half a month
  • Emergency Medicine – one month
  • Adolescent Medicine – half a months
  • Obstetrics – one and a half months
  • Newborn Nursery – one month
  • Sports Medicine – one month
  • Longitudinal/Family Systems/Community Health – half a month
PGY-2 Rotations Expand answer
  • Adult Inpatient Medicine – one and a half months
  • Night Float – one and a half months
  • Emergency Medicine – one month
  • Elective – one month
  • Selective – one month
  • Cardiology – one month
  • Ambulatory Pediatrics – one month
  • Geriatrics – half a month
  • Gynecology – one and a half months
  • Longitudinal/Family Systems/Community Health – one and a half months
PGY-3 Rotations Expand answer
  • Adult Inpatient Medicine – one and a half months
  • Night Float – one and a half months
  • Sports Medicine – one month
  • Longitudinal/Family Systems/Community Health – three months
  • Selective – one month
  • Elective – two and a half months
  • Emergency Medicine – one month
Adolescent Medicine Expand answer

Residents learn at three different clinics, all part of the Milton Hershey School – a cost-free, private, co-educational home and school for children from families of low income, limited resources and social need. They work closely with pediatric residents and attending physicians to gain a better understanding of typical and atypical illnesses and how to manage common medical problems in the adolescent population. There is a strong emphasis on health maintenance and preventative care in addition to the overlap between medical and psychosocial issues that this patient population frequently encounters.

Adult Inpatient Medicine and Night Float Expand answer

The patients residents care for on the Adult Inpatient Service are the Medical Center’s own family medicine patients. This means that residents take care of “continuity” patients from family practices and are taught inpatient medicine by family physicians. Resident education is supplemented by collaborating specialist consultants and fellows. 

This rotation is one of the busiest, most intense experiences during residency. Under the supervision of the family medicine faculty, the service is run continuously by a team of junior and senior family medicine residents and supported by highly experienced mid-level providers and a care coordinator to promote interdisciplinary education.

The Inpatient Service allows for interactions with faculty and specialist colleagues and great opportunities for hands-on experiences.

In the Night Float service, residents have opportunity for greater autonomy, though still under supervision. Residents complete admissions, staff deliveries and cover acute issues overnight for adults admitted to the Family Medicine service. There is no other scheduled “call” in the residency.

Ambulatory Pediatrics Expand answer

Residents provide routine care to well and ill children in their continuity clinics. A dedicated one-month rotation at the Department of Family and Community Medicine’s downtown Harrisburg clinic provides additional training opportunities for residents to care for children primarily from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background.

Behavioral Medicine Expand answer

Residents work alongside the program’s highly experienced behaviorists, who provide training in both family systems theory and cognitive behavioral models. They also learn through didactics, precepting and direct observation and from behaviorist-led small group discussions. Through this experience, residents gain an understanding and appreciation of mental health disorders and how to approach treatment through the biopsychosocial model so they are prepared to manage the complexities of family dynamics and of individual mental health by the end of their training.

Cardiology Expand answer

Hershey Medical Center cardiology faculty are dedicated to teaching residents and ensure an excellent educational experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Residents learn to identify and manage both routine and urgent cardiovascular disease while rounding with a team of intensivists as part of a cardiology consultation team, including experienced attendings and fellows.

Electives Expand answer

Elective rotations are opportunities for residents to supplement their education in specific areas of interest. Opportunities to pursue these interests at the academic medical center. Each resident is given an average of three elective rotations over the course of their residency. In the past, residents have chosen to pursue the following:

  • Global health
  • Integrative medicine
  • Research
  • Nephrology
  • Hematology
  • Neurology
  • Sports medicine
  • Intensive care
Emergency Medicine Expand answer

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s emergency department is a nationally recognized Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center and is able to provide comprehensive emergency care to patients of all ages. Residents enhance differential diagnosis abilities and learn to manage problems acutely while also coordinating care with specialist providers while learning to manage a broad array of acute illness.

