From the military to becoming a physician assistant

Editor’s Note: The Commencement Ceremony for the graduating Class of 2016 will take place on Sunday, May 15, 2016. For more information on Commencement, visit this site. 

A little more than two years ago, Myra Galusha was looking for a physician assistant program that would be tough enough to balance out her lack of medical background.

At Penn State College of Medicine, the 32-year-old Michigan native found that and more: “That part was not a let-down,” she laughed.

Galusha is one of 144 medical students, 81 graduate students, and 30 physician assistants who will receive degrees this Sunday.

Myra Galusha

Myra Galusha

Galusha completed the military academy at West Point, majored in law, and then spent more than five years in the Army. After multiple deployments and time overseas, she eventually left the military. She and her husband, Colt – who is from the Gettysburg area – decided to move back to Pennsylvania when he got a job at Fort Indiantown Gap as an instructor pilot.

After leaving her work in military intelligence, Galusha’s sports background – and history of multiple sports injuries – drew her to the medical field. Being a new mother, she didn’t want to attempt medical school, so a physician assistant program seemed like a better fit. (more…)

May 12, 2016 at 10:30 am 1 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

New device offers option for atrial fibrillation patients

A new device and procedure now offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center may be an alternative to taking blood thinners for patients who have the most common form of atrial fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm not caused by a heart valve problem.

Patients with atrial fibrillation often take blood thinners to reduce their risk of stroke. But blood thinners are not always tolerated long term due to increased bleeding risks with other medical conditions.    (more…)

April 20, 2016 at 9:58 am Leave a comment

Clues to child abuse: Dr. Lori Frasier on the frontline of new training

“If it’s never on your radar screen, you’re never going to see it.”

That’s the philosophy that drives Dr. Lori Frasier in her efforts to better train pediatricians and other clinicians to be aware of clues that might suggest abuse.

Frasier is director of Penn State Center for the Protection of Children, division chief of child abuse pediatrics at Penn State Children’s Hospital and is board-certified in child abuse pediatrics. She will take her expertise statewide as she partners with the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance to provide new, state-mandated training of medically licensed professionals that will hopefully lead to better reporting of suspected child abuse. In 2014, 30 children died from abuse. (more…)

April 11, 2016 at 7:56 am Leave a comment

Addiction symposium highlights Penn State research collaboration

Dr. Sue Grigson

Dr. Sue Grigson

Why do many gastric bypass surgery patients develop alcohol and substance abuse problems? Do rare genetic variants influence antisocial drug dependence? Can a phone app reduce heavy drinking in college students? How can researchers provoke intense cravings during brain scans to help understand them better? Can we use such information to predict who is vulnerable to relapse and who is resilient?

These are just a few of the questions addiction researchers in the lab and in the clinic face today. And each of these topics will be in the spotlight on April 4, during the Second Annual Penn State Addiction Symposium. The meeting will bring together faculty, staff and students from across the university’s campuses to advance an understanding of the disease and explore new ways to treat it. (more…)

April 1, 2016 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit celebrates 25 years

Epilepsy Monitoring Group

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit conducts a surgical conference where team members discuss patient situations and treatment plans.

Like many mothers, Lorraine Schaeffer wanted to give her daughter every childhood opportunity possible, from play dates to participation in school and community activities.

Her epilepsy, however, stood in the way.

“I had to tell her ‘no’ so many times,” recalled the East Hanover Township resident. “It hurt me and I knew it hurt her even more. My daughter was getting ripped off in life because of my problem.”

The neurological disease had been Schaeffer’s nemesis since high school, when she experienced strange times of feeling like a “volcano” overtook her body and literally stopped her in her tracks. (more…)

March 23, 2016 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

Match Day 2016 video and photos

Fourth-year medical students across the country discovered where they will spend their residencies in an annual tradition known as Match Day. For 136 students at Penn State College of Medicine, their Match Day event at the Hershey Country Club on Friday, March 18 included a countdown to the moment when they ripped open the envelopes that held their futures. Seconds later, the room erupted in cheers, hugs and tears.

The event is the culmination of a process that began months ago as students visited and evaluated residency programs – and the programs evaluated them. Each student learned today whether he or she was successfully ‘matched’ with the residency program of their choice.

Fifty-one of the graduates accepted residency appointments in primary care fields such as family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine, while the rest will focus on other specialties.

Click on the image to see a photo album of Match Day:
Match Day 2016//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

March 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

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