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Vascular Surgery Residency

Vascular Surgery Residency

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The Vascular Surgery Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a five-year, ACGME-accredited integrated program (mixing general surgery and vascular surgery through the first four years) that admits one resident per year.

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Program Details

The Division of Vascular Surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has a long history of training vascular surgery fellows. The institution was approved by RRC for an integrated vascular surgery residency in 2009, and its first integrated vascular surgery resident graduated in 2016.

The five-year comprehensive clinical training program in vascular and endovascular surgery matches medical students directly into vascular training. General surgery and vascular surgery are incorporated over the five years.

The program is based at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, with electives available to rotate with division faculty at Mount Nittany Medical Center. A complete schedule of didactic sessions and clinical conferences supplements the patient care and research activities of the Vascular Surgery Service.

The clinical expertise of the division includes all components of the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disorders. Patients with a wide variety of arterial, venous and lymphatic diseases receive evaluation from a whole-patient perspective. The surgical faculty employ numerous methods and technologies for vascular reconstruction in patients requiring invasive therapy, and offer medical management for those with milder forms of disease. The entire spectrum of endovascular therapy is provided through the integrated framework of Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute. The Division of Vascular Surgery provides non-invasive vascular testing as an integral part of patient management, and is both nationally and internationally recognized for its excellence.

The academic mission of the division embraces scholarship in both clinical and related basic sciences. The Vascular Surgery Residency trainees have the opportunity to pursue research work that has led to presentation and publication of their work at regional and national conferences. The division participates in major national clinical trials and is active at all levels in developing quality standards for noninvasive testing.

Learn More about the Residency

Virtual Open House Expand answer

A virtual meet-and-greet session for the Vascular Surgery Residency will take place via Zoom on the following date:

  • 6 to 7:30 p.m. Eastern time Oct. 22, 2020

Participants can meet the program director, associate program director, alumni and current residents. The event will include:

  • Introduction and program overview
  • Alumni experiences
  • Question-and-answer sessions with faculty
  • Question-and-answer session with current residents

To register or for details, email program coordinator Celymar Lopez at clopezsotomayor@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

To Apply Expand answer

General Application Information

Penn State College of Medicine is a participant of ERAS and the NRMP Match. All application material must be submitted through ERAS.

Application deadline is Oct. 28. Applicants are invited to check the status of applications by email through MyERAS. All email correspondence regarding applications should be conducted through MyERAS to avoid delays.

Applicants with suitable qualifications will be invited to interview and visit with the department.

Application Requirements

Applications will be reviewed in their entirety.

  • U.S. clinical experience is not required; however, vascular surgery electives and/or vascular surgery experience is preferred.
  • The recruitment team prefers to see graduation from medical school within five years of submitting the ERAS application. However, this is dependent upon what clinical/research experience applicants have had since graduating from medical school.
  • USMLE Step 1/COMLEX 1 is required to be selected for an interview. Step 2 is not absolutely essential to be selected for an interview, but is required to be ranked by the program. USMLE scores should be no less than 190, or COMLEX no less than 500 for osteopathic graduates). Osteopathic graduates are encouraged to take USMLE Step 1. PGY-1 must take USMLE Step 3 before completing the intern year.
  • There is no official limit for attempting Step 1 or Step 2; however, the number of times the applicant has taken the exam may impact the application. An invitation to interview will be based on the entire application and not simply exam scores.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required, with one from a vascular surgeon; a dean’s letter, medical school transcripts, curriculum vitae and personal statement are also required.
  • ECFMG certification must be supplied before beginning as a resident.
  • The institution currently accepts residents on J-1 visas only; however, the application process and applicable fees are the responsibility of the applicant.

Couples Matches

For applicants who have been invited to interview and who are couples matching with an applicant interviewing with another department at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the Vascular Surgery Residency will be happy to help coordinate with the other department as much as possible. Such applicants should contact the program.

Interview Process

The program typically interviews 30 to 35 individuals each year over three interview dates between October and January. The interview process is designed to put the applicant at ease and provide detailed information about the program.

Interviews will be held virtually through Zoom, and the dates for the 2020-2021 season are Nov. 12, Dec. 1 nd Dec. 16, 2020. All interviews are by invitation only, with morning and afternoon options. Candidates selected to interview will be invited via the ERAS Scheduler.

Interview Day

The day begins with a welcome, program and Hershey-area overview and Q-and-A with the program director/chief and senior faculty.

The more formal part of the interview process will then follow, consisting of individual interviews with the program director, associate program director, program faculty and senior residents.

Faculty Expand answer
Current Residents Expand answer
Past Residents Expand answer
About Penn State Health Expand answer

A screenshot shows the 2020 virtual tour of Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

Virtual Tour

A new-for-2020 virtual tour showcases locations across Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.

Explore the virtual tour


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

Learn more about Penn State Health

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine campus is seen in an aerial photo on a sunny day.

Penn State Children’s Hospital (left), Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (center) and Penn State Cancer Institute (right)

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

Learn more about Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

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 opened in November 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

Learn more about Penn State Children’s Hospital

About Hershey: Benefits, Stipends and More Expand answer

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Welcome to Hershey

A new-for-2020 guide to the Hershey, Pa., area showcases the highlights of life in central Pennsylvania.

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More About Hershey

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

Wellness Initiatives Expand answer

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.