General Surgery Expand answer

The general surgery rotation consists of both operative and ambulatory surgical experiences. Residents round alongside the team of general surgeons to understand pre-, intra- and post-operative care so that they can better understand the needs of their continuity patients who will someday require operative management.

Geriatrics Expand answer

Although residents provide care to older patients in their continuity clinics, the program also makes sure that residents have additional, specific education in caring for older adults. Residents round at local nursing homes, work with a local hospice, perform outpatient geriatric consultations and work at a local Veterans Administration hospital under the supervision of an experienced geriatrician to learn to care for these patients in various settings.

Gynecology Expand answer

Residents provide care to patients with gynecological concerns within their continuity clinics. They also rotate on a gynecology outpatient service, where residents take on the role of a gynecology resident, learning gynecological skills and procedures as taught by experienced OB/GYNs who are dedicated to resident education. Residents learn skills in endometrial biopsy, IUD placement, cervical biopsy and gain proficiency in normal and abnormal gynecological examinations and pelvic exams, pap smears, breast exam, colposcopy and endometrial procedures.

Inpatient Pediatrics Expand answer

Penn State Children’s Hospital provides an excellent setting for family medicine resident education as residents are embedded within the team of residents on the pediatric service,

They take care of children with common pediatric illnesses such as asthma, bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, appendicitis and febrile seizures, as well as those with less common pathologies unique to children. Residents benefit from daily inpatient teaching rounds with the attending physicians, morning topic presentations and discussions, and admissions from the emergency department. Weekly grand rounds cover various areas of interest in pediatrics to supplement the hands-on learning.

Longitudinal Experiences Expand answer

There are some topics in family medicine that are best taught in a longitudinal format – in small “doses” over several years, rather than in a one-month rotation and then never again. Recognizing this, the program has developed a progressive approach to scheduling that facilitates teaching in this longitudinal manner. 

During “longitudinal” months, residents spend time learning Behavioral Health, Population Health, and Health Systems Management. They also spend a relatively greater time taking care of their patients in their continuity clinic during these months.

Obstetrics Expand answer

While not an obstetrics-intensive program, all program residents gain a basic competency in understanding and providing basic obstetrical care to their patients.

As such, family medicine residents are an integral part of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center obstetrics team, participating in rounding and performing deliveries, triages and postpartum care alongside obstetrician resident colleagues. 

Supervision and education are by obstetricians/gynecologists as well as family medicine faculty. The focus is on improving basic and advanced skills in obstetric triages and deliveries with additional exposure to maternal-fetal medicine. Residents also provide care for neonates on the service.

Residents deliver prenatal patients with whom they have provided care throughout their pregnancy in their continuity clinics, and pregnant patients are also referred by a local crisis pregnancy center. Faculty-led prenatal chart reviews round out the educational experience in obstetrics. Some residents have sought extra exposure in obstetrics by starting Centering Pregnancy classes, which can be understood as “group prenatal visits” for a cohort of patients who will ultimately be delivered by the resident.

The clinical diversity provided by the obstetrical service allows for experiences in complicated deliveries, which may not be typically seen in a community setting.

Newborn Nursery Expand answer

In Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s newborn nursery, residents provide care to neonates alongside pediatric resident colleagues and are taught by pediatric attending physicians.

Here, residents learn to identify and treat common newborn illnesses, hone their newborn examination skills and learn to manage fever, rashes, hip dysplasia and antibiotics, while also learning how to effectively communicate with families about caring for their new child.

Population Health Expand answer

Population health residency education is provided through a longitudinal, self-directed, experiential curriculum with a focus on quality improvement and community engagement. Residents spend approximately 150 hours over their three years of residency devoted to population health. The curriculum allows residents to practice leadership, both in a multidisciplinary clinic team and with community organizations to improve health of populations based on needs and using Plan-Do-Study-Act methodology. The curriculum includes learning objectives and resources that guide them through their quality improvement and community projects with training in core topics in population health. Residents present their accomplishments to peers and faculty at the end of their third year.

