Internal Medicine Residency

Program Overview

The Internal Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a categorical three-year, ACGME-accredited program that admits 20 residents per year. In addition, the Preliminary Medicine Residency is a one-year, ACGME-accredited program that admits five residents per year.


Penn State College of Medicine first broke ground in 1966, opened its doors for students in 1967, and began accepting patients in 1970. In the farm fields of Hershey, Pa., the first building constructed was the medical school, establishing education as the core foundation of the health system. The primary mission of the College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center was to improve the health of patients in Hershey. The Internal Medicine Residency at Penn State College of Medicine initially began at Harrisburg Hospital, and transitioned to Hershey Medical Center in 1971. Since that time, the program has trained more than 800 internal medicine physicians who have gone on to successful careers in primary care, hospital medicine and subspecialty careers.

The Department of Medicine and Internal Medicine Residency continue the proud tradition of training outstanding patient-centered internal medicine physicians. Under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Ma, Chair of the Department of Medicine, the program strives for excellence in all areas, with residents learning and training in a community of respect and inquisition.

Highlights and Differentiators

The Internal Medicine Residency offers:

  • Flexibility for trainees to pursue interests and passions in their career goals through training tracks
  • Well-rounded internal medicine training in the inpatient and outpatient settings structured around a block X-plus-Y scheduling system
  • Collegiality among house staff, faculty, nursing staff and the community
  • Collaboration with a longstanding established Internal Medicine/Pediatrics training program
  • Training opportunities at the flagship training site, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, but also tertiary sites including Lebanon VA Medical Center
  • Faculty engagement facilitated through an academy system of residents, master educators and coaches
  • A mix of a mid-sized academic residency program embedded within a health system that cares for a diversity of patients, diseases and cutting-edge medicine, all of which allows a hands-on experience for learners

Our Team

Program Mission

The program’s mission is for residents to grow into superbly prepared internists, educators and scholars within a respectful and collaborative environment in order to support their development into innovative, compassionate, systems-conscious leaders and team members.

Program Highlights

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Internal Medicine residents are integral members of the health system teams in general and subspecialty medicine, providing comprehensive internal medicine to the population of central Pennsylvania. A culture of professional accountability and collegiality is fostered in an environment that promotes individual growth and learning. Opportunities for scholarship in basic, translational and clinical sciences, along with the availability of research in medical education, quality improvement, and healthcare epidemiology allow for a well-rounded experience that prepares residents for their future career endeavors, whether they are in fellowship, clinical practice or hospitalist medicine.

The program believes that providing tremendous resident education and patient care means extending focus beyond the three traditional pillars of academic medical centers – clinical care, education and scholarship – to also include the pillars of wellness, career development and systems science. The program continues to push for innovation in each of these areas in order to give each resident the best possible experience.

At the Center of Medical Care in the Region

Being the primary academic medical center in central Pennsylvania makes Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center the referral center for complex medical cases in a wide radius from the institution. Residents gain experience working with the diverse pathology seen in our urban, suburban and rural areas of referral. Expanding partnerships with local hospitals will only increase this exposure in the future. Read more about Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center here.

Systems That Work

Resident training schedules revolve around a “six-plus-two” block structure, with residents alternating between six weeks of inpatient service and two weeks of ambulatory blocks. This schedule design gives residents the opportunity to focus on their respective rotations while maintaining continuity of care in the residents’ continuity clinics.

During the ambulatory blocks, internal medicine resident physicians develop a panel of patients that they follow for the duration of their residency as true primary providers. Continuity is maintained through an ambulatory firm and preceptor system. Well-rounded ambulatory training is facilitated through subspecialty care rotations. Those resident physicians interested in primary care internal medicine may use elective time in the second and third years to refine their primary care skills and fund of knowledge with additional clinic time within the primary care track.


Residents have a diverse education by experiencing multiple different healthcare systems. During training at Penn State, residents will have the opportunity to learn in three different hospital systems: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, a large, tertiary academic medical center; Lebanon VA Medical Center; and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, a large community-based hospital.

