Posts tagged ‘Penn State College of Medicine’

Exchanging perspectives: international students see U.S. health care in new light

Students participating in the Global Health Exchange Program through Penn State College of Medicine sit behind long conference tables arranged in a square and smile and nod their heads as they react to comments by Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Dr. Loren Robinson, who is shown from the back.

Global Health Exchange Program students listen to Dr. Loren Robinson, Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, during a meeting at the state Capitol.

By Carolyn Kimmel

As a first-year medical student in Taiwan, Sandra Tsai is learning firsthand about American health care and insurance coverage through Penn State College of Medicine’s Global Health Exchange Program (GHEP)—and realizing her preconceptions don’t always match with reality.

“The most impressive thing I learned about America is that the insurance system is so complicated and the cost of medical care is so high,” she said.

Tsai and nine other international students from Taipei Medical University, China Medical University and the University of West Indies-Cave Hill in Barbados came to the Hershey campus in July to gain a global perspective on an array of public health-related issues.

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August 28, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Make-believe that comforts and cheers at Penn State Children’s Hospital

Three women dressed in princess costumes visit an 11-year-old boy at Penn State Children's Hospital. All four are laughing. The boy is lying in a hospital bed covered with a sports blanket.Three women dressed in princess costumes visit an 11-year-old boy at Penn State Children's Hospital. All four are laughing. The boy is lying in a hospital bed covered with a sports blanket.

From left, Molly Carney as Belle, Maddie Goss as Sleeping Beauty and Liz Profeta as Elsa share a laugh with 11-year-old Tymere Patterson of Harrisburg during the group’s visit to Penn State Children’s Hospital.

By Carolyn Kimmel

As the minutes ticked closer to his surgery, 11-year-old Tymere Patterson got more and more anxious—which made his parents more and more anxious—until suddenly Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Elsa swept into his room in all their princess glory.

“The timing was perfect,” said Tymere’s mother, Tara Patterson, who with husband Terry Patterson was trying to ease her son’s fear before surgery for an inguinal hernia at Penn State Children’s Hospital. “I don’t think it really hit him about what was going to happen until we were actually in that room, and then he was very nervous—until the princesses showed up.”

The distraction of their visit—even though they were princesses and not Superman—was enough to put a smile on Tymere’s face and help him forget about the butterflies in his stomach.

“They really lightened the mood for all of us,” his mother said. “As a parent, you never want to see your child in the hospital, much less upset about being there. After the princesses left, we were still laughing, and Tymere didn’t talk about being nervous anymore.”

The princesses were actually Penn State College of Medicine students who volunteer with BraveCubs, an organization that brings well-loved characters to life for young patients at the Children’s Hospital. The name honors the bravery of the pediatric patients and is also a nod to the Penn State Nittany Lion.

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August 14, 2018 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

The power of positivity: new chair of Medicine plans to double department’s NIH funding and transform medical education

Dr. Thomas, chair of the Department of Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is pictured in a head-and-shoulders professional photo in his lab, wearing a medical coat with his name and the medical center’s logo on it. He has dark hair and is wearing glasses.

Dr. Thomas Ma aims to improve faculty work satisfaction and build a stronger research program at Penn State College of Medicine.

By Lisa Maresca

When Dr. Thomas Ma first assumed the role of chair of the Department of Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, he wasted no time making changes.

“I’m here to break down barriers and open doors,” Ma said.

Ma left the sunshine of New Mexico for the snow of Pennsylvania in January to assume the post. He previously served as chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of New Mexico – Health Sciences Center (UNM-HSC) and executive director of the UNM-HSC’s Center for Digestive Disorders, Center for Digestive Diseases Research and Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Ma was also director of the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System’s Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology. He succeeds Dr. Robert Aber, who led the department for 13 years before stepping down as chair in 2017.

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July 17, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

College of Medicine students see medicine through global lens

Global Health Scholars Rolfy Perez, Olivia Munizza and Ivana Marji pose with staff at the Hospital Regional de Loreto in Peru during their fourth-year trip. The four-story yellow and white hospital is flanked by palm trees and shrubs.

From left, Rolfy Perez, Olivia Munizza and Ivana Marji join staff at the Hospital Regional de Loreto in Peru during their fourth-year trip.

By Carolyn Kimmel

As she reflects on the past four years at Penn State College of Medicine, Jordan Trubiano points to her participation in the Global Health Scholars Program as a definite asset to her medical training.

“I gained an understanding that there are different strengths and weaknesses in each country’s health system, which will give me a different perspective to offer to future training programs and hospitals where I will work,” said Trubiano, who will do her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

In Ecuador, where she traveled twice—once after her first year of medical school and again last winter—maternal health care is free, and people marvel that health care in America is so expensive and doesn’t cover everyone, she said.

The Global Health Scholars Program appealed to her because it offered two chances to visit the same place. As a first-year student, she worked on nutritional lessons for elementary school students and, during her second trip, she completed medical rotations in reproductive and sexual health.

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June 26, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

College of Medicine grad student among young scientists chosen to meet Nobel laureates

By Carolyn Kimmel

A young man working in a medical research lab inserts liquid into a test tube. He is pushing a plunger with his thumb. The photo is shot at an angle. The man is wearing a lab coat and rubber gloves. Other lab equipment is on the table, and a door is behind him out of focus.

Robert Nwokonko performs research on calcium signaling in cells, which can help improve understanding of autoimmune diseases and diseases that compromise the immune system.

When he started his studies at Penn State College of Medicine, Robert Nwokonko never imagined his research would land him in the company of 43 Nobel laureates.

The fourth-year biomedical science graduate student from Downingtown, Pa., will travel to Lindau, Germany, for the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting from June 24-29. He will join 600 students, doctoral candidates and post-doctoral scholars under the age of 35 competitively selected for the rare chance to hear from some of the world’s most lauded scientists and researchers.

This year’s meeting is dedicated to physiology and medicine and will set two records—the most Nobel laureates ever assembled at a medicine meeting and the most diverse set of participants who represent 84 countries of origin, according to meeting organizers.

“To be among most of the living Nobel laureates and hear them talk about the future of research and their sciences—that’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Nwokonko, the first College of Medicine student to attend the event. “I was really excited and surprised when I found out I was chosen.”

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May 29, 2018 at 2:24 pm 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.

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

2015 Graduate Student Oath Ceremony held on Friday

Incoming graduate students pursuing M.P.H., M.S., or Ph.D. degrees participated in the Graduate Student Oath Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 21 in the University Conference Center.

During this ceremony, first-year graduate students took an oath to uphold the values of integrity, professionalism and scholarship throughout their academic careers. This year’s keynote address was given by Sarah Bronson, Ph.D., director, Research Development, and director, Graduate Core Curriculum.

Students recite the Graduate Oath

Click here to see photos from the ceremony.

Symbolic of their initiation into the community of biomedical scientists, first-year Ph.D. students received white lab coats, and master’s students received a gift.

Prompted by an article in Science magazine, a group of College of Medicine graduate students spent a year developing an oath that reflected Penn State values. This is the seventh year for the Graduate Student Oath Ceremony.

See a photo album from the ceremony. 

August 24, 2015 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

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