Selectives Expand answer

The program wants to ensure that residents learn the fundamental topics within family medicine, yet also have flexibility to tailor training to their specific interests. 

During selective months, residents choose from a “menu” of rotation options. This training augments the exposure they get to these clinical topics in their continuity clinic, inpatient service and other rotations. Selection options include:

  • Dermatology
  • ENT
  • Ophthalmology
  • Neurology
  • Urology
  • Endocrinology
  • Rheumatology
  • Gastroenterology
Sports Medicine Expand answer

As a particular strength of the program, all residents complete a one-month sports medicine rotation in both their first and their third year. On these rotations, residents learn from our five fellowship-trained primary care sports medicine faculty members, in addition to working with orthopaedic surgeons who are involved in primary care sports medicine. Residents master essential skills in musculoskeletal care as well as dermatology, concussion care and other conditions essential to the knowledge base of any family physician. They gain an appreciation for their clinical collaborators in sports medicine through dedicated experiences in physical therapy, podiatry, and orthotics among others.

Training is provided by the five fellowship-trained family physician faculty and three orthopedic faculty members who make up the Primary Care Sports Medicine team. There are plenty of opportunities to work with athletes, game coverage and didactic sessions with medical students to teach different aspects of sports medicine, including the musculoskeletal exam and joint injections. Residents will work alongside a physical therapist once a week to see how different modalities are used to treat such injuries. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in Sports Medicine Journal Club to discuss interesting and debated topics as well as learn to clinically appraise research articles. 

Interested residents have plenty of other opportunities to engage in sports medicine training in the program, including the option to engage in a sports medicine area of concentration. Highly motivated residents are encouraged to work closely with Matthew Silvis, MD, the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship director, to do research, develop a professional portfolio, provide care at the local high schools and colleges, and even work with the professional sports teams where faculty members are team physicians.

Several residents have served as team physicians for local high schools and have successfully matched into competitive sports medicine fellowships.

Subspecialty Pediatrics Expand answer

Residents benefit from Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s expertise in the care of children with complicated needs while on the pediatric subspecialty rotation. With experiences in pediatric allergy/asthma, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology and obesity clinics, family medicine residents pick up skills for helping children in their future practices.

Areas of Concentration

For residents with particular interests, the Family and Community Medicine Residency offers areas of concentration in global health, sports medicine, and leadership and advocacy.

Global Health Expand answer

This family medicine area of concentration in global health provides family medicine residents at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center the opportunity to explore and engage in global health during residency. The experiences offered through this program help nurture the resident’s interest in developing the medical knowledge, clinical skills, cultural attitudes,
behaviors and leadership skills important for the practice of global health. The Global Health concentration combines domestic and international experiences, participation in journal clubs, small group discussions and self-directed learning to provide residents with an organized curriculum tailored around the resident’s professional interests.

Goals and Objectives

This concentration ideally positions the participating resident as a strong candidate for a global health fellowship training program or better equip the interested resident to provide culturally competent health care in an underserved setting. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center residents pursuing the area of concentration in global health can utilize this program to
develop strong working and mentoring relationships with knowledgeable and enthusiastic faculty members.

The concentration in global health offers:

Longitudinal Global Health Curriculum

The curriculum can be tailored to a resident’s specific interests in global health and will:

  • Enhance the resident’s understanding of core concepts in global health.
  • Offer a longitudinal global health curriculum that also allows for individualized learning tailored to a resident’s specific interests.
  • Help facilitate the attendance at least one regional or national global health CME conference.

Mentoring

The area of concentration in global health allows personal mentoring that will:

  • Provide longitudinal mentoring by global health faculty.
  • Assist in selecting elective global health rotations.
  • Provide guidance in the development of scholarly activity.
  • Facilitate and encourage the resident’s integration of global health into future practice.

Scholarly Activity

The area of concentration facilitates scholarly activity in global health and will:

  • Afford involvement in small group discussion meetings and facilitation of
    global health journal club.
  • Involve presentations and scholarly works at the institutional, regional and or
    national level.