Institutional resources

Graduate medical education resources

Diversity Expand answer

Institutional Resources

Penn State Health celebrates, embraces and supports the diversity of all patients, faculty, staff, students and trainees.

In keeping with this, the institution has an active Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with various programs, networks and resource groups, including:

  • Regular talks and lectures on diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Periodic town halls on topics such as eradicating racism and creating a culture of inclusiveness
  • An allyship support group
  • Many affinity resource network groups, including:
    • Disability Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Group on Women in Medicine and Science
    • Interfaith Affinity Resource Network Group
    • LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Military/Veterans Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Multicultural Affinity Resource Network Group
    • NextGen
  • A new organization specifically for trainees, the Network of Underrepresented Residents and Fellows

Learn more about the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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.

Learn more about the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment

Contact Us Expand answer

Mailing Address

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Division of Vascular Surgery
P.O. Box 850, MC H053
Hershey, PA 17033-0850

General Contact Information

Phone: 717-531-8898

Fax: 717-531-4151

Curriculum Details

Teaching in the Vascular Surgery Residency is performed using the following teaching methods:

  • Mandatory conferences
  • Mandatory rotation in an attending’s office once per week.
  • Direct teaching in the operating room and during patient care.
Assessment Methods and Supervision Expand answer

Assessment Methods for Residents

  • Verbal feedback during daily rounds and walk rounds
  • Written self-evaluation twice a year
  • Written evaluation by physician assistants at conclusion of rotation
  • Written evaluation by faculty at conclusion of rotation
  • Written evaluation by nurses twice a year
  • Written evaluation by inpatients and outpatients once a month

Program Evaluation Assessment Methods

  • Written evaluation at completion of each rotation
  • Written evaluation of the program at the completion of each year
  • Performance on VSITE examination (yearly)

Level of Supervision

The nighttime and weekend attending call schedule is available to all through SmartWeb and the vascular surgery office. An attending is designated to be the rounder each weekday. The rounder is responsible for all daytime and intra-operative consults and transfers.

Training and Educational Resources Expand answer

Training Includes

  • Fluoroscopy training program
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Annual CME funds
  • Travel opportunities
  • Leads and loupes

Educational Resources

  • American College of Surgeons Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum
  • Anatomic Exposures in Vascular Surgery
  • Fundamentals of Vascular and Endovascular Simulator
  • Rutherford Vascular Surgery
  • Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE)
  • Vascular Surgery Surgical Council on Resident Education (VSCORE)
Rotations Expand answer

The Vascular Surgery Residency (integrated 0/5 program) rotation schedule includes:

PGY-1

  • Anesthesia/cardiology
  • Cardiothoracic (CT) surgery
  • Heart and vascular intensive care unit
  • Night float
  • Plastic surgery
  • Surgical intensive care unit
  • Trauma
  • Vascular surgery

PGY-2

  • General surgery (UPMC Pinnacle)
  • Heart and vascular intensive care unit
  • Plastic surgery
  • Surgical intensive care unit/anesthesia
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Trauma
  • Vascular surgery

PGY-3

  • General surgery (UPMC Pinnacle)
  • Interventional radiology
  • Surgical intensive care unit
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Vascular surgery (Mount Nittany)
  • Vascular surgery (UPMC Pinnacle)

PGY-4

  • Interventional radiology
  • Vascular surgery
  • Vascular surgery (Mount Nittany)
  • Vascular surgery (UPMC Pinnacle)

PGY-5

  • Vascular surgery
  • Vascular surgery (Mount Nittany)
Conferences Expand answer

Tuesday

  • 7 to 8 a.m. weekly: Vascular preoperative conference and Morbidity and Mortality

Thursday

  • 7 to 8 a.m. weekly: General surgery education lectures
  • 7 to 8 a.m. the second Thursday of each month: Heart and Vascular Institute basic science lecture
  • 7 to 8 a.m. quarterly: Office of Graduate Medical Education ACGME Core Competencies Lecture Series
  • 8 to 9 a.m. weekly: Vascular teaching conference
  • 9 to 10 a.m. weekly: Vascular skills, CBL, Journal Club and interesting articles

There are also surgical and Heart and Vascular Institute grand rounds, along with surgery Morbidity and Mortality.

Vascular Teaching Conference

  • Bi-annual cadaver and simulation lab
  • Vascular science didactic lab
  • Varied lectures by residents, fellows and faculty members

General Surgery Education and Training

  • Topics and location are assigned weekly
  • PGY-1 through PGY-3 residents are required to attend these sessions if deemed relevant by the Assistant Program Director
  • If sessions are not relevant, vascular skills, case-based learning or sessions in the Vascular Lab will be assigned

Attendance Requirements

Residents on vacation are excused from all conferences. Other than this exception or other extenuating circumstances previously approved by the program director and reported to the program coordinator, residents are expected to attend all conferences. If at an off-site rotation, residents must use Zoom to sign in to the vascular teaching conference, vascular preoperative conference and Morbidity and Mortality. Residents must participate in 75 percent of all required conferences.

Resident Honors and Recognitions

Resident/Fellow Research Day Presentations Expand answer

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

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

Learn more about Resident/Fellow Research Day here.

Previous presentations from the Vascular Surgery Residency are listed here.

Latest News from Surgery

Latest News from Heart and Vascular Institute

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