Program Overview

Thank you for your interest in the Penn State Hershey Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Penn State Hershey Medical Center is a large academic teaching hospital, a designated Level 1 trauma center for both adult and pediatric patients and is the only Level-1 pediatric trauma center between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The emergency department at Penn State Hershey sees over 68,000 patient visits per year, with 15,000 of those visits being pediatric. With high patient acuity and a wide variety of patient complaints, our residents are provided with an exceptional and well-rounded experience. The emergency department includes over 70 patient treatment areas. There are 2 resuscitation bays, an ED observation unit, dedicated pediatric treatment areas and a fast track unit for treatment of less severe injuries and illness.

The Penn State Hershey Emergency Department, through Life Lion EMS aeromedical and ground EMS services, provides both 911 and critical care transport for the local community and greater central Pennsylvania region. The Life Lion's 3 helicopters transport over 1,200 patients per year.

Our emergency department utilizes the latest in technology with a completely electronic medical record, electronic patient tracking system, computerized order entry and a digital radiology system. Residents and staff working in the department also utilize a wireless telephone system to ensure that they are never tied to a phone.

How many residents are in the program?

There are a total of 24 residents with 8 per class.

How are the shifts scheduled?

Shifts are 9 hours long with 1 hour devoted to patient disposition and sign-out. Interns typically work 21 shifts in a month-long block with decreasing number of shifts as the year progresses.

Do you have electronic medical records in the emergency department?

Yes, the entire Penn State Hershey health system is integrated into one system. There is an electronic tracking board in the department and all charting, order entry and result viewing is done electronically.

What is conference like?

Every Tuesday from 8 am to 1 pm, residents have protected time and attend conference. In addition to standard didactic material, residents participate in case conference, M&M, journal club, procedure lab, simulation lab and oral board review.  There are grand rounds presentations almost every week delivered by both emergency medicine faculty and many other specialties.

Are there dedicated pediatric shifts or pediatric months?

Penn State Hershey, EM residents start seeing children on Day 1. Residents can expect to see children on nearly every shift. Since the opening of the new children's hospital in January of 2013, we expect our pediatric volume to continue to grow.

What fellowships are available?

Currently there are fellowships in EMS, research and critical care.

What research opportunities exist?

Multiple opportunities exist depending on your interest. Most recently our department has been involved in multi-center studies looking at CT scanning for coronary artery disease and MRI for acute appendicitis in children.  Dedicated departmental support for resident research is available.

How much vacation do residents get?

Residents get 3 weeks of vacation each year. In addition, during the winter holidays, all residents return to the ED for a holiday break, getting off for either Christmas or New Years.

What type of benefits do I get as a resident?

Click here for more information regarding benefits, malpractice insurance, life/disability, benefits and a sample contract, please visit our GME website via the link listed below.

How is ultrasound incorporated into the residency?

Residents participate in an ultrasound course during the July Orientation month. Afterwards, they are encouraged to use ultrasound each and every shift. Our ultrasound director reviews all of the studies, grades them and offers teaching points when appropriate.  The residents have a two-week ultrasound rotation during the second year to further hone and develop their skills.

Is there an orientation month for new interns?

Yes, there is an orientation month for new interns in July. All new ED interns will work a reduced number of clinical shifts in July and participate in an extended number of labs, simulations and orientation activities to help in the transition from senior medical students to functioning emergency medicine interns. In addition, all new interns will become certified in ACLS, ATLS and PALS.

Does the residency cover textbook purchases and memberships?

Residents are provided with $550/year for CME funds. Besides this the residency covers resident memberships to ACEP, SAEM, AAEM and EMRA. The residents also are provided with the emergency medicine textbook by Tintinalli and the emergency ultrasound text by Ma and Mateer. PEPID (a PDA-based emergency medicine database) is also provided for residents.

Where would I go for my community emergency medicine experience?

Residents also rotate through Pinnacle Health Systems - Harrisburg Hospital, a participating institution which is located approximately 12 miles from Hershey Medical Center. This clinical environment exposes our residents to an urban and community based patient population which is distinctly different from that of the Medical Center.

What type of critical care experience do I get during my training?

Interns rotate through the MICU at Hershey Medical center to get a foundation for critical care and to develop their procedural skills. As a second year resident you would rotate through the SICU to provide experience in managing critical trauma and surgical patients. As a third year resident you rotate through Pinnacle Health Systems - Harrisburg Hospital's MICU/SICU as the ICU senior, and manage your own medical and surgical patients under the direct guidance of the ICU attending.

Do you do use simulation much during residency?

Simulation is used extensively to help develop clinical skills, procedural competency and enhance teamwork and leadership abilities. The residency also promotes resident involvement in regional and national simulation competitions.

Four of our residents competed in the 2012 national SAEM SIM Wars competition and received special recognition for their participation:

  • El Centro "Drake" Coffey, M.D.
  • Todd C. Daniello, M.D.
  • Jonathan Klingler, D.O.
  • Joseph Spinell, D.O.

Resident Resources