Clinical Experience

The area of concentration in global health allows exceptional clinical opportunities that will:

  • Help develop adequate skills to effectively care for vulnerable populations,
    both domestically and internationally.
  • Provide experience caring for domestic underserved populations.
  • Allow for the application of learned global health skills through an international elective.
Sports Medicine Expand answer

The primary care sports medicine area of concentration has been developed to provide education, training and exposure to primary care sports medicine endeavors that surpass the required core education and training during the standard Penn State Health Family Medicine Residency experience. This area of concentration can be pursued by those residents considering fellowship education and training in primary care sports medicine.

Goals and Objectives

The area of concentration in sports medicine gives family medicine residents at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center the opportunity to engage more fully in the primary care sports medicine endeavors that surround them during residency. These opportunities may include additional sports medicine training via event coverage, journal club, sports medicine workshops or scholarly activities, amongst others. By completing the requirements of the sports medicine area of concentration, residents will exceed core requirements during residency, develop a strong foundation in sports medicine in preparation for their future careers and develop a portfolio that can be utilized for fellowship application, future credentialing, etc. The sports medicine area of concentration is individualized to meet the needs of the family medicine resident and their future practice in family medicine.

Specific Aims

  • To provide structured and intensive training in musculoskeletal and primary care sports medicine.
  • To act as a team physician and provide mass event coverage under the guidance of sports medicine faculty.
  • To provide on-site clinical exposure in the assessment and management of acute musculoskeletal injuries.
  • To enhance skills in areas such as:
    • Casting and splinting
    • Concussion evaluation and management
    • Joint and soft tissue injections
    • Musculoskeletal radiology/ultrasound
    • Pre-participation physical exams
    • Rehabilitation
  • To pursue scholarly activity in sports medicine, such as:
    • Original research
    • Clinical or educational quality improvement (QI) projects
    • Case studies
    • Systematic reviews
  • To offer longitudinal didactic sports medicine exposure, such as:
    • Journal clubs
    • Sports medicine conferences
    • Didactic lectures
    • Hands-on workshops
  • To receive longitudinal mentoring by sports medicine faculty for:
    • Game and mass event coverage
    • Scholarly activity
    • Assistance in selecting elective rotations in musculoskeletal and sports medicine
    • Membership to professional sports medicine organizations
    • Attendance at national sports medicine CME conferences

Requirements

  • Complete the required four-week family medicine residency sports medicine rotation.
  • Complete at least one year of longitudinal team physician experience with an area high school sports team.
  • Log at least 200 hours of sideline/training room work in primary care sports medicine.
  • Participate in medical coverage of at least three mass participation sporting events (Hershey Half Marathon, Tussey Mountain Ultramarathon, District 3 and/or PIAA championship events, etc.).
  • Regularly attend and participate in sports medicine conferences.
  • Critically appraise and present at least six journal club articles related to sports medicine.
  • Design and complete a scholarly project relevant to sports medicine (original research, clinical/educational quality improvement project, case study or systematic review) and present the project within the residency and/or at another appropriate local, regional or national forum.
  • Attend at least one national sports medicine CME conference such as American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and/or an Advanced Team Physician Course.
Leadership and Advocacy Expand answer

Rationale

The system of medical care in the United States is constantly changing. Under the influence of economic and legislative changes, as well as the evolving scientific knowledge base, payment structure and methods of care delivery have shifted significantly in recent years. Physicians are obligated to provide leadership in sharpening the focus of the care system on patient safety, clinical quality and efficiency. Family physicians are positioned to have a meaningful impact on health and wellness on a local, national and global scale through efforts in these areas.

Family medicine serves as a cornerstone of the evolving health care landscape, with its patient-centered approach and high value in provision of care. Therefore, advocacy for the specialty serves an important role in improving health care on a national level. Similarly, family physician advocacy for vulnerable populations can create meaningful change for both individuals and communities.