Listed here are highlights of our clinical schedule, which has a focus on education and wellness.

Block Clinic Scheduling

Block clinic scheduling improves resident satisfaction with their primary care experience. Therefore, the program uses a six-plus-two system in the residency, so that each resident will have six weeks of dedicated inpatient rotations followed by two weeks of rotation in the primary care clinic, a level III patient-centered medical home.

The resident primary care clinic is at 35 Hope Dr., Hershey, PA.

Night Float

The established night float system provides exceptional 24-hour care to all patients. As a result, residents in the program are rarely required to work 24-hour shifts, and call ends at 7 p.m. daily.

Protected Educational Time

The program strongly believes in ensuring that residents have time to dedicate their concentration exclusively to their education. There are established weekly outpatient and inpatient academic half-days during which residents do not have any clinical responsibilities.

Elective Time and Options

The program’s goal is for every resident to have the time and opportunity to explore their clinical and future career interests. Residents receive significant elective time and can choose electives in any subspecialty, including allergy and immunology, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hepatology, hematology, infectious disease, oncology, palliative care, pulmonology, rheumatology and more. For those interested in academic careers, there are also electives available in research and medical education.

Clinical Curriculum

The clinical curriculum in the Internal Medicine Residency is a journey to becoming an exceptional clinician, educator and scholar.

Didactic Curriculum Highlights


Dr. Stephanie Harris is pictured in a professional head-and-shoulders photo

Dr. Stephanie Harris

Dr. Stephanie Harris leads all the residents through a longitudinal, year-long wellness curriculum during inpatient academic half-day. She focuses on developing the ability to help recognize burn-out in yourself and others, and subsequently developing mindfulness and resiliency tools.

To supplement the curriculum, each class has a wellness retreat once a year. During the retreat, the class has no clinical duties, goes off-campus, and focuses on team-building and personal resilience strategies.

In addition, each class nominates three members of their class to represent them on the resident council, which is an organization that focuses on planning and implementing wellness activities for all the residents throughout the year.

Academy Master Champions and Career Development Coaches

Under the leadership and support of the Chair of Medicine, Dr. Thomas Ma, the residency program developed an academy-based system of master educator champions and coaches to guide residents in their lifelong Internal Medicine education and career development. Each resident is assigned to one of three academies upon arrival at Hershey, and then is assigned a personal coach.

Programs features include:

  • Bimonthly educational conferences within the specific academy designed and led by one of three master educator champions.
  • Longitudinal, protected relationships between residents and faculty members, designed to address learner-driven coaching and mentoring needs. This may include self-identified areas of learning need, work-life balance, career planning including networking support and scholarship.

The Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education offers programs for residents and faculty to strengthen their skills as educators, preparing interested residents more completely for a career in academic medicine. The Internal Medicine Residency partners with the Woodward faculty to provide a robust offering of “Residents as Educators” curriculum across the three years of training.

Evidence-Based Medicine

The Internal Medicine Residency places a strong emphasis on the EBM training of residents. The multi-faceted curriculum, which extends beyond traditional Journal Club, includes:

  • EBM scripts during outpatient academic half-day that enable residents to discuss important EBM concepts such as surrogate outcomes and hierarchy of evidence, without being limited to a particular research study. EBM scripts are based on clinical scenarios and teach such concepts in an interactive manner.
  • Journal Club, held once a month during academic half-day, which introduces different critical appraisal concepts for each session. Senior residents and attending physicians facilitate small group discussions, where each resident actively engages in critical study appraisal. The program utilizes a debate format and other interactive methods to engage residents in the process.
  • EBM consults during academic half-day, which are short (10- to 15-minute) presentations from senior residents, each tasked with answering a clinical question. Residents practice formulating a question, searching and appraising the literature and discussing findings with their peers. This format allows residents to become familiar with sources of original research studies but also pre-appraised information such as the PIER modules, TRIP database, etc.
  • EBM mini-CEX allows senior residents to practice the application of EBM principles in real time, while caring for their clinic patients.

