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The comprehensive Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at Penn State Health/Penn State College of Medicine exposes residents to the full range of obstetric and gynecologic specialties and subspecialties under the supervision of more than 30 faculty members committed to resident education.
The primary hospital for education is Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. An affiliated site is UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg, located 12 miles from Hershey in downtown Harrisburg, Pa. Residents spend a total of 12 months divided between their first, second and third years at Harrisburg Hospital, providing obstetric and gynecologic care day and night.
The educational program is based on the objectives created by the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG). During the first year, residents are exposed to the basics of the specialty, including active participation in the operating room with women’s health, oncology, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. The second and third years expand the exposure to the specialties of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and maternal-fetal medicine. Finally, during the fourth year, residents are managing the oncology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, obstetric and gynecologic services. During the entire four years, weekly didactic time is protected and a night float system is in place to both augment and facilitate learning.
Overall, the departmental mission is to become the clinical, educational and research resource of choice for all women of central Pennsylvania and their health care providers. The program strives to teach resident colleagues the basic and advanced skills necessary not just to practice obstetrics and gynecology, but to become the consultant of choice in their community and to keep the way open for further study in the advancement of women’s health care.
Doing so in an environment that is busy and demanding, but not exhausting, makes this program special. The residents make it exceptional.
Learn More about the Residency
General Application Information
The Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency participates in the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS).
Interviews are granted to exceptional candidates following receipt of a complete ERAS application. Interview invitations are emailed, generally beginning around early October.
Interview days are generally Wednesdays in November and December. Sessions begin with welcome from current residents, and Dr. Richard Legro, chair of obstetrics and gynecology, provides an introduction to the program. Interviewees will then speak individually with faculty members, fellows and residents.
Candidates, upon accepting the invitations to interview, are sent specific instructions from the Program Coordinator outlining the interview day.
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 548-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 three times
Penn State Children’s Hospital
600 University Dr., Hershey, Pa. 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)
- A five-story, 263,000-square-foot-facility built in 2013
- Three-floor expansion due to open in 2020
- Level IV (highest-level) neonatal intensive care unit
- Level I (highest-level) pediatric trauma center designation
- 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:
- About the Hershey area
- Benefit and stipend information
- Virtual tour
- GME policies
- Wellness resources
- More about Penn State Health and its locations
- Application and visa requirements
More about working in Hershey
Is parking a concern for residents in the program?
There is a large, well-lit, gated lot directly in front of the hospital where staff park at night. Most of the time, there is ample space in this lot. During the day, a lot to the side of the hospital in easy walking distance is utilized. The lot is safe and patrolled by security. Crime is very low in Hershey, Pa., and safety in the lot is rarely an issue. There is no cost for parking.
Are meals paid for when on call?
A meal stipend is placed on the resident ID card and renewed quarterly.
What is the family leave policy?
Residents participate in FMLA through Human Resources. Non-education-related absences are subject to approval from the administrative chief and the program director. To be able to sit for ABOG written boards, the cumulative sum of all absences/paid time off may not exceed eight weeks in sum of any given academic year for PGY-1 through PGY-3 residents, and six weeks for PGY-4 residents, with a total of 20 weeks maximum.
Is there reimbursement for educational supplies and books?
Each resident has an educational disbursement fund, which may be used for books and supplies.
Residents are represented through a Resident Council. The council is run through the office of Graduate Medical Education. Representatives from each specialty meet monthly to discuss institutional Graduate Medical Education issues. The representative for Obstetrics and Gynecology is selected on a volunteer basis. Learn more about Resident Council here.
Is there a union? Is membership mandatory? Are there dues?
There is no resident union at Hershey Medical Center.
Is there a House Officers Association?
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.
Graduate medical education resources
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
500 University Dr.
P.O. Box 850, MC H103
Hershey, PA 17033-2390
General Contact Information
For details, see the program’s listing on the AMA FREIDA website.
