Unconventional College of Medicine students show that work/life balance is possible

By Emily Jacobs

Dr. Laura Brubaker, left, and Dr. Benjamin Abney smile in front of the Penn State College of Medicine sign. They are wearing physician lab coats with their names and the College of Medicine logo on them. Dr. Abney has a stethoscope around his neck. Behind them is a road and the College of Medicine building.

Dr. Laura Brubaker, left, and Dr. Benjamin Abney graduated from Penn State College of Medicine after spending more than a decade in the workforce and raising their own families.

The road to medical school is not always a straight path. Some students enter medical school with several years of influential life experience.

On May 20, 145 medical students graduated from Penn State College of Medicine, prepared to enter the next phase of their medical education as residents. This year, graduates were asked which classmates stand out as the best examples of College of Medicine values. The overwhelming majority nominated Benjamin Abney and Laura Brubaker.

Both students took the road less traveled to medical school, entering the College of Medicine after more than a decade in the workforce and while raising their own families.

Laura Brubaker previously worked as a labor and delivery nurse at Women & Babies Hospital in Lancaster, Pa. Most recently, she served as an HIV program coordinator before entering medical school to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. She chose the College of Medicine based on recommendations of physicians she worked with, as well as its proximity to her family, good schools and outdoor activities.

(more…)

May 22, 2018 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

Putting physicians on the fast track to family medicine

By Michael Modes

Dr. James Kent, a medium-height white male with brown hair and a beard dressed in a white lab coat and wearing a stethoscope around his collar, counsels a male patient seated on the edge of his hospital bed. The male patient has short, dark hair and is wearing an Oxford shirt.

Dr. James Kent is doing his residency as a family medicine physician at Hershey Medical Center.

Across the nation, especially in rural areas, America is facing an acute shortage of doctors to practice family medicine. Most medical schools are in big cities, so many small communities lack resources to draw top candidates to their region. With older practitioners retiring and fewer candidates ready to take their place, Penn State College of Medicine launched an accelerated program to allow students to complete medical school in three years and enter practice one year earlier.

In 2017, Dr. James Kent became the first graduate of the accelerated program, which allows students to complete medical school in just three years, followed by a three-year residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Part of the College of Medicine’s Family Medicine Accelerated Pathway, also known as a 3+3 pathway, the program allows graduates to save a year of tuition and living expenses, which could add up to $70,000. Kent was also selected for the Chambersburg Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC), which provides $20,000 in tuition reimbursement if he chooses to practice in one of Summit Health’s underserved areas.

(more…)

May 15, 2018 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

The Power of a Nurse: Penn State Health debuts photojournalistic project for National Nurses Week May 6-12

Mackenzie Bosse, a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, leans over an older male patient and holds his hand. He is lying in a hospital bed and has a nasal cannula device for oxygen in his nose. A saline bag and other medications hang from a portable IV stand behind them, and a vital signs monitor is above the patient.

Mackenzie Bosse, a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, helps a patient feel more comfortable.

By Carolyn Kimmel and Jenn Knepper

In nursing school, Chelsea Stoner learned all the necessary skills—patient assessment, medication calculations, charting—to train her for a career in health care, but nothing could prepare her for the raw emotions she would encounter.

“In every patient, I saw my neighbor, my father, my grandmother…I found myself crying in the supply room, in the parking garage and at home,” said Stoner, who works in Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Medical Intermediate Care Unit (MIMCU). “To protect myself, I decided to shut it all off. I clocked in, did my job and left…But then I lost the most important part of nursing—the human connection.”

In time, Stoner, a registered nurse for four years, learned how to balance the many aspects of her role—technician, caretaker, physician partner, encourager—and contributor to some of the most important moments in a person’s life story.

“Some of these patients have lived for almost a century, and I get the honor of being the last person to care for them, to hold their hand and to pray with them,” she said. “This is what gets me through the day and helps me to keep doing what I’m doing.”

(more…)

May 7, 2018 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

College of Medicine students combine teamwork, community health

Hershey Plaza Apartments resident Millie Taylor sits at a table and practices brushing a large set of plastic teeth as Penn State College of Medicine students look on. Taylor is wearing a patterned blouse, From left, the students are wearing a sweater jacket, a sweater and a lab coat. Behind them are bookshelves filled with books and games.

Penn State College of Medicine students teach Hershey Plaza Apartments resident Millie Taylor proper dental care.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Millie Taylor is stir-frying healthier dinners and not spending a fortune on them, thanks to information she learned from Penn State College of Medicine students at monthly health fairs that she doesn’t even have to leave home to attend.

“They taught me how to eat healthy on a limited budget and all kinds of other things, too,” the resident of Hershey Plaza Apartments said. “It’s a wonderful thing they’re doing. A lot of our neighbors here don’t get to the doctor or the dentist on a regular basis.”