EBM scripts and Journal Club provide residents with the necessary foundations of EBM and lifelong learning behaviors, while EBM consults and EBM mini-CEX ensure residents practice EBM in a format easily integrated into a busy clinical practice.

Educational Tracks

Learn more about the educational tracks available in the Internal Medicine Residency. For each track, residents apply during the PGY1 year.

Primary Care Track

Our primary care track seeks to develop independent, exceptional primary care clinicians, who place an emphasis on patient-centered care, patient advocacy, and humble service to their community.

Primary features

  • Increased rotation time spent in primary care
  • Opportunity to work regularly with an assigned, experienced primary care clinician
  • Exposure to community-based outpatient care
  • Opportunity to become involved in outpatient quality improvement projects

Hospitalist Track

In the hospitalist track, the program emphasizes training hospitalists who can succeed in the rapidly growing field of hospital medicine by putting patient-centered care first, building inter-professional care teams, and working and thinking in a systems-based mindset.

Primary features

  • Increased rotation time spent in hospitalist medicine
  • Increased exposure to rotations where residents work independently as hospitalists
  • Opportunity to participate in quality improvement and systems-based curricula
  • Rotations on post-acute care
  • Opportunities to serve on institutional committees

Hippocrates: A Medical Education Track

Hippocrates is a medical education track sponsored by the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education. This track is multi-disciplinary, therefore participants are from multiple different residencies across the institution. Participants will be prepared for future careers as superior clinician educators.

Primary features

  • Regular sessions on developing didactic and clinical teaching skills
  • Regular sessions on how to perform curriculum development
  • Opportunities to perform medical education research
  • Opportunities to teach in the medical school’s formal curriculum

Longitudinal Research Track

This research track offers residents the opportunity to develop and work on research projects of their choice for a dedicated period of time in order to further their career as a junior clinician investigator.

Primary features

  • Three dedicated months of research during second year of residency
  • Dedicated mentorship
  • Opportunities for support to travel to conferences for presentation of project

Listed here are examples of projects that have been accepted for this track.

Project title: Molecular Profiling of Gastric and Esophageal Carcinoma Cases: Examining Biomarkers with Potential Therapeutic Implications.

Description: An investigative case series of biomarker profiles in gastric and esophageal carcinoma with associated treatment responses. The study aims to show associations between four targeted genes and chemotherapy response.

Project title: Cytokine Expression Profiles in Ulcerative Colitis: Providing Personalized Care and Predicting Treatment Responses

Description: A translational research project to determine whether gene expression of inflammatory mediators in colon tissue can be used as an assay to objectively measure, quantify, and characterize inflammation in ulcerative colitis.

Ambulatory Training

Our program successfully implemented an ambulatory block schedule in the spring of 2013 to take the place of traditional weekly clinic sessions.

Our ambulatory block system enables residents to provide longitudinal patient care and reduce the number of clinic sessions during busy inpatient rotations, while still meeting ACGME requirements for outpatient training. This has significantly increased our residents’ satisfaction with ambulatory training.

During any two-week ambulatory block, residents provide longitudinal care for their patients in our primary care clinic but also spend time in other subspecialty clinics in order to experience the full spectrum of outpatient care and prepare for a career in primary care or any other subspecialty. Each ambulatory block has a general theme, based on the predominant area of outpatient medicine that it focuses on. For example, the musculoskeletal block includes exposure to sports medicine, rheumatology, podiatry and spine clinic. The hematology/oncology block includes sessions in palliative care clinic and clinical pathology, besides hematology and oncology clinics. Other outpatient blocks have a predominant focus on women’s health, endocrinology, gastroenterology, cardiology, geriatrics, allergy and immunology, mental health etc.  Our ambulatory curriculum also includes sessions in outpatient procedure clinic, clinic for the underserved, adolescent weight management clinic and the hospital M and M conference.