Incoming residents are provided with both a general institutional and department-specific orientation program. The institutional orientation provides an overview of the graduate medical education office, employment requirements, HR benefits and integrated hospital systems (IT, imaging).
The departmental orientation comprises two to three days. Topics include residency structure, curriculum requirements, professional billing and documentation. Simulation is done, including pelvic exams, vaginal delivery, suturing and fetal monitoring strips. Tours of the inpatient and outpatient settings are included. Incoming residents will also spend time learning a.m. and p.m. rounds and signouts.
All interns also participate in the ALSO Course (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics). This is done in conjunction with the Family and Community Medicine Residency (Hershey, Pa.) and occurs in the early days of June.
Hours are from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Rounding on the postpartum patients is done before team sign-out with faculty at 6:45 a.m. Obstetrics residents participate in perinatal conference on Fridays.
In the first half of the year, two PGY-1 residents are on the obstetric service. They divide their responsibilities between labor and delivery and floor coverage. In the second half of the year, only one PGY-1 is on the obstetric service to cover both. A family and community medicine resident is also part of the team.
Responsibilities include managing patients in labor and delivery under the supervision of the PGY-4 resident. Triage, admissions, labor/delivery, recovery and primary C-sections are covered by one of the interns. The floor responsibilities include postpartum magnesium patients, postpartum patients, circumcisions, tubal ligations, contraception counseling, postpartum depression screening and breastfeeding issues.
The average day is 12 hours. The intern is the junior on this service. Rounds are done on inpatients with the PGY-4 resident. One to two days a week are spent in the OR with open, straight-stick laparoscopy and robotic cases. The intern does scrub on major cases. One to two days a week are spent in clinic with the PGY-4 and attending. Interns participate in twice monthly multidisciplinary pathology case conference.
The average day is 12 hours. It starts with rounds with the team and the faculty before the OR at 7:30 a.m. The interns are responsible for making sure the preoperative notes and orders are written the night prior to the surgery. The intern is expected to scrub for majors and participate in minors. Surgical cases are done twice monthly at the outpatient surgery center at the east end of campus. Residents participate in a weekly gynecologic consult/pre-operative clinic.
Night float hours are Sunday from 7 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. Monday through Thursday. This starts in January of the PGY-1 year. The direct supervisor is a PGY-3 resident and the on-call faculty/fellow. The PGY-1 resident on this rotation shares responsibility of labor and delivery, postpartum patients, nurse triage phone calls, ER consults and all in-house gynecologic or gynecologic/oncology patients with a PGY-3 resident. A gynecologic back-up physician and maternal-fetal medicine physician are on home call nightly. Friday mornings, residents attend perinatal conference run by the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg
In the second half of the year, interns spend one rotation at UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg Hospital. The hours vary depending on whether covering night float or daytime labor and delivery. Occasionally the resident might cover the operating room. The hospital has approximately 4,500 deliveries a year. The clinic service patients comprise about 1,000 of these. Residents assist the private services on C-sections. They also work closely with the maternal-fetal medicine service. On labor and delivery, the resident manages the floor under the direction of the in-house attending. There is no senior resident.
This rotation is one block in the first half of the year and is the introduction to office obstetrics and gynecology. Trainees work with faculty, advanced practice providers, residents and staff to learn the office setting and patient care. This includes obstetrics, gynecology, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, vulvodynia, acute visits, phone triage and office procedures (LEEP, hysteroscopy, IUD/Nexplanon insertion, endometrial biopsy, colposcopy). Time is spent with the lactation consultants, genetic counselor, billing specialists and surgical schedulers.
UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg
The hours vary depending on whether covering night float, labor and delivery or the operating room. The hospital has approximately 4,500 deliveries a year. The clinic service patients comprise about 1,000 of these. Residents assist the private services on C-sections and also work closely with the maternal-fetal medicine service.
On labor and delivery, the resident will manage the floor under the direction of the in-house attending. There is no senior resident. In the operating room, residents work with the private attendings as well as the clinic service faculty.
