Family and Community Medicine Residency (Hershey, PA)

Program Overview

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.

Program Details

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

Based as we are in an academic medical center rich in resources, our program 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. Our 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 our more than 80 highly esteemed Family Medicine faculty. These Family Physician educators are based in an academic medical center and are thus dedicated to teaching and collectively represent a diversity of Family Medicine-relevant talents and interests that is unrivaled in the country. As a collaborative rather than an “opposed” program, our 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 our Family Medicine faculty.

Our program is distinguished by our:

  • 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, our 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. Our 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. Our more than 80 esteemed Family Medicine faculty collectively represent a diversity of Family Medicine-relevant talents and interests that is unrivaled in the nation. Learn more about our faculty.
  • Residents. Our residents are highly accomplished, motivated and enthusiastic and our 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 our own department. Our 100-percent ABFM Board pass rate for the past five or more years is a testament to their high achievement. Meet our current residents.
  • Family Systems Theory. This branch of psychology explores how people interact with one another in intimate relationships and is woven into our curriculum, taught by an experienced psychologist who helps residents understand their patients’ behaviors outside of the office visit.
  • Integrated Behavioral Health. Our program models an 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 our 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 – our 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, our residents have gained national and international recognition for their 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 our 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.

Our residents enjoy the comfortable setting of Hershey, PA. It is a unique and wonderful arrangement for our 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 of this while living in an idyllic, small-town community with varied cultural, entertainment and outdoor attractions.

The Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency is a setting where medical students of great promise develop into clinicians of excellence. Surrounded by abundant academic resources, talented faculty, and a beautiful town, this is a wonderful place to complete formal training as a physician and serve as a springboard for the rest of your career.

Join us in Hershey. It’s a sweet place to learn!

Our Team

Curriculum

Our 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 our 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. Please contact us with questions regarding our rotations, or for more information.

Please note that 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.

Rotations

PGY-1 Rotations

  • Adult Inpatient Medicine – 1.5 months
  • Night Float – 1.5 months
  • General Surgery – 1 month
  • Inpatient Pediatrics – 1.5 months
  • Subspecialty Pediatrics – 0.5 months
  • Emergency Medicine – 1 month
  • Adolescent Medicine – 0.5 months
  • Obstetrics – 1.5 months
  • Newborn Nursery – 1 month
  • Sports Medicine – 1 month
  • Longitudinal/Family Systems/Community Health – 0.5 months

PGY-2 Rotations

  • Adult Inpatient Medicine – 1.5 months
  • Night Float – 1.5 months
  • Emergency Medicine – 1 month
  • Elective – 1 month
  • Selective – 1 month
  • Cardiology – 1 month
  • Ambulatory Pediatrics – 1 month
  • Geriatrics – 0.5 months
  • Gynecology – 1.5 months
  • Longitudinal/Family Systems/Community Health – 1.5 months

PGY-3 Rotations

  • Adult Inpatient Medicine – 1.5 months
  • Night Float – 1.5 months
  • Sports Medicine – 1 month
  • Longitudinal/Family Systems/Community Health – 3 months
  • Selective – 1 month
  • Elective – 2.5 months
  • Emergency Medicine – 1 month

Adolescent Medicine

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

The patients our residents care for on our Adult Inpatient Service are our own Family Medicine patients. This means that residents take care of “continuity” patients from our practices and are taught inpatient medicine by Family Physicians. Resident education is supplemented by our collaborating specialist consultants and fellows.  This rotation is one of the busiest, most intense experiences during residency. Under the supervision of our 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 our faculty, our specialist colleagues, and great opportunities for hands-on experiences.

Ambulatory Pediatrics

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

Behavioral Medicine

Residents work alongside our Program’s highly experienced behaviorists who provide training in both Family Systems theory and Cognitive Behavioral models, learn through didactics, precepting, 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

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

Elective rotations are opportunities for residents to supplement their education in specific areas of interest. Opportunities to pursue these interests at our 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 Unit

Emergency Medicine

The Penn State Hershey Medical Center Emergency Department is a nationally recognized Level I Adult & 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

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

Although residents provide care to older patients in their continuity clinics, we make sure that residents have additional, specific education in caring for older adults. Our 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

Outpatient gynecology education is from our Hershey Medical Center OB/GYN faculty at a dedicated gynecology clinic where residents learn procedures and routine gynecologic care from experienced faculty. This is an excellent supplement to training in residents’ continuity clinics, and an opportunity to gain proficiency in normal and abnormal gynecological examinations and procedures such as pelvic exams, pap smears, breast exam, colposcopy, and endometrial procedures.

Inpatient Pediatrics

The brand-new Penn State Children’s Hospital provides an excellent setting for family medicine resident education as our 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 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

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 Penn State Residency 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

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 obstetrician/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. The clinical diversity provided by the Obstetrical Service allows for unique experiences in complicated deliveries, which may not be typically seen in a community setting.

