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. Read below for information about particular strengths of our Program and a description of our current rotations.
Practice Management/Physician as Leader
As a Family Physician you will be expected to be a leader in your community. Our Program ensures you graduate with a command of a broad range of critical topics including medical malpractice, how to interact with the media (on television and radio), personal budgeting and retirement planning and many others. Besides these sessions dedicated to our Family Medicine residents, all Penn State Hershey Medical Center residents attend Core Competency lectures to cover related important topics. We prepare our residents to be leaders on the level of national organizations, state academies, local communities, hospitals, as well as successful in their personal finances and family life.
The area of Global Health is of interest to many residents, and our Family Medicine physicians are among those taking leadership and doing amazing work in this area. Our Department of Family and Community Medicine has strongly supported global health efforts. In fact, Hershey Medical Center's Global Health Center is headed by a Family Physician, Dr. N. Benjamin Fredrick. This Center is a gathering point of multidisciplinary approaches which seek to better understand and address health issues that transcend geographic borders and that commonly present a greater burden to disadvantaged populations.
Penn State Primary Care Sports Medicine Curriculum
The objective of The Penn State Hershey Family Medicine Residency Program's sports medicine curriculum is for all residents to graduate with mastery of the basics in musculoskeletal medicine. For those residents desiring a more in depth experience (for example, those who may wish to continue their training in a primary care sports medicine fellowship after residency), opportunities for longitudinal learning as well as sports medicine research are available. Interested residents can also rotate in State College, PA with the sports medicine providers who care for Penn State University athletics. Even residents without a particular interest in Sports Medicine will benefit from a thorough education in adolescent medicine, concussions, preventive medicine, and dermatology.
Our Sports Medicine division and curriculum are rapidly expanding to provide care to patients and offer residents more educational opportunities. This experience incorporates a host of learning environments including time spent in sports medicine clinics, the athletic training room, and sideline/event coverage. Our Sports Medicine providers from Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute serve as team physicians for the Hershey Bears Hockey Club (American Hockey League), the Harrisburg Senators (AA Minor League Baseball), Penn State Harrisburg College, and several local high schools. These connections mean that residents have ample learning opportunities. Residents care for both pediatric and adult sports medicine patients in a variety of clinical arenas including primary care sports medicine, orthopedic sports medicine, musculoskeletal radiology, and sports physical therapy.
Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship
Two distinct fellowship programs, offered in Hershey and State College, PA, offer fellowship positions in connection with the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Family and Community Medicine Residency Program. Each program is distinct, although joint learning opportunities are provided. Both fellowship programs participate with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and subscribe to all application, interviewing, and match list deadlines specified by the NRMP.
Family Medicine Residency Program Rotations
Below are descriptions of many of our rotations. Please understand that, as with any program, details may change as we arrange the optimum educational experiences for our residents.
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Although located within an academic medical center, the patients residents care for on our Family Medicine Inpatient Service are the people who live in the community of Hershey and the nearby areas. Their primary care physicians are our own residents and Family Medicine faculty, and supervision on the service is by our own Family Medicine faculty. Altogether this means that residents take care of "continuity" patients from our groups and are taught inpatient medicine by Family Physicians. Of course teaching provided by our specialist consultants and fellows is an invaluable supplement to resident education. It is one of the busiest, most intense rotations during residency as residents also provide direct care for very ill patients in our Intermediate Intensive Care Unit. This Service is run continuously by a team of junior and senior Family Medicine residents from different levels and supported by highly experienced mid-level providers and a Care Coordinator to promote interdisciplinary education. The Inpatient Service allows for interactions with a multitude of specialists, great opportunities for hands on experiences and a wealth of knowledge about post hospitalization care.
Residents work alongside our Program's highly experienced behaviorist, learn through didactics and direct observation, and also engage in experiences at a local inpatient psychiatric facility. Through all of this, residents gain an understanding and appreciation of mental health disorders and the interaction between physical and mental health. Residents are prepared to manage the complexities of family dynamics and of individual mental health by the end of their training.
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. Direct patient care experience occurs in the inpatient setting as part of a cardiology consultation team. It is also through experiences alongside attendings and experienced technical staff in the outpatient setting where residents enhance their EKG interpretation skills and learn what their patients' perspectives are while observing stress tests and echocardiograms.
The Emergency Medicine rotation combines areas of all subspecialties while focusing on acute care management and critical care. Residents enhance differential diagnosis abilities and learn to manage problems acutely while also coordinating care with specialist providers. Direct supervision by the Emergency Department attendings and collegial interaction with emergency medicine residents are notable on this rotation. 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. It is a great place to learn.
The general surgery rotation consists of both operative and ambulatory surgical experiences. Residents achieve competency in diagnosing and appropriately managing common surgical problems. Residents also improve knowledge in pre- and post-operative assessments and basic surgical and procedural skills. Both inpatient and outpatient surgical experiences allow for opportunities to "first-assist" in surgical cases so that residents can better understand the experiences their primary care patients will have when they undergo surgery.
Obstetrics and Gynecology:
Residents learn about gynecological care in diverse settings in our Program. They provide care both in a private OB/GYN group's office as well as a local community health center. This gives residents the opportunity to have one-to-one interaction with multiple certified gynecologists and also learn from family physicians. Residents gain proficiency in normal and abnormal gynecological examinations and gain proficiency in procedures such as pelvic exams, pap smears, breast exam, colonoscopy, and endometrial procedures.
Designed to give residents an experience at a community hospital, residents of all three levels staff a Labor and Delivery Service with an additional experience in the care of newborns. Residents perform obstetrics triage and deliveries for patients derived from local family physician practices, obstetricians, and a community health center. Supervision and teaching is by a combination of experienced family physicians and obstetricians who invite residents to assist with C-sections. Residents also provide care for the newborns and spend time seeing prenatal and postpartum patients in the local community health center.
Residents are an integral part of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Obstetrics team, rounding and performing deliveries, triages, and postpartum care alongside obstetrician/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.
Residents learn at three different clinics, all part of the Milton Hershey School, which is 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 attendings 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.
Besides the care residents provide to children in their continuity clinics at Fishburn Road and Nyes Road offices, a dedicated rotation provides additional experience. Residents learn about the care of well and sick children in the outpatient setting in community-based practice sites and see patients under the supervision of physicians highly experienced in the care of children.
Residents practice at local community hospitals alongside a team of pediatric and family medicine residents as well as medical students. 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.
Residents provide care to newborns both at a local community hospital and Penn State Hershey Medical Center, which provides care to the people of Hershey and surrounding small towns. With education by pediatric attending physicians and while working alongside pediatric residents, our residents learn to identify and treat common newborn illnesses. They also hone their newborn examination skills and learn to manage fever, rashes, hip dysplasia, antibiotics, and how to talk with families about caring for their new child.
This one month rotation gives residents 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 by the four family physician faculty and three orthopedic faculty who make up our Primary Care Sports Medicine team. There are several 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.
Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Allergy, Pediatric Specialties, Radiology, and Urology.
Elective rotations are opportunities for residents to supplement their education in specific areas of interest. Opportunities to pursue these interests abound at our academic medical center. Each resident is given an average of 3 elective rotations over the course of their residency. In the past residents have chosen to pursue the following:
- Global Health: Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Philippines
- Nutrition/Weight Management
- Women's Health
- Diabetic Education
- Integrative Medicine