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
This rotation is done in the first half of the year. The average day is eight to nine hours. It begins with assisting on in vitro fertilization chores and working into the daily morning ultrasound session. The resident will assist with artificial reproductive techniques such as intrauterine insemination, oocyte retrievals and embryo transfers. The remainder of the day is spent in the outpatient sessions with new and returning patients one-on-one with the attending. Block operating time time is Wednesday, where the resident assists faculty. Cases are mostly robotic/laparoscopic/hysteroscopic with occasional open myomectomies.
This rotation is done in the second half of the second year. The average day is 12 hours. Rounds on the antepartum maternal-fetal medicine service are done before OB sign-out at 6:45 a.m. The resident meets up with the obstetric team to update them on the service and get any night float feedback. Formal rounds are then done with the fellows and/or the faculty of the day. Office hours start at 8 a.m. on most days of the week. Responsibilities include seeing returning patients, consults, ultrasound and interpreting non-stress tests. Time is also spent with the genetic counselor. Common areas to learn include diabetes management (gestational and pre-gestational), hypertension, coagulopathies and newly diagnosed anomalies. The resident on this rotation is responsible for presenting part of the perinatal conference on Fridays. There is a Wednesday morning conference with the maternal-fetal medicine group to present and discuss current and new
This rotation is designed to increase exposure to bench research, research concepts and quality improvement, and to provide time for residents to start their mandatory research project. Some clinical office and operating time time is done with the research faculty who run the rotation.
In the second half of the year, the resident is the junior on this service of general gynecology. The average day is 12 hours. It starts with rounds with the team before 7:30 a.m. OR. Responsibilities include preoperative notes and orders, and scrubbing in to major and minor cases. Surgical cases are done twice monthly at the outpatient surgery center located at the east end of campus. Residents participate in a weekly gynecologic consult/pre-operative clinic.
UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg
The hours vary depending on whether covering night float, operating room or labor and delivery. The hospital has approximately 4,500 deliveries a year. The clinic service patients comprise about 1,000 of these. Residents assist the private services on C-sections and work closely with the maternal-fetal medicine service.
The resident’s main role is to work in the operating room with the service patient cases as their primary. They also work with the private attendings for their various cases.
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
This rotation is done in the second half of the third year. The average day is eight to nine hours. It begins with assisting on in vitro fertilization chores and working into the daily morning ultrasound session. The resident assists with artificial reproductive techniques such as intrauterine insemination, oocyte retrievals and embryo transfers. The remainder of the day is spent in the outpatient sessions with new and returning patients one-on-one with the attending. Block operating room time is Wednesday, where trainees work with faculty. Cases are mostly robotic/laparoscopic/hysteroscopic with occasional open myomectomies. The resident’s level of participation and involvement increases as their exposure and educational level increases.
This rotation is done in the first half of the third year. The average day is 12 hours. Rounds on the antepartum maternal-fetal medicine service are done before obstetric sign-out at 6:45 a.m. Residents meet up with the obstetric team to update them on the service and get any night float feedback. Formal rounds are then done with the fellows and/or the attending of the day. Office hours start at 8 a.m. on most days of the week. Responsibilities include working directly with the fellows and faculty on the new consults and ultrasound. The resident on this rotation is responsible for presenting part of the perinatal conference on Fridays. There is a Wednesday morning conference with the maternal-fetal medicine group to present and discuss current and new patients.
Night float hours are Sunday from 7 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. Monday through Thursday. This starts in the second half of the year. The PGY-3 shares responsibility and supervision of labor and delivery, postpartum patients, nurse triage phone calls, ER consults and all in-house gynecology or gynecologic oncology patients with a PGY-1 resident. A gynecologic back-up physician and maternal-fetal medicine physician are on home call nightly. Friday mornings, residents attend perinatal conference run by the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the neonatal intensive care unit. The obstetrics night float senior covers labor and delivery with faculty in order for the remaining team to attend conference.
Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
The average day is 12 hours. Inpatient rounds before 7:30 a.m. operating room start two or three days of the week. OR cases are mainly straight-stick laparoscopy or robotics. The remaining days are spent in the office with the minimally invasive gynecologic surgery faculty and fellows. This includes pre- and post-operative patients and consults.
The average day is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The resident will have weekly clinics including colposcopy, IUD/Nexplanon, acute needs and medical student sessions. On Mondays and Thursdays, the resident on this rotation will run ICC-intermediate care obstetrics. The Thursday session is supervised by department chair Dr. John Repke. This resident will also help triage acute phone call needs. On Wednesdays, this resident is the labor and delivery chief to allow the PGY-4 on obstetrics to have continuity clinic. There is time allowed on Friday for phone calls and catch-up.
This is designed for the second half of the third year for one five-week block. This allows time for fellowship needs, increased training in any deficient areas, increased training in a desired area, or travel abroad for developing-country medicine.
The average day is 12 hours. This begins with rounds before 7:30 a.m. OR begins. The resident’s primary role will be with all areas to increase their surgical skills as a chief resident. Responsibilities also include overseeing the PGY-1 and medical student teaching.
Night float hours are Sunday 7 p.m. to 7:15 a.m., and 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. Monday through Thursday. This will be in the first half of the year. Responsibilities include supervising and teaching the PGY-2 residents and medical students. This resident covers the maternal-fetal medicine floor, inpatient gynecologic and oncology services, phone triage and ER consults.
The average day is 12 hours. Rounds are done on inpatients with the PGY-1 resident. One to two days a week are spent in the operating room. The resident scrubs on all major cases, with open, straight-stick laparoscopy and robotic cases. One to two days a week are spent in clinic with the PGY-1 residents and faculty. The resident on this rotation also participates in twice-monthly multidisciplinary pathology case conference.
The average day is 12 hours. The resident on this rotation comes in to help the maternal-fetal medicine service, night float senior and PGY-1 residents with any patient care rounds, and also rounds on the women’s health antepartum patients. Obstetric sign-out is at 6:45 a.m. This resident’s main responsibility is to teach the PGY-1 labor and delivery and postpartum floor. This resident also teaches the medical students while continuing training on high-risk management in labor and delivery, operative vaginal delivery and operative obstetrics. This resident will run sign-out at 5:30 p.m. There is a perinatal conference on Fridays.
The average day is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekly clinics include colposcopy, IUD, acute needs and medical student sessions. On Mondays and Thursdays, this resident will run ICC-intermediate care obstetrics. The Thursday session is supervised by department chair Dr. John Repke. This resident also helps to triage acute phone call needs. There is time allowed on Friday for phone calls and catch-up.
A formal didactic curriculum, administered by departmental faculty, exists both for the PGY-1 residents and for the residency as a whole. The basic obstetrics and gynecology (BOG) lecture series is designed for the PGY-1 residents, and is held in the first two months of residency. These lectures occur three times per week. Selected topics provide fundamental training in common obstetrics and gynecology issues.
The Wednesday education series is a repeating two-year curriculum which covers all of the CREOG educational objectives. With a few exceptions, the resident educational program is concentrated into these weekly Wednesday afternoon sessions from 12:30 to 5 p.m. The conferences held during this time period include:
- Chairman’s rounds
- Chapter review
- Journal club
- Faculty lecture series
- Grand Rounds
- Simulation labs (approximately four per year)
- Residency meetings
- CREOG and board review lectures
In addition to the Wednesday afternoon education, residents have the opportunity to participate in:
- Oncology/pathology reviews
- Perinatal and neonatal intensive care unit Friday conference
- Maternal-fetal medicine fellow education topics
- Monthly GME-sponsored lectures
Research is a valued and important part of resident education. Completion of a formal research project is required for graduation from the program. Research projects are either resident- or faculty-initiated. Residents must devise and propose their research to the Institutional Review Board during the PGY-2 year and conduct enrollment during the PGY-3 year. Each PGY-3 presents at the department research day, held on the Friday before chief resident graduation. Residents are encouraged to publish this presentation. Residents also have opportunities for other projects.