Newborn Nursery

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center newborn nursery, residents provide care to neonates alongside pediatric resident colleagues and are taught by pediatric attending physicians.  Here, our residents learn to identify and treat common newborn illnesses, hone their newborn examination skills and learn to manage fever, rashes, hip dysplasia, antibiotics, while also learning how to effectively communicate with families about caring for their new child.

Population Health

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 using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) 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

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

A particular strength of the Program, these two one-month rotations prepare residents to master essential skills in musculoskeletal care as well as dermatology, concussion care, and other conditions essential to the knowledge base of any family physician.  Training is provided by the five fellowship trained family physician faculty and three orthopedic faculty members who make up our 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 our Program, including the option to engage in a Sports Medicine Area of Concentration.

Subspecialty Pediatrics

Residents benefit from Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s expertise in the care of children with unique 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

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 AOC 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.

The AOC in global health 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 AOC in global health can utilize this program to
develop strong working and mentoring relationships with knowledgeable and enthusiastic faculty members.

The AOC in global health offers:

A 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 AOC 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 AOC 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 AOC 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

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

This AOC 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 AOC, 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 AOC will be individualized to meet the needs of the family medicine resident and his/her 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 team (i.e. football).
  • 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

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 healthcare landscape, with its
patient centered approach and high value in provision of care. Therefore, advocacy for the
specialty serves an important role in improving healthcare 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 our 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

Clinical Sites

As a tertiary-care referral center, Penn State Health 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, we also provide 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 our inpatient service prepares residents for real-world hospital practice after graduation.

Outpatient medicine is an essential aspect of family medicine. As a resident, you will be the personal physician for your own panel of patients at one of our 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.

Inpatient medicine rotations complement our residents’ patient care education. Residents care for patients on our Family Medicine Inpatient Service, within Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This unique 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 our outpatient and inpatient settings.

Outpatient Care: Nyes Road, Harrisburg, PA

Nyes Road, located close to the state capitol of Harrisburg, is the primary location for fourteen 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 the past several years. Nyes Road also features on-site phlebotomy and radiology services. We 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

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 Family and Community Medicine Residency residents as well as the other Hershey Medical Center residency programs.

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

Founded in 1963 through a gift from the Milton S. Hershey Foundation, Penn State 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 in addition to the newly renovated Rotunda Cafe, all located within the Medical Center. The 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

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

Wellness

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

  • Our program has an annual retreat with residents, faculty and staff.
  • Our 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.
  • We also organize 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.

Program FAQs

What are the strengths of your program?

Our faculty is very large and talented, providing residents with daily exposure to highly accomplished family physician role models. Embedded within an academic medical center, our residents can access resources such as a world-class Simulation Center and electronic resources that are not readily available in smaller hospitals. We also offer excellent training opportunities in the form of areas of concentration in sports medicine, global health, and leadership and advocacy.

Are you an “opposed” or “unopposed” program?

Neither. We are a collaborative program. Our residents have plenty of patient volume and variety on our family medicine adult inpatient service and do not “compete” with our internal medicine or other colleagues for patients. On pediatric, obstetric and surgical rotations, our 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 our program is within yourself – to become the best family doctor you can be.

What kind of patients do residents take care of on the inpatient service?

As a tertiary-care referral center, 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, we also provide 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 our inpatient service prepares residents for real-world hospital practice after graduation.

What is the continuity clinic population like?

Our 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 Hershey Medical Center 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. Our patient population is therefore diverse, as we care for Hershey company and hospital executives, Medicaid and private-insurance consumers, urban individuals and the under-served.

Will I be trained to provide care to the medically under-served?

Our resident continuity clinics accept patients with government-sponsored health insurance and who are economically disadvantaged. Residents provide care for these patient in both outpatient and inpatient settings, including an ambulatory pediatric rotation in Harrisburg. Residents also receive training on providing care to under-served patients within our community health longitudinal experience. Those residents who have further interest in serving the under-served volunteer at LionCare, a non-profit, free clinic dedicated to serving the medical, psychological and health needs of the under-served in nearby Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Are residents involved in the community?.

All residents participate in our 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 healthcare 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.

Do you have a night float system?

Yes. Residents have opportunity for greater autonomy, though still under supervision, when staffing our Night Float service. 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.

Will I have an advisor?

Yes. An advisor is assigned to each resident at the outset of training. Advisors 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.

How is obstetrical training conducted at your program?

While we are not an obstetrics-intensive program, we want to ensure that all of our residents have a basic competency in understanding and providing basic obstetrical care to their patients. Residents perform deliveries while embedded within the Hershey Medical Center obstetrics team. They also deliver prenatal patients with whom they have provided care throughout their pregnancy in their continuity clinics. 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.

What kind of training will I receive in the area of women’s health?

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 other relevant procedures in these settings.

What is the pediatric training like?

