Posts tagged ‘Penn State College of Medicine’

First-year medical students provide hands-on care to people of Panama

Thirteen first-year medical students from Penn State College of Medicine and their professor pose for a photo on San Cristobal Island in Panama. Behind them are a palm tree, the ocean and part of the island extending into the water. Most of the students are wearing scrubs.

Penn State College of Medicine students who worked on the island of San Cristobal pose for a photo.

By Jennifer Vogelsong

Grant Wandling had never left the U.S. before an April trip that had him sleeping in hammocks, making due with no running water and providing medical care to the indigenous Ngabe people of Panama.

He was one of 20 first-year medical students at Penn State College of Medicine who completed their primary care preceptorship on the remote islands of Panama’s Bocas del Toro province. Drs. Bill and Eileen Hennrikus, both professors at the College of Medicine, led the 10-day trip with eight other professors.

“It really reminds you that there are people outside of the United States who are in great need of treatment,” Wandling said. “We not only saw a lot of medical problems, we also saw another culture.”

The Hennrikus couple began leading the Panama trips seven years ago when students requested it so they could gain experience in international health without committing to Penn State College of Medicine’s four-year global health curriculum. It has grown into an accredited medical school course.

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May 29, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

When the patient is the teacher, the lesson is compassion

Penn State College of Medicine students Matthew Chapman, left, and Yuriy Pechenyy sit on a couch and talk to Maria English, a longtime participant in the Patients as Teachers program. English sits in a chair with her feet on an ottoman. She is wearing a long-sleeved sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers and glasses. Chapman is seen in profile wearing a long-sleeved shirt and has short hair. Pechenyy is seen from behind wearing a white dress shirt. A small table with family photos is next to English.

Penn State College of Medicine students Matthew Chapman, left, and Yuriy Pechenyy talk to Maria English, a longtime participant in the Patients as Teachers program.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Matthew Chapman was nervous – even scared – when he thought about meeting his first patient face-to-face.

The first-year Penn State College of Medicine student soon found out he had nothing to fear.

“After going for the first time with my partner, I loved it,” said Chapman, who is part of the College of Medicine’s Patients as Teachers Project that pairs first-year students with established patients for one-on-one mentoring. “I think this will help give another perspective on what our patients have to deal with, besides just following medical advice.”

Patients as Teachers
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May 22, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

National Brain Bee creates buzz for next generation of neuroscientists

Cedar Cliff High School junior Thussentham Walter-Angelo, winner of the 2019 Central PA Regional Brain Bee, bends over a clipboard on his lap and writes answers during the 2019 USA National Brain Bee, held April 12-14 at Penn State College of Medicine. He is seated in an auditorium, surrounded by other students. He wears a plaid shirt, gray pants and glasses.

Cedar Cliff High School junior Thussentham Walter-Angelo, winner of the 2019 Central PA Regional Brain Bee, answers a question during the 2019 USA National Brain Bee.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Thussentham Walter-Angelo remembers the question from a second-grade school report: What do you want to be when you grow up? His answer then was the same as today – a neurosurgeon.

“I was always interested in neuroscience,” the Cedar Cliff High School junior said. “There’s just so much to learn and not a lot that’s known. This competition is a great way to prove yourself.”

Walter-Angelo, who won the 2019 Central PA Regional Brain Bee sponsored by the Central PA Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, was one of 56 contestants at the 2019 USA National Brain Bee Championship April 12 to 14 at Penn State College of Medicine on the campus of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

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April 24, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Twenty years in medical school? What’s so mini about that?

Penn State College of Medicine’s Mini Medical School participants, from left, "Sir" Robert Griscavage, Bonifacio Dewasse, Robert Hairston, Ruth Miller, William Miller, Rebekah Miller, Perry Emes, Marylou Martz and Joan Decker pose in front of a Nittany Lion statue in the rotunda of Hershey Medical Center. Behind them a hallway is visible.

From left, “Sir” Robert Griscavage, Bonifacio Dewasse, Robert Hairston, Ruth Miller, William Miller, Rebekah Miller, Perry Emes, Marylou Martz and Joan Decker celebrate 20 years of participating in Mini Medical School.

By Bill Landauer

In her seat near the front of Junker Auditorium at Penn State College of Medicine, Ruth Miller chuckled.

Teams of her younger classmates were using CPR to revive two mannequins simulating cardiac arrest. The exercise was meant to show the importance of teamwork in a crisis.

“But how do you learn to think on your feet?” someone asked.

Ruth thought of a joke.

In her 81 years on the planet, among all the lessons about art, music and medicine she’s collected, Miller knows comic timing.