The ambulatory blocks include protected time for self-study, quality improvement projects, as well as half a day per week purely dedicated to medical education (academic half-day). Our academic half-day features parts of our innovative curriculum in Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM modules and EBM consult) and the ACP High-Value Cost-Conscious curriculum. During the academic half-day, residents engage in problem-based learning and have the opportunity to assume the role of teachers for their peers.

Direct observations (mini-CEX) and resident evaluations are integrated into the residents’ outpatient clinic schedule and allocated specific time, which ensures their completion.

Our longitudinal care clinic is a level III patient-centered medical home and is supported by our experienced staff. Our residents treat patients with a wide variety of disorders, ranging from routine primary care and prevention to more complex and esoteric problems.  Our residents also enjoy a very low patient no-show rate in their clinic, which allows them to quickly build and follow a patient panel.

Primary Care Track

Learn more about the Primary Care Track here.

Resident Research

Our program has a rich history of resident research and scholarly pursuits. Resources such as the Resident Research Forum allow residents interested in scholarly activity opportunities to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed projects. The majority of our residents complete their training with achievements in the areas of research, publications, and podium/poster presentations at regional, state, national and international levels. In addition to the research elective offered to PGY-2 and PGY-3s, opportunities such as our Longitudinal Research Track allows residents interested in pursuing research as a career protected time to devote to longitudinal research projects.

As an example, in recent years our residents have presented at the following national and local meetings:

  • Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  • American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Gastroenterology
  • American College of Rheumatology
  • American College of Physicians Regional and National Conference
  • American Heart Association
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • American Thoracic Society and CHEST
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease International Conference
  • International Academy of Cardiology
  • Penn State Annual Resident/Fellow Research Day and Quality Symposium
  • Pennsylvania Medical Society
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • Society of Hospital Medicine

For those residents who wish to pursue careers with independent research programs, the program also sponsors the ABIM Internal Medicine Research Pathway and the ABIM Subspecialty Research Pathway.

The institutional Physician Scientist Training Program is also available as a resource for career development.


The Penn State Internal Medicine Residency takes great pride in our formal teaching sessions. Balancing service and education is a common goal for residencies across the country, but this program expects that with a culture of consciously placing resident education first, resident training will only be made better. The Internal Medicine Residency believes our formal teaching sessions should exemplify current learning theory: learner-driven topics that utilize interleaved sessions of interactive teaching with small-group case-based education and a consistent use of retrieval practice

Resident Report

Resident report is held noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Internal Medicine Chief residents guide facilitated discussions and presentations about various aspects of residents’ clinical scenarios. Particular Wednesdays throughout the year are also used for our Ultrasound Curriculum, Health Systems and Quality Improvement sessions and Resident Olympics.

Academic Half-Day

Academic half-day is a weekly teaching session in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings. Both inpatient and outpatient academic half-days feature protected time for active learning, residents-as-teachers sessions and subspecialist-led discussions of practice-relevant topics. Sessions vary in topic and style from week to week, but help our residents prepare for the ABIM board exam and their future careers in general or subspecialist medicine. The primary method of teaching is small-group case-based learning, with a variety of generalist, subspecialist or chief-resident session leaders.

Academy Conferences

The Penn State Academy system is designed to provide resident coaching and be the vanguard of the educational climate of the residency. Academy conferences are held every two weeks in three concurrent small groups of the resident academies in Master Educator-led academy conferences. Residents and Master Educators use clinical cases to investigate broader clinical questions, health systems and decision-making skills.

Grand Rounds

Tuesday mornings are reserved for Department of Medicine Grand Rounds. Here, invited guest speakers and our own experts present new research developments, updates on best clinical practice and other topics of interest from the broad realm of internal medicine.

Morbidity and Mortality Conference

This conference is a peer-protected conference to evaluate cases with unexpected complications in order to provide education and develop multidisciplinary quality improvement projects. The Morbidity and Mortality Conference focuses on providing a safe forum for many interprofessional disciplines to identify ways to provide better care. Most cases are identified by residents, presented by the chief residents and integrated directly into quality improvement projects.