In addition to taking care of children and families in continuity clinics, residents benefit from the new, highly regarded Penn State Children’s Hospital. Our residents are embedded within the Hershey Medical Center pediatric inpatient teams, learning from pediatric faculty members as well as resident peers and fellows. Our residents provide care for common childhood diseases including gastroenteritis, asthma exacerbation and RSV infection, and gain some exposure to the more unique illnesses cared for at this tertiary care center. The ambulatory pediatric rotation with our family medicine faculty in downtown Harrisburg is one of the most highly regarded rotations by our residents, as they care for children with a variety of medical problems and socioeconomic challenges. Finally, residents also learn outpatient pediatrics in subspecialty clinics and at the Milton Hershey School, which nurtures and educates children in social and financial need.

What is your “pass rate” for the American Board of Family Medicine exam?

We are proud that our residents have a 100-percent pass rate for five years.

What are resident salaries and benefits?

To assist our residents focus on learning and taking care of patients, Hershey Medical Center ensures that residents have benefits and a stipend that are generous enough to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family in Hershey. Learn more about benefits and stipends.

Are meals covered?

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

Do residents have a voice in decision-making?

Yes. 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.

What does the program do to preserve and teach resident physician wellness?

The Family and Community Medicine Residency recognizes that residency – and the vocation of every physician – is a challenge. The Program Director requested that a thread of wellness be woven through the residency experience, and both faculty and residents have risen to the task. Learn more about wellness here.

Do you offer any areas of concentration?

Yes. While mastering the fundamentals of family medicine, interested residents can choose to augment their training with areas of concentration in sports medicine, global health, and leadership and advocacy. Learn more about AOCs.

Are there opportunities to get involved with sports medicine?

Absolutely. Sports medicine is a distinctive strength of our program. All residents complete a 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 gain an appreciation for their clinical collaborators in sports medicine through dedicated experiences in physical therapy, podiatry, and orthotics among others.

There are ample opportunities for residents with more specific sports medicine interests to participate in pre-participation physicals, mass events, work the sidelines for local high school teams, and to observe ultrasound-guided injections. Highly motivated residents are encouraged to work closely with Matthew Silvis, MD, our 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 our 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.

Will my family be happy in Hershey?

As a family medicine program, we understand the importance of family in the life of a resident. Hershey is a wonderful place to live, with a beautiful setting, relatively low cost of living, excellent schools, and ample employment opportunities. A generous 75 percent discount on tuition to Penn State (including nearby Penn State Harrisburg) is available to residents and their spouses and dependents.

What procedures do residents learn?

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 our emergency department rotations and circumcision on newborn nursery rotations.

Are research opportunities available?

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.

Are residents involved in teaching medical students?

Yes. Residents teach Penn State College of Medicine students on our adult inpatient service and also in our continuity clinics. Teaching by our residents is so highly regarded by our medical students that they have awarded several of our residents recognition as “Exceptional Role Models.”

Does your program offer fellowship programs?

Yes. We have two affiliated sports medicine fellowship programs, one in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and one in State College, Pennsylvania.

Where are your graduates practicing? What are they doing?

Our 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. Our residents are well-prepared for all manner of practice following graduation.

How is behavioral health taught?

Our program has two behaviorists who provide training to our residents. Mary Beth Backenstose is trained in Family Systems Theory and brings this formal education, as well as several years of practical experience teaching and providing behavioral health care in Hershey. Dr. Julie Radico brings her training and practice in the cognitive behavioral model and practice experiences working in several integrated primary care settings. Through small-group discussions, review of seminal articles, direct observation, didactics, behavioral health precepting and off-site experiences, our residents receive excellent training in how to provide for the mental health of the patients and families under their care.

Are residents trained in the care of the older patient?

Residents learn to care for the older patient in their continuity clinics, which is augmented by a rotation at a local VA hospital. Regularly supervised rounds at a local nursing home and visits with a local hospice organization round out resident training in geriatric medicine.

What is your electronic medical record like?

We use a Cerner product called PowerChart. Reflecting the value we place on continuity of care, we are pleased that the same PowerChart tool is used in our outpatient clinics as well as our inpatient hospital.

To Apply

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 more information on certification, please contact the ECFMG at

Selection and Interview Process

The program begins reviewing candidates when ERAS opens in September. Once your 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 be pleased to 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 our patient care locations, meet with residents and interview with the program director, faculty members and residents.

Faculty

Meet the teaching team for the Family and Community Medicine Residency in Hershey, PA.

About the Program Director

Daniel Schlegel, MD, MHA, was born and raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He enjoyed his liberal arts education at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, before attending and graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Lancaster General Hospital before joining the faculty at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Dr. Schlegel has been involved in teaching medical students and residents for the last seven years and has been the recipient of teaching awards from both resident physicians and students. As director of the Penn State Family Medicine Residency Program, he leads fellow faculty and resident family physicians in the final three years of medical training that follow medical school. Dr. Schlegel has a special interest in the administrative, economic, and policy aspects of healthcare in the United States and teaches these components to residents. He recently completed a master’s degree in health administration from Penn State University to enhance his understanding of these fields and to share his knowledge with students and residents.

Faculty Directory

Current Residents

Contact Us

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