Over the past three years, the College of Medicine’s Interprofessional Student Organization (IPSO) has facilitated 21 health fairs at the senior apartment complex that combine multidisciplinary learning with community health service.

Students from all disciplines—including the physician assistant program, nursing, medical, pharmacy, physical therapy and nutrition—plan and carry out the health fairs around themes such as diabetes and cardiovascular risk, medication safety and bone density evaluations.

(more…)

May 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Cuban doctors work to reach their dreams through Hershey Medical Center program

By Diego Sandino

Participants use a heart monitor and mannequin to perform cardiology lab.

Participants of the International Medical Graduate Program work together on a cardiology lab exercise.

When Dr. Lidys Rivera Galvis arrived in the United States, one of her main goals was to take her licensing exam and then apply for residency to work as a doctor as she did in her native Colombia. What she didn’t know, however, was that achieving these goals would be a long and complex process — especially when one doesn’t know the language and has few economic resources or connections.

But with the help of Dr. Patricia Silveyra, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine, Dr. Daniel Weber, a retired obstetrician/gynecologist from Lancaster, Pa., and other community members, Rivera Galvis has successfully navigated her way through the system. She is currently serving as a fellow in Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Simulation Education and Research Fellowship program and conducting her fellow project, an international medical graduate (IMG) program.

In January 2018, nine Cuban physicians began meeting at the Simulation Center once a week for four hours and learning from Rivera Galvis and Penn State College of Medicine faculty and students. After completing the yearlong program, these immigrant physicians will be better prepared to the United States Medical Licensing Examination. Step 1 of the exam assesses their knowledge and application of scientific concepts that are basic to practicing medicine.

(more…)

April 25, 2018 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Music and inspiration take center stage at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Draped in polka dots, Mary-Kate Spring of the folk band Seasons plays a harp in the Penn State Cancer Institute lobby on Feb 8. She is wearing a polka dot top with a sweater.

Mary-Kate Spring of the Celtic folk band Seasons plucks the strings of her floor standing wooden harp in the Penn State Cancer Institute lobby.

By Michael Modes

Music is a universal language. It can inspire, nurture and calm the soul beyond words.

And at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, music is a soothing balm for patients, family and staff who flow throughout the facility daily, thanks to the Center Stage Arts in Health program. Lobbies, waiting rooms and common areas become comforting oases from the waves of stress, anxiety and drama found in any hospital environment.

The founders of Penn State College of Medicine blazed the trail for Center Stage by launching a humanities department in 1967. Like the College of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine—also celebrating its 50th anniversary—the Humanities Department was the first of its kind at any medical college in the U.S. As with anything new and different, people at the time questioned why a college of medicine needed a department associated with liberal arts education.

The answer was very simple.

The importance of humanistic treatment is the guiding principle of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. And instilling this philosophy in the future doctors, nurses, faculty members and staff at the College of Medicine would result in a new breed of professionals providing care for the whole person – body, mind and soul – and elevate the college and its graduates in everyone’s eyes. The new department created a greenhouse for a variety of art and music therapies at the hospital like no other in the nation.

Center Stage Arts in Health - Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Some 50 years later, Center Stage arrived on the scene. “The program was a collaboration of hospital leadership, creative minds and the artist community.” said Claire de Boer, founder of Center Stage and current director of the Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine, where Center Stage now resides. Today, Center Stage offers patients their choice of artworks to brighten their rooms, opportunities to create their own masterpieces while recuperating, creative writing classes with noted authors and more, in addition to its centerpiece of live music.

(more…)

April 17, 2018 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Espenshade reflects on 35 years with Hershey Medical Center

By Lisa Maresca

A woman holds a retirement card in the card section of a gift shop. She is smiling. She is wearing glasses.

Sue Espenshade, manager of Volunteer Services, holds a retirement card in the greeting card section of the Gift Shop.

In October 1982, Epcot opened at Disney World, the USSR performed an underground nuclear test and Sue Espenshade started her career with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Thirty-five years later, she’s preparing to say goodbye to her coworkers and volunteers – the people she calls her second family.

Espenshade first started with the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at the Rehabilitation Hospital, located in Elizabethtown at that time, after earning her nursing degree at Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing. There, she worked her way from night shift change nurse to assistant nurse manager, earning her bachelor of science degree at the College of St. Francis while she worked. In 1991, the Rehabilitation Unit moved to the new south addition of the main hospital in Hershey.

“It was a bit of a culture shock coming from a free-standing hospital ‘in the woods’ to a very large clinical setting,” she recalled.

(more…)

April 10, 2018 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Older Posts Newer Posts


Recent Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to Penn State Medicine and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 419 other followers

Share This Page

Bookmark and Share

Recent Tweets

Categories