Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to expose residents to diverse clinical experiences taught by family physicians and specialists who are experts in their fields. Upon graduation from our program, residents will feel confident in providing their patients with excellent, comprehensive care in a wide variety of clinical settings.  For residents with particular interests, the Program offers Areas of Concentration in Global Health, Sports Medicine, and Leadership & Advocacy.

In addition to standard rotations, residents participate in various elective, selective, and longitudinal rotations.  These rotations supplement resident education in specific areas of interest and take advantage of the educational opportunities at our academic medical center.   Rotations are subject         Rotations are subject to change.  Please contact us with questions regarding our rotations, or for more information.

Please note that certain important training experiences are taught in a progressive "Longitudinal" format and do not appear as distinct rotations.  The nature of training of Behavioral Health, Population Health, and Health Systems Management lends itself to education in time, and thus resident training in these areas is interwoven throughout all three years.  One month of vacation time is provided each year, and will be incorporated into each resident's individual schedule. 

 

PGY-1 Rotations

Adult Inpatient Medicine – 1.5 months
Night Float – 1.5 months
General Surgery – 1 month
Inpatient Pediatrics – 1.5 months
Subspecialty Pediatrics – 0.5 month
Emergency Medicine – 1.5 month
Adolescent Medicine – 0.5 month
Obstetrics – 1.5 months
Newborn Nursery – 1 month
Sports Medicine – 1 month

PGY-2 Rotations

Adult Inpatient Medicine – 1.5 months
Night Float – 1.5 months
Emergency Medicine – 1 month
Elective – 1.5 months
Selective – 1 month
Cardiology – 1 month
Ambulatory Pediatrics - 1 month
Geriatrics - 0.5 month
Gynecology – 1 month
Longitudinal – 1.5 month

PGY-3 Rotations

Adult Inpatient Medicine – 1.5 months
Night Float – 1.5 months
Sports Medicine – 1 month
Longitudinal – 3 months
Selective – 1.5 months
Elective – 2.5 months
Acute Family Medicine – 0.5 months

 

 Acute Family Medicine

Residents work in an urgent-care setting in an urgent clinic that is physically within our continuity clinic.  Residents have excellent exposure to a wide variety of undifferentiated patients to whom they render medical care and perform minor procedures.  This rotation is supplemented with one-on-one training with a Dermatologist with Hershey Medical Center who has been recognized by our residents as our Teacher of the Year.

Adult Inpatient Medicine and Night Float

The patients our residents care for on our Adult Inpatient Service are our own Family Medicine patients.  This means that residents take care of "continuity" patients from our practices and are taught inpatient medicine by Family Physicians.  Resident education is supplemented by our collaborating specialist consultants and fellows.  This rotation is one of the busiest, most intense experiences during residency.  Under the supervision of our Family Medicine faculty, the service is run continuously by a team of junior and senior Family Medicine residents and supported by highly experienced mid-level providers and a Care Coordinator to promote interdisciplinary education. The Inpatient Service allows for interactions with our faculty, our specialist colleagues, and great opportunities for hands-on experiences.

 Ambulatory Pediatrics

Residents provide routine care to well and ill children in their continuity clinics.  A dedicated one-month rotation at our Family Medicine Department's downtown Harrisburg clinic provides additional training opportunities for residents to care for children primarily from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background. 

Behavioral Medicine

Residents work alongside our Program's highly experienced behaviorists who provide training in both Family Systems theory and Cognitive Behavioral models, learn through didactics, precepting, direct observation, and from behaviorist-led small group discussions.  Through this experience, residents gain an understanding and appreciation of mental health disorders and how to approach treatment through the biopsychosocial model so they are prepared to manage the complexities of family dynamics and of individual mental health by the end of their training.

Cardiology

Hershey Medical Center Cardiology faculty are dedicated to teaching residents and ensure an excellent educational experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Residents learn to identify and manage both routine and urgent cardiovascular disease while rounding with a team of intensivists as part of a cardiology consultation team, including experienced attendings and fellows.

Electives 

Elective rotations are opportunities for residents to supplement their education in specific areas of interest. Opportunities to pursue these interests at our academic medical center.  Each resident is given an average of three elective rotations over the course of their residency.  In the past, residents have chosen to pursue the following:

  • Global Health
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Research
  • Nephrology
  • Hematology
  • Neurology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Intensive Care Unit

Emergency Medicine

The Penn State Hershey Medical Center Emergency Department is a nationally recognized Level I Adult & Pediatric Trauma Center and is able to provide comprehensive emergency care to patients of all ages.  Residents enhance differential diagnosis abilities and learn to manage problems acutely while also coordinating care with specialist providers while learning to manage a broad array of acute illness. 

General Surgery

The general surgery rotation consists of both operative and ambulatory surgical experiences.  Residents round alongside the team of general surgeons to understand pre-, intra-, and post-operative care so that they can better understand the needs of their continuity patients who will someday require operative management.

