Director's Welcome

Brandon Smith, M.D. - Pediatric Residency Program Director

Brandon Smith, M.D.
Program Director

Welcome to the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. I realize there are many residency programs from which to choose, but I sincerely hope that you will consider the unique combination of features that our program offers.

Our state-of-art hospital, which opened in February 2013 and is the only children's hospital in South Central Pennsylvania. It houses the region's only pediatric ICU, pediatric trauma program and pediatric cardiac surgery program, and is home to the vast majority of the pediatric specialists in the region. This lack of local competition is a tremendous benefit to our residents, who are assured of caring for virtually every complex, critically-ill or critically-injured child in the region. Our residents also encounter vast cultural diversity, since we are the children's hospital for many Amish and Mennonite populations, large farming communities, the suburbs surrounding the state capital, and a number of cities with significant immigrant communities, including Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading and York. 

At the same time, we are still close enough to the east coast for easy day trips to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, each of which is located less than three hours away.  Hershey also allows for very affordable living on a resident's salary; many residents purchase homes, and those who rent often live in safe, high-quality apartments located within walking distance of the hospital. Given Hershey's status as a major tourist destination and nearby Harrisburg's position as the state capital, our area features many excellent restaurants, national concert tours (Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls, Dave Matthews Band, etc.), minor-league baseball and hockey teams, and the Hersheypark amusement park.

Most important to me, however, is the excellent training environment created by our committed faculty.  Although we do have fellowship programs, this hospital is fundamentally run by the residents under the guidance of faculty members from every possible pediatric medical and surgical subspecialty. Our faculty members actively participate in case conferences, give lectures, lead discussions, and prioritize the education of the residents. This year we are also introducing a new program in which some of our best teachers will provide one-on-one coaching to residents throughout the year.

If you have any questions about the application and interview process, please contact our program coordinator Ashley Nippert. If you have questions about the wonderful educational opportunities offered by our program, please feel free to contact me directly at

Brandon Smith, M.D.