To Apply

Applications are accepted through ERAS only.

Deadline for applications is Dec. 31, and interviews are by invitation only.

Application Requirements

Priority is given to applications with a minimum USMLE score of 200; however, a committee reviews the entire application and does not base a decision solely upon the USMLE scores. DO applicants may submit COMLEX scores in lieu of USMLE scores.

The program requires a Chair’s Letter plus two additional letters of recommendation to be attached to the ERAS application. In the event a Chair’s Letter is not available to an applicant, an additional faculty letter of recommendation will be accepted.

The institution sponsors only J-1 visas for international candidates.

Year of graduation should be within five years of date of application.

The NRMP requires all interviewees to receive a copy of the Resident Agreement. The current resident agreement can be found here.

Preliminary Program Requirements

Applicants to other disciplines (i.e., anesthesia, dermatology, neurology, radiology) requiring a preliminary year must submit a separate ERAS application to the Internal Medicine Preliminary Program in addition to the specialty application. Efforts are made to coordinate interview dates with other subspecialty interviews at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, but cannot be guaranteed. Separate interview dates may not be necessary depending on the specialty program.

For details regarding the program and/or a preliminary program interview, email or

Program Leadership

Current Residents

Internal Medicine residents are pictured in a group wearing white coats outside Penn State College of Medicine.

Past Residents

Graduate Placement

The NRMP Fellowship Match has proven very successful for our residents with an overall success rate of greater than 95 percent. Of those who have applied to fellowship over the past five years, the majority have placed in one of their top three program choices even in the most competitive specialties.


Cardiovascular Medicine

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (3)
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) – Galveston


  • Albert Einstein Medical Center
  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • SUNY HSC Brooklyn


  • Mayo Clinic


  • Mayo Clinic

Hospice and Palliative Medicine

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Infectious Diseases

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Pulmonary/Critical Care

  • The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

Hospitalist Medicine (5)

Primary Care (3)



  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2)

Cardiovascular Medicine

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • The Ohio State University


  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


  • Brown University
  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • University of South Florida Morisani

Hospice and Palliative Medicine

  • Luke’s – Bethlehem
  • UPMC-Altoona

Infectious Diseases

  • Hofstra LIJ


  • University of Texas HSC-San Antonio

Pulmonary/Critical Care

  • Maine Medical Center
  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • University of Massachusetts

Hospitalist Medicine (3)

Primary Care (1)

2015-2016 (100 percent match rate)

Cardiovascular Medicine

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • University of Texas-Houston


  • Allegheny General (2)
  • Carilion Clinic-Virginia Tech Carilion SOM
  • Emory University
  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


  • Johns Hopkins


  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2)

Hospice and Palliative Medicine

  • University of Virginia


  • Yale-New Haven

Pulmonary/Critical Care

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2)

Hospitalist Medicine (5)

Primary Care (1)


Cardiovascular Medicine

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2)
  • Medical University of South Carolina


  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


  • NY Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center

General Internal Medicine

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (Inaugural position)
  • University of Texas-Southwestern

Infectious Diseases

  • University of Maryland

Hospice and Palliative Medicine

  • Drexel University


  • University of Texas-Houston

Occupational Medicine Fellowship

  • University of Utah

Pulmonary/Critical Care

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


  • University of North Carolina

Hospitalist Medicine (5)

Primary Care (2)



  • North Shore-LIJ Health System, NIH Physician-Scientist Program T32

Cardiovascular Medicine

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2)
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Utah


  • Geisinger Health System
  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2)


  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Hospice and Palliative Medicine

  • Community Care of Lancaster


  • Georgetown University

Hospitalist Medicine (7)

Contact Us

Mailing Address

Department of Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
PO Box 850, Mail Code H039
500 University Dr.
Hershey PA 17033-0850

General Contact Information

Phone: 717-531-6375

Email: or

Twitter: @PSU_IM_RES

Internal Medicine Residency

Apply NowContact Us

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