For 20 springs, Ruth has been coming to the College of Medicine Mini Medical School — the program in which faculty and full-time students share their knowledge with the community. She might move a little slower than when she was a 61-year-old freshman, but Ruth is just as engaged as ever and is, by now, an expert class clown.

How do you learn to think on your feet? “You stand up a lot,” Ruth said.

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April 10, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

From medical education to medical controversies, humanities are key, new chair says

Bernice Hausman, chair of Penn State College of Medicine’s Department of Humanities, stands in a library with her arms crossed and smiling. She has short, gray hair and is wearing glasses, a sweater, a T-shirt, casual pants and a brown belt. Five rows of bookshelves filled with books are to her left.

Appreciating the humanities is an integral part of preparing to practice medicine, says Department of Humanities Chair Bernice Hausman.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Few medical schools have a humanities department, which makes Penn State College of Medicine — the first medical school in the nation to institute a humanities department — the perfect match for Bernice Hausman, its new chair.

“For the work I do, this is a dream job,” said Hausman, who holds a doctorate in feminist studies and critical theory and came to the College of Medicine in November 2018 from Virginia Tech, where she chaired the English department. “Generally, medical schools may have one course in the humanities. Not many have an entire department.”

Appreciating the humanities is an integral part of preparing to practice medicine, Hausman said. “The ability to understand social context and social relations is critical for a doctor because medicine is, after all, a people-oriented profession,” she said.

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April 3, 2019 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

Taking PULSE: on 10th anniversary, educational outreach program gets more diverse

Seven high school students who won the 2018 poster session at Penn State College of Medicine’s PULSE program smile in front of a poster presentation on endocarditis. One young man and six young women stand in a row and smile. They are dressed in casual clothes. Behind them on the left several people are visible through a doorway.

The 2018 PULSE poster session winners celebrate their prize-winning presentations. From left are Ian Hammond of Central Dauphin East High School, Nivedita Dubey of East Pennsboro Area High School, Avni Sanghvi of Central Valley High School, Jerusha George of Hershey High School, Dalia Shvartsman of Harrisburg Academy, Gellila Asmamaw of Manheim Township High School and Alexis Singleton-Robinson of Harrisburg High School SciTech Campus.

By Bill Landauer

Three high school students sat in the front row of a Penn State College of Medicine lecture hall and listened to Madison Goss.

They actually paid attention. That can be rare in a room full of teenagers, Goss has found — even well-accomplished ones handpicked to be part of college-level program designed to introduce potential doctors and nurses to the field.

“These students were so attentive to my lecture and weren’t playing on their phones or computers like some of their classmates,” she said.

The image stuck with Goss, who wanted these students, in particular, to hear her. Though she was excited about working with all 100 participants, the three girls had been part of a new group. The Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion had provided transportation so they could participate in the PULSE program. The office works to increase diversity at Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

The rides to the Hershey campus are helping the program get back to one of its key goals — helping a greater variety of people learn about medicine.

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March 20, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Project ECHO prepares doctors to manage addiction care closer to home

A large screen contains 12 mini screens showing physicians participating in Project ECHO. The participants are looking into their own web cams as they participate in the session; some are smiling and giving a thumbs up while others are serious. In the foreground, an out-of-focus screen reads “Pop Quiz: Which of these drugs is an opioid?”

Physicians from across Pennsylvania discuss best practices for treating opioid use disorder during the first Project ECHO session at Penn State College of Medicine.

By Katherine Brind’Amour

For patients suffering from opioid use disorder, and for the physicians in small towns across Pennsylvania who are their first level of care, Project ECHO offers hope. The effort aims to give primary care physicians the tools they need to treat the growing group of Pennsylvanians addicted to opioids—many of whom live in regions with no specialized addiction resources. It’s a win-win: patients get a doctor who can treat them close to home, and physicians get to expand their knowledge, their professional network and their relationship with their patients.

The concept comes from a physician at the University of New Mexico who wanted to shorten the wait list at his gastroenterology clinic. Now, more than 220 institutions around the world use Project ECHO for at least 90 disease topics. And Penn State Health researchers hope to influence them all.

“Research evaluating the project hasn’t kept pace with growth of the movement clinically,” says Dr. Jennifer Kraschnewski, director of Project ECHO at Penn State College of Medicine and a Penn State Health primary care clinician-investigator who studies community health interventions. “It is our goal to create an evidence base to support the model and its ability to mentor primary care providers outside of urban academic hubs. We also aim to learn how to best grow and use Project ECHO as an intervention.”

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February 20, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

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