Posts filed under ‘Alumni’

From military to civilian life: Dr. Mark Stephens walks into new chapter of his life


Dr. Mark Stephens (photo courtesy of THON).

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be a bumpy adjustment. Dr. Mark Stephens saw the potential struggles and decided to do something about it: he took a walk – a long one.

Stephens recently retired from the U.S. Navy and is now helping develop a new curriculum at Penn State College of Medicine University Park Regional Campus. Stephens thought the long walk would be a symbolic way to transition from one stage of his life to the next.

“I have watched enough friends and colleagues struggle during the transition from military to civilian life,” he said. “I wanted to have the time and space for contemplation. It’s hard to turn off the Navy one day and turn on Penn State the next.” (more…)

October 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

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

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


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

How to do medical school in three years

While most of his peers will spend their last year of medical school applying and auditioning for residency programs, James Kent gets to skip what can be a stressful process. He’ll finish medical school in three years instead of four, not only saving a year of tuition, but also locking in his residency when he was accepted into the Family Medicine Accelerated Program at Penn State College of Medicine. As part of the program, Kent will stay in Hershey for six years as he finishes medical school and his family medicine residency in the same location.

James Kent

James Kent

“That it takes a lot of stress out of medical school as far as worrying about where you’re going to match after you graduate is appealing,” Kent, the first student admitted to the accelerated program, said. “It was nice for me to know I’d be in the same place for six years.” (more…)

July 22, 2016 at 7:16 am Leave a comment

Innovation Cafe is about connections and advancing ideas

Editor’s note: The next Innovation Cafe is 5 to 7 p.m. on  June 30. Click here for more information

Allan Fausnaught

Penn State Harrisburg engineering student Allan Fausnaught, founder of Woodland Percussion, shows the construction elements of his drums.

Innovation and music may not be an obvious connection, but it created perfect harmony at Penn State’s latest Innovation Cafe, a networking program organized by the College of Medicine’s Office of Technology Development.  The quarterly Innovation Cafe encourages collaboration between investors, entrepreneurial faculty, students and industry professionals committed to building a vibrant start-up community in Central PA.

Offering a variety of topics, like Innovations in Music, helps attract diverse backgrounds and disciplines, which can lead to much needed connections. (more…)

June 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Bringing diversity into focus

A male medical resident asks an Amish woman a personal question that isn’t acceptable to discuss with a man.

Lynette Chapel-Williams

Lynette Chapell-Williams

A veteran is agitated as he waits for the doctor in a chair that doesn’t face the door; not being able to see who might enter is a trigger for his post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although medical providers likely have no intention of being insensitive, a lack of familiarity with the unique needs of certain patient populations leaves them open to interactions that can make the difference between a positive experience and a harrowing one.

As the nation’s – and central Pennsylvania’s – populations continue to change, “diversity” and “inclusion” are buzz words now more than ever, but what do they really mean and whose responsibility are they? (more…)

May 25, 2016 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

Alumnus publishes third medical thriller: Fatal Complications

John Benedict (’82) may put people to sleep at his day job, but off-duty, the Penn State College of Medicine alumnus and central Pennsylvania anesthesiologist writes medical thrillers that may keep them up at night.

His first two self-published books, Adrenaline, and its sequel, The Edge of Death, were so successful that Benedict was able to work with Oceanview Publishing in Florida for publication and distribution of his third book, Fatal Complications, which was released in December. (more…)

May 6, 2016 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

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