Training grant addresses need for physician scientists

Zanuil Hasanali had many options for an MD/PhD program, but chose Penn State College of Medicine. He had good reasons to do so.

“I liked the student body, the easily traveled area and the atmosphere of collegiality that was missing from other schools where I had interviewed,” said the 29-year-old MD/PhD student who came to Penn State College of Medicine in 2009.

With an interest in leukemia research, he was particularly impressed by the medical school’s commitment to expanding and improving cancer care.

A new National Institutes of Health-sponsored training grant awarded to the MD/PhD program adds another good reason to choose Penn State College of Medicine.

The Medical Scientist Training Program award addresses the need to develop physician-scientists who are well trained in basic, translational and clinical research. The award will help train medical students interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research and academic medicine. (more…)

September 26, 2016 at 9:52 am Leave a comment

College of Medicine students take on interpreter roles

You’re in a foreign country, unfamiliar with the language and you suddenly are in an emergency room gravely ill. No one speaks your language. You’re frightened, confused and miming your symptoms to a doctor who is actually trying to ask about family history or medication allergies.

This scenario is common for many immigrants to the United States and the health care providers who care for them.

To address this situation, bilingual medical students attending Penn State College of Medicine can now participate in a medical interpreter training and certification program through the Health Federation of Philadelphia.

The program was the result of happenstance when Dr. Patricia Silveyra, assistant professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology, and humanities, attended a meeting of the Latin American Medical Student Association where a group of bilingual students questioned why they couldn’t use their second language to help their patients.

“You can’t just show up and translate because you’re bilingual,” Silveyra explained. Medical interpreters require training and certifications, and they need to understand the value of cultural competency. (more…)

September 14, 2016 at 9:14 am 1 comment

Remembering Dr. Thomas L. Leaman: A pioneer in family medicine

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Dr. Thomas Leaman’s chair portrait

As Penn State College of Medicine’s founding Dean Dr. George T. Harrell met with the local practitioners at Hershey Hospital in the early 1960s, the story goes that he laid out three conditions for employment at the soon-to-be built Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

First, they had to give up their private practices and move their offices into the Medical Center. Second, they had to accept an academic salary. And third, they had to complete a year of training at their own expense working with medical students and residents.

Dr. Thomas Leaman was the only one who agreed.

“The other doctors from town – around 10 or 15 of them – were incensed,” recalled Dr. C. Max Lang, who came to Hershey in 1966 as the founding chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine. “Tom didn’t agree right away. Some of the doctors asked Tom to go talk with Dr. Harrell and he made an appointment to do so. Dr. Harrell began to explain his vision where teaching would come first, then patient care, then research. By the time the meeting was over, Tom said he would like to join.”

Leaman, the founding chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine – the first of its kind in the United States – died on Friday, Sept. 2. (more…)

September 7, 2016 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

Successful research requires teamwork

Successful research often requires a combination of resources and cooperation that can be challenging to coordinate.

Case in point: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s participation in a clinical trial studying the safety of MRI use in patients who are implanted with a specific brand of defibrillator and lead that brings together faculty in the Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute and the hospitals’ Department of Radiology .

The Medical Center was approached to participate in the study by device manufacturer St. Jude Medical because it has patients already implanted with the devices. (more…)

August 29, 2016 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Hershey welcomes three international students for exchange program

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Students in the Penn State International Health Exchange program work in the Cubs Caring for the Community tent at the Farmer’s Market in Hershey.

If there is one thing that Wei Ting (Shaba) Chien has learned during his time in the United States, it’s that no country has a perfect public health system.

The senior medical student from Taiwan was one of three international students from Taiwan and Republic of Georgia to spend two weeks training on and around the Penn State College of Medicine campus in July as part of the Penn State International Health Exchange Program.

“I wanted to see how the Western world is like us, and how the system is different here,” he said.

Students in Penn State’s Master of Public Health program can complete international internships and fieldwork as part of their global health practice-based learning, but this summer, for the first time, students from partner institutions abroad have come to Hershey. (more…)

August 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Camp Lionheart: A place for young heart warriors

Camp LionheartSome young campers celebrated the fifth birthday of a little girl they never knew on Aug. 2, although they had a lot in common.

“My little girl was a heart warrior like you guys,” Williamsport resident Jennifer Ayers told the 15 campers at Camp Lionheart. “ It means a lot for me to be able to have this camp for you so you can meet other heart warriors.”

The inaugural session of Camp Lionheart at Camp Kirchenwald in Colebrook, Lebanon County welcomed campers age 11-18 who share an important bond with Ayer’s daughter, Ellie, who was born on Aug. 2, 2011 and died from cardiomyopathy (heart disease) on April 25, 2012.

(more…)

August 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm 1 comment

Zebrafish help researchers study human genes

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New Zebrafish Functional Genomics Core provides Penn State scientists tools to advance research

While a popular fixture of home aquariums, zebrafish have become a popular and important tool for studying human disease. The fish have more in common with humans than meets the eye, and provide an effective and efficient way to study genes.

Perhaps nowhere in central Pennsylvania is that more apparent than at Penn State College of Medicine’s newly-constructed Zebrafish Functional Genomics Core.

The core provides the Penn State research community with a modern, centralized facility for housing, breeding and performing experiments with zebrafish, one of the fastest growing model systems in biomedical research. (more…)

July 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment

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