Posts tagged ‘medical education’
Penn State Hershey used to be a place of grief for Meagan Horst.
It was the place she went to say goodbye to her father when he died of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 44. Fourteen years old, she was the oldest of four children, waiting her turn to go into his room and say her final goodbyes.
As she sat with her siblings, she saw a little boy walk by, clutching an IV pole. He seemed so happy, excited by the simplest of things. “I knew right then that I was going to be a doctor,” she said. “I knew I was going to grow up to take care of people like him. He was just so happy to be alive.”
After high school, Horst spent a summer between her sophomore and junior years of college in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, shadowing doctors and learning about the world of medicine. There, her experiences in the operating room convinced her she wanted to become an anesthesiologist. “I was always interested in the other side of the curtain, and it just felt right,” she said. “I love everything about it.”
The following summer she traveled to Peru, interpreting for a medical team that needed help with Spanish. “I’ve always been ambitious and had lots of goals,” she said.
Below is an excerpt from the June 2012 edition of Perspectives, a monthly electronic newsletter from Harold L. Paz, M.D., chief executive officer, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, senior vice president for health affairs, Penn State, and dean, Penn State College of Medicine.
As we conclude the current academic year we have the opportunity to reflect on our academic mission. While Commencement is a ceremony steeped in tradition, our approach to medical education is anything but static. Since our founding Penn State College of Medicine has been at the forefront of innovations in medical education. More than four decades later, Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Hershey Medical Center are continuing to lead innovative efforts to transform medical education in ways that respond to the needs of our patients and all those whom we serve.
While the image of the solo practitioner may still be common in media portrayals of doctors, the reality is that caring for patients in virtually any setting today is a team effort, involving not only physicians but also a vast array of health care professionals. Clearly we have a responsibility to prepare medical students to work effectively as part of a coordinated patient care team – which means teaching teamwork and communication, not just scientific knowledge and clinical skills. Penn State is a nationally recognized leader not only in medical education but also in interprofessional education, particularly for some of our programs that train medical and nursing students together to work as teams. The College of Medicine was one of seven medical schools selected to participate in the New Horizons program, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, to develop interprofessional curricula and training for medical and nursing students. Teaching medical and nursing students to work together does more than prepare new health professionals to practice effectively – it also enhances the safety and quality of patient care by ensuring that members of the care team are communicating with one another and keeping the patient at the center of all they do.
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March 16, 2012 marked another milestone for Penn State College of Medicine medical students. Reactions to opening their residency match envelopes are captured in this brief video from the ceremony held at the Hershey Country Club.
Congratulations to all!
When medical students from Penn State College of Medicine make their Friday call at the Downtown Daily Bread soup kitchen in Harrisburg, it’s more than an exercise in providing counsel and comfort to the homeless. The brainchild of professor Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D., this outreach illustrates one way the institution reaches “far beyond our boundaries,” according to Daniel Shapiro, Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of Humanities at the College of Medicine.
The students’ service is part of a larger goal of the Department of Humanities and the College of Medicine to produce compassionate healers, or, as Shapiro says, “clinicians and scholars who are not only technologically sophisticated but also sophisticated about matters of the human body, mind, and spirit.”
The Department of Humanities at Penn State Hershey has been a model for other medical schools. Founded in 1967, the College of Medicine is young by medical school standards. But it’s also a pioneer as the first U.S. medical school with a Department of Humanities, a fixture since its inception. “This department has really been a springboard for founding other kinds of programs and centers and departments in many medical schools across the country,” says Philip Wilson, Ph.D., historian of medicine and science and professor of humanities.“What was first a curiosity became an awakening.” The founder of the Department of Humanities is considered a pioneer in humanistic medicine—E. A.Vastyan, who died in 2010 in Harrisburg. Vastyan was an Episcopal priest and chaplain at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston when founding Dean, George Harrell, recruited him to Hershey. “The fact that this institution was founded with a humanities department is one piece of data to support that that mission has been incorporated into the heart of the place from the start,” says Shapiro. (more…)