PGY-2 residents spend 10 weeks on a research rotation. This includes exposure to bench research, research concepts and quality improvement, and time to start the mandatory research project.
Attendance at regional and national conferences is strongly encouraged. The department provides funding for travel and lodging if the resident will be making an oral presentation of research findings. Although department funding is not provided for CME courses and non-oral academic presentations, funds from the individual resident’s educational disbursement may be used.
All residents are provided with the opportunity to select a formal faculty mentor, although it is not required.
Most mentorship relationships develop informally through the resident’s involvement in research activities. If a resident is identified as being someone who may benefit from structured mentoring at any time during residency, a faculty mentor is often selected with the aid of the program director.
All residents are expected to help in the development of medical students. At any one time, most services will have from one to three students with them. Teaching usually is on a one-to-one basis during rounds or at the patient bedside. Each resident on an individual basis can develop more formal “lectures.” Fourth-year electives or sub-internships are also available though the department.
It’s hard to quantify how much time per week is spent with the students. They accompany the residents throughout the daily team activities with the exception of their noon lecture series. There is no “protected” time for student teaching built into the schedule.
In order to improve teaching skills, lectures and examples of student teaching are given to the residents. In the PGY-3 year, the residents are offered to attend a CREOG Teaching Seminar. One of the simulation days is focused on “Residents as Teachers.”
Residents are evaluated frequently during the whole course of the program. This includes daily to weekly review of procedures and patient care and end-of-rotation summary evaluations. Periodic 360-degree evaluations are done from the inpatient and outpatient venues.
Each resident reviews their portfolio twice yearly with the program director. During this interaction, milestone evaluation progress and end of rotation evaluations are reviewed.
The review of procedures and patient-care evaluations are done real-time at the end of encounters so directed feedback can be elicited. A form is then generated to complete milestone assessments.
In addition, the CREOG in-service exam is taken yearly by all residents in January. The scores on this exam are used to help structure an education program and highlight strengths and weaknesses, not as a measure for advancement. Each resident meets with the department chair after CREOGs to discuss their score and on what areas to work. Finally, a significant amount of feedback comes directly from faculty during specific rotations.
Residents who need a more formal, structured educational program are paired with a mentor who provides guidance in this endeavor. The mentor then devises a program in conjunction with the resident and program director.
Residents provide feedback at monthly resident meetings and during the course of rotations. Formal reviews of the curriculum and program occur yearly. The residents give evaluations of each rotation at their completion. They also anonymously evaluate the faculty they work directly with during these rotations. Residents also complete an evaluation of the Wednesday education curriculum each year.
A comprehensive review of the curriculum occurs each year with the above information and input from each of the division chiefs, the department chair and the program director and assistant program director.
Residents who desire to pursue a fellowship after residency often receive mentorship from faculty in that particular subspecialty. Most fellowship applications occur at the end of the PGY-3 year, with interviews occurring at the beginning of the PGY-4 year. There is time built into the PGY-4 year for interviewing.
The residency has placed residents in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery fellowships. The department offers an ACGME-accredited Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship as well as a non-ACGME Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship.
Resident Honors and Recognitions
Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center accept ongoing nominations for the Exceptional Moments in Teaching award.
The award, given monthly by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment, accepts nominations from College of Medicine students who are invited to submit narratives about faculty members, residents, fellows, nurses or any other educators who challenge them and provide an exceptional learning experience. See more about the award here.
Previous nominees from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency are listed here. Click the + next to a nominee name to read their nominator’s comments.
The annual Resident/Fellow Research Day is held each summer on and around the Penn State Health Milton S. Medical Center campus in Hershey, PA.
The intent of the event is to provide an opportunity for residents and fellows to showcase their research accomplishments to their peers in other clinical departments, as well as their colleagues in the basic sciences.
Previous presentations from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency are listed here.