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The ACGME-accredited Geriatric Medicine Fellowship, launched in 2019, operates under the auspices of the Division of Internal Medicine in Penn State Health’ Department of Medicine to train residents who have completed either family medicine or internal medicine residency in the discipline of geriatrics.
Geriatrics is rapidly emerging as a need for communities across the nation as America gets older. By the year 2030, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population will be older than 65. As of 2019, Pennsylvania was the fifth “oldest” state of the nation.
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a large institution with more than 540 beds.
Penn State Health also includes:
- Penn State Bone and Joint Institute
- Penn State Cancer Institute
- Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute
- Penn State Heart and Vascular institute
- Penn State Institute of Personalized Medicine
- Penn State Neuroscience Institute
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has the advantage of being the primary quaternary referral center for central Pennsylvania that caters to an aging population. This broad base yields a range of diverse pathology, allowing trainees to see both common and less-common diseases.
Annual admissions exceed 28,000 per year, with more than 1 million outpatient visits and more than 72,000 emergency room visits. A culture of professional accountability and collegiality is fostered in an environment that promotes individual growth and learning. The Geriatric Medicine Fellow will get robust clinical training across the venues of the Geriatric Clinic and inpatient consults, and will have a strong post-acute care experience focusing on transitions of Penn State Health patients to preferred facilities. The trainee will also carry a panel of long-term care patients.
The fellow will also have a multitude of academic and professional resources through Penn State Health and will get a chance to collaborate with house staff from the Internal Medicine Residency and Family and Community Medicine Residency, as well as fellows from other programs under the Department of Medicine and the disciplines of pharmacy, physical therapy and the chaplain’s office.
Learn More about the Fellowship
The Geriatric Medice Fellowship aims to do the following:
- train the fellow in treating and managing geriatric patients across the continuum with a deep understanding of geriatric principles;
- teach the science of aging and longevity, comprehensive multi-domain geriatric assessment, principles of rehabilitation, psycho-social supports, nutrition, etiquette of geriatric pharmacology, geriatric psychiatry and ethics in a culturally centered way;
- teach the basics of research methodologies and the wider impact of aging in communities and its interface with the economics of medicine; and
- create a cohort of geriatric experts in central Pennsylvania who cater to an aging Pennsylvania community and connect the clinician with community resources and facilitate the best interdisciplinary care for older adults with the other disciplines of social work, pharmacy and post-acute care networks.
Penn State Health
Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to improve health through patient care, research, education and community outreach.
In December 2017, the system partnered with Highmark Health to facilitate creation of a value-based, community care network in the region. The shared goal of Highmark and Penn State Health is to ensure patients in the community are within:
- 10 minutes of a Penn State Health primary care provider
- 20 minutes of Penn State Health specialty care
- 30 minutes of a Penn State Health acute care facility
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Dr., Hershey, Pa., 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)
- The health system’s 628-bed flagship teaching and research hospital
- The only medical facility in Pennsylvania accredited as both an adult and a pediatric Level I (highest-level) trauma center
- Dedicated surgical, neuroscience, cardiovascular, trauma and medical intensive care units
- Accredited Life Lion critical-care transport providing more than 1,100 helicopter and approximately 750 ground ambulance transports per year
- More than 1,300 faculty members and more than 650 residents and fellows
- Approximately 28,500 admissions, 75,000 emergency department visits, 1.1 million outpatient visits and 32,000 surgical procedures annually
- Designated as a Magnet hospital four consecutive times, one of 116 hospitals to do so
Penn State Health Children’s Hospital
600 University Dr., Hershey, Pa. 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)
- An eight-story, 263,000-square-foot-facility built in 2013 and expanded in 2020
- 146 licensed pediatric beds, 18 acute care beds and a 56-bed neonatal intensive care unit
- Level IV (highest-level) neonatal intensive care unit
- Level I quaternary (highest-level) pediatric intensive care unit
- Level I (highest-level) pediatric trauma center designation
- Intermediate care unit
- Dedicated pediatric operating rooms
- More than 150,000 pediatric outpatient visits and approximately 5,000 pediatric patient discharges annually
Welcome to Hershey
More About Hershey
Interested in learning more about living and working in Hershey, Pa.? See details here:
Wellness, including emotional, spiritual, social and physical health, is a crucial component to training and to becoming a professional, compassionate and resilient physician. Self-care is a skill which must be continually practiced and reinforced. Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health are committed to addressing wellness among residents and fellows, with multiple resources readily available.
- Visit BeWell – a health program designed to support Penn State Health employees
- See Penn State College of Medicine wellness resources here
- Employee Health Care Concierge and Case Management Service
- Partners in Medicine
- The Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine
Graduate medical education resources
Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine celebrate, embrace and support the diversity of all patients, faculty, staff, students and trainees.
Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In keeping with this, Penn State Health has an active Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with various programs, networks and resource groups, including:
- Talks and lectures on diversity, equity and inclusion through the Inclusion Academy
- Regular events on topics such as eradicating racism and creating a culture of inclusiveness
- An allyship support group
- Many Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs), including:
- Disability Business Employee Resource Group
- Interfaith Business Employee Resource Group
- LGBTQ+ Business Employee Resource Group
- Military and Veterans Business Employee Resource Group
- Multicultural Business Employee Resource Group
- NextGen Business Employee Resource Group
Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education
The vision at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health is to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to provide culturally excellent health care and research for an increasingly diverse U.S. population. The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education was formed to help meet that goal.
Office for a Respectful Learning Environment
In addition, the institution does not tolerate discrimination, biases, microaggression, harassment or learner mistreatment of any kind, and any concerns are immediately addressed by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.
Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows
The Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows (NURF) is a group of diverse residents and fellows representing all specialties. NURF’s goal is to promote cultural diversity in the residency programs through community involvement, mentorship with diverse faculty, professional networking and support for the recruitment of diverse medical students into the residency programs.
NURF is sponsored by the Penn State College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Office and the Penn State Health Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Schedule and rotations are adapted to individual fellow interests. The fellow will have valuable rotations through the following sites:
- Lebanon VA Medical Center
- Spring Creek Nursing Home for long-term care
- Hospice of Central Pennsylvania
- Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center transitional care unit
In addition, geriatric fellows will care for diverse patient populations in a variety of other settings: other nursing homes; the continuity clinic based at Penn State Health’s East Campus in Hershey; as part of the inpatient consult team; and more. Telemedicine is incorporated throughout all rotations as applicable.
Electives in rheumatology, ALS and pain/drug addition medicine may also be chosen.
The fellow will share a longitudinal interdisciplinary humanities-based curriculum with palliative and internal medicine fellows, the chaplains’ office and postgraduate nursing students. This program goes beyond scientific trends to explore humanistic issues of modern medicine. This diverse didactic experience not only supports the geriatric fellow’s education, but also provides opportunities to present, evaluate others and discuss relevant articles.
Some topics include:
- Care of the veteran
- Health systems science
Dedicated research time is also allotted at a minimum of two weeks, but is flexible and easily able to be increased depending on personal interests and goals. There is also protected didactic time for these sessions, the Geriatric Core Curriculum, quality improvement activities and asynchronous learning.
The geriatric fellow will have a multitude of academic and professional resources available to them through Penn State Health. Some resources include:
- Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education
- Health Systems Science Academy
- Clinician-educator track
- Harrell Health Sciences Library
The geriatric fellow will get a chance to collaborate with house staff from the following areas:
- Internal Medicine Residency
- Trauma Surgery
- Physical Therapy
- Pastoral Services
- Fellows and students from other departments throughout the hospital