Geriatrics 

Although residents provide care to older patients in their continuity clinics, we make sure that residents have additional, specific education in caring for older adults.  Our residents round at local nursing homes, work with a local hospice, perform outpatient geriatric consultations and work at a local Veterans Administration Hospital under the supervision of an experienced geriatrician to learn to care for these patients in various settings.

Gynecology 

Outpatient gynecology education is from our Hershey Medical Center OB/GYN faculty at a dedicated gynecology clinic where residents learn procedures and routine gynecologic care from experienced faculty.  This is an excellent supplement to training in residents' continuity clinics, and an opportunity to gain proficiency in normal and abnormal gynecological examinations and procedures such as pelvic exams, pap smears, breast exam, colposcopy, and endometrial procedures.

Longitudinal

There are some topics in Family Medicine that are best taught in a longitudinal format – in small "doses" over several years, rather than in a one-month rotation and then never again.  Recognizing this, the Penn State Hershey Residency Program has developed a progressive approach to scheduling that facilitates teaching in this longitudinal manner.  During "Longitudinal" months, residents spend time learning Behavioral Health, Population Health, and Health Systems Management.  They also spend a relatively greater time taking care of their patients in their continuity clinic during these months.

Obstetrics 

Family Medicine residents are an integral part of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Obstetrics team, participating in rounding and performing deliveries, triages, and postpartum care alongside obstetrician resident colleagues.  Supervision and education are by obstetrician/gynecologists as well as Family Medicine faculty.  The focus is on improving basic and advanced skills in obstetric triages and deliveries with additional exposure to Maternal Fetal Medicine.  Residents also provide care for neonates on the service. The clinical diversity provided by the Obstetrical Service allows for unique experiences in complicated deliveries, which may not be typically seen in a community setting. 

Pediatrics

Inpatient Pediatrics

The brand-new Penn State Children's Hospital provides an excellent setting for family medicine resident education as our residents are embedded within the team of residents on the pediatric service,

They take care of children with common pediatric illnesses such as asthma, bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, appendicitis and febrile seizures as well as less common pathologies unique to children.  Residents benefit from daily inpatient teaching rounds with the attending physicians, morning topic presentations and discussions, and admissions from the emergency department.  Weekly grand rounds cover various areas of interest in pediatrics to supplement the hands-on learning.

Ambulatory Pediatrics

Residents highly rate their rotation at HMC's Family and Community Medicine office in Harrisburg.  Residents have lots of exposure to preventive and acute care from a population of medically underserved children in downtown Harrisburg.  The Family Medicine faculty at this site routinely win awards and recognition from residents and medical students for excellent teaching.

Newborn Nursery

On the Hershey Medical Center newborn nursery, residents provide care to neonates alongside pediatric resident colleagues and are taught by pediatric attending physicians.  Here, our residents learn to identify and treat common newborn illnesses, hone their newborn examination skills and learn to manage fever, rashes, hip dysplasia, antibiotics, while also learning how to effectively communicate with families about caring for their new child.

Adolescent Medicine

Residents learn at three different clinics, all part of the Milton Hershey School --a cost-free, private, co-educational home and school for children from families of low income, limited resources, and social need.  They work closely with Pediatric residents and attending physicians to gain a better understanding of typical and atypical illnesses and how to manage common medical problems in the adolescent population. There is a strong emphasis on health maintenance and preventative care in addition to the overlap between medical and psychosocial issues that this patient population frequently encounters.

Subspecialty Pediatrics 

Residents benefit from Hershey Medical Center's expertise in the care of children with unique needs while on the Pediatric Subspecialty rotation.  With experiences in pediatric allergy/asthma, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology and obesity clinics, family medicine residents pick up skills for helping children in their future practices.

 

Selectives 

The Program wants to ensure that residents learn the fundamental topics within Family Medicine, yet also have flexibility to tailor training to their specific interests.  During Selective months, residents choose from a "menu" of rotation options.  This training augments the exposure they get to these clinical topics in their continuity clinic, inpatient service, and other rotations.  Selection options include:

  • Dermatology
  • ENT
  • Ophthalmology
  • Neurology
  • Urology
  • Endocrinology
  • Rheumatology
  • Gastroenterology

Sports Medicine

A particular strength of the Program, these two one-month rotations prepare residents to master essential skills in musculoskeletal care as well as dermatology, concussion care, and other conditions essential to the knowledge base of any family physician.  Training is provided by the five fellowship trained family physician faculty and three orthopedic faculty members who make up our Primary Care Sports Medicine team.  There are plenty of opportunities to work with athletes, game coverage and didactic sessions with medical students to teach different aspects of sports medicine, including the musculoskeletal exam and joint injections.  Residents will work alongside a physical therapist once a week to see how different modalities are used to treat such injuries.  Residents also have the opportunity to participate in Sports Medicine Journal Club to discuss interesting and debated topics as well as learn to clinically appraise research articles.  Interested residents have plenty of other opportunities to engage in Sports Medicine training in our Program, including the option to engage in a Sports Medicine Area of Concentration.