Family physicians trained to step into leadership roles in these areas can have a tremendous impact on their patients, their community and their country. For family medicine residents who are passionate about leadership and advocacy, this curriculum provides the tools to enter with confidence into a lifetime of leading change.

Guiding Principles

  • Mentor selected during post-graduate year (PGY) 1
  • Area of concentration entered at the start of PGY 2.
  • No more than two residents at a time.
  • Resident is responsible for tracking activities and time spent on each.
  • May change specific activities within an area of focus if approved by faculty mentor.

Possible Areas of Focus

  • Advocacy for patients and specialty
  • Advocacy for vulnerable populations
  • Health administration
  • Business of medicine
  • Patient safety and risk management
  • Clinical quality improvement

Related Activities

  • All areas of focus
    • Participate in Health Systems Management curriculum
    • Online modules or required reading for independent learning
    • Related scholarly project
    • Attend a related conference
    • Present critical analysis of journal article at all-resident conference
    • Present at HSM breakout sessions
    • Facilitate HSM longitudinal session
    • Reflection – semiannual narrative essay on experiences (3)
    • Reflection – capstone narrative essay describing experiences and impact on self,
      others and future practice
    • Seek students with shared interests and provide mentorship (report total number)
  • Advocacy: Patients and specialty
    • Attend three medical staff meetings
    • Work with a local, state, or national medical organization in an administrative capacity – 10 hours
    • Submit resolution to state or national organization
    • Contact legislator regarding issue of choice, may work with lobbyist
    • Leadership role in the student Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG)
    • Provide patient education in a public forum, ideally through the media
  • Advocacy: Vulnerable populations
    • Serve on diversity committee (quarterly for 2 years)
    • Volunteer in vulnerable service area
    • Leadership role in vulnerable service area
    • Clinical quality improvement or patient safety project which improves system of care delivery for vulnerable population
    • Submit resolution to state or national organization
    • Contact legislator regarding issue of choice/work with PAFP lobbyist
  • Leadership: Health administration
    • Junior medical director: share in majority of leadership activities including running team, faculty and full office meetings
    • Design and implement an administrative initiative within continuity clinic together with office leadership (does not include required quality improvement project)
    • Present administrative initiative at FCM faculty meetings
    • Attend FCM medical directors and office managers meeting
    • Attend HMC medical staff meeting
    • Teach medical students in the Patient Centered Medical Home curriculum
  • Leadership: Business of medicine
    • Junior medical director: share in majority of leadership activities including running team, faculty and full office meetings
    • Design and implement an initiative within continuity clinic which generates revenue or decreases expense together with office leadership
    • Present initiative at FCM faculty meetings
    • Attend FCM medical directors and office managers meeting
    • Attend HMC medical staff meeting
    • Teach medical students in the Patient Centered Medical Home curriculum
  • Leadership: Patient safety and risk management
    • Design and implement a hospital or continuity clinic-based initiative which improves patient safety or mitigates risk together with office or department leadership
    • Attend FCM medical directors and office managers meeting
    • Attend medical staff meeting
    • Serve on the Patient Safety committee (quarterly for 2 years)
    • Assist FMIG in organizing Law and Medicine series
    • Submit resolution to state or national organization
    • Provide patient education in a public forum, ideally through the media
  • Leadership: Clinical quality improvement
    • Attend FCM medical directors and office managers meeting
    • Attend medical staff meeting
    • Serve on Inpatient or Outpatient Quality Improvement committees (monthly, assume 66 percent attendance during PGY-2 and PGY-3)
    • Quality improvement project must merit publication or presentation at a regional or national meeting

Resident Honors and Recognitions

Resident/Fellow Research Day Presentations Expand answer

The annual Resident/Fellow Research Day is held each summer on and around the Penn State Health Milton S. Medical Center campus in Hershey, PA.

The intent of the event is to provide an opportunity for residents and fellows to showcase their research accomplishments to their peers in other clinical departments, as well as their colleagues in the basic sciences.

Learn more about Resident/Fellow Research Day here.

Previous presentations from the Family and Community Medicine Residency (Hershey, PA) are listed here.

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