Initiative prepares Penn State medical students to care for veterans
Several events focusing on veterans and military medicine will take place on the Penn State Hershey campus to celebrate Joining Forces Wellness Week, in partnership with the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).
The College of Medicine is part of the AAMC’s Joining Forces Initiative, which works to train future physicians to better understand, diagnose and treat the health care needs of veterans, service members and their families.
Second-year medical student Eric Jung is part of the AAMC’s Organization of Student Representatives, making military issues a priority on campus.
Working together with the Office of Diversity, Jung received a $500 grant from the AAMC to pay for events and activities celebrating veterans and educating the campus community on issues that veterans and active-duty military often face.
“We have a traditional medical school curriculum here, but there are topics that we don’t get a lot of exposure to, so this is a good way to include some of that,” he said.
The College of Medicine also has several students who are part of a Health Professions Scholarship Program. The military pays four years of tuition, books and stipends to medical students who commit to serving a minimum of four years for the military upon graduation.
Steven Cornelius is a second-year med student who got a Health Professions Scholarship (HPSP) Navy scholarship.
“The money was a huge thing, but at same time, I am thinking about how much enlisted people are doing for our country,” he said. “They are the ones out there every day, away from their homes and families. For me, to be able to serve them and provide care for them – I can’t think of anything that would be more rewarding. I would feel privileged to take care of the people who take care of our country.”
Cornelius is also part of a handful of students who have formed a Military Medicine Interest Group that brings doctors from different branches of the service to come speak on campus. “It’s good for some of the first-year students who might consider doing military medicine but might not be sure,” he said. “They have others to talk with.”
Members of the interest group organized a blood drive to honor Life Lion personnel with prior military experience and are working on partnering with the Hershey VFW Post to run a clothing drive for homeless veterans.
Jung reached out to the VA Hospital in Lebanon to get about 500 military history cards that can be used by students, staff, and others on the care team to gain a more complete picture of patients’ health history.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Monday, Nov. 11
Noon, Lecture Room C
Penn State alum Brigadier General John L. Gronski will deliver a Diversity Grand Rounds talk “The Resilient Warrior.” Lunch will be provided. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
1-2 p.m., PG154
Penn State alum Brian Hurley will lead a presentation and discussion about Tricare, Department of Defense and VA health care systems and military families.
Paul Juliano will hold an informal “Learned Versatility” discussion with both Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and non-military students over dinner with physicians who have prior military experience.
Tuesday, Nov. 12, noon to 1 p.m., Room H1222 (I.O. Silver Room)
Webinar “Understanding Generational Differences in Veterans and their Health Needs”
Thursday, Nov. 14, noon to 1 p.m., Room H1222 (I.O. Silver Room)
Webinar “Military Sexual Trauma: What Civilian Providers Need to Know”
A blood drive run by students in the Military Medicine Interest Group will honor Life Lion Critical Care team members with prior military experience. Meal vouchers, raffle prizes and other incentives have been secured for participating students. The blood drive will run from Nov. 11 through Dec. 11. To make an appointment to donate blood, call the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Donor Center at 717-531-8232.