Three Penn State College of Medicine students are seen sitting in an outdoor courtyard in fall 2019, laughing together. A laptop is open on a table in front of them.

Diversity, Equity and Belonging

We Train the Next Generation of Diverse Health Care Providers

A diverse group of students in white coats gather outside of the College of Medicine. Photo taken in May 2018.
A group of students gather outside of the College of Medicine in May 2018.

As an organization, we are seeing an increase in students, faculty and staff from different religions, military backgrounds, languages, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities, and other areas of difference. At Penn State College of Medicine, we are committed to providing concrete, proactive services that lead to healthier outcomes for our patients and a more respectful, supportive and productive work environment for our employees and learners.

About Hershey

Downtown Hershey is seen, with a large building and a lightpost shaped like a Hershey's kiss chocolate in the foreground. The street sign for Chocolate Avenue is also visible.
A view of downtown Hershey.

Central Pennsylvania is known for its natural beauty, low cost of living and diverse experiences. Just like the surrounding area, Penn State College of Medicine offers an inclusive and welcoming environment toward people from all walks of life.

While you’re here, you’re part of a community working to impact and improve Central PA, making this region a happy and healthy place to live.

Explore more about the Hershey area

Pipelines K-12 and undergrad

A photo of a PhD/MD student at Penn State College of Medicine who is wearing a White Coat and a PPE, working in a lab.
Jasmine Geathers is a PhD/MD student at Penn State College of Medicine who was part of the college’s pipeline program that helps underrepresented students become doctors.

The Penn State College of Medicine is committed to increasing the number of underrepresented populations in medicine as part of the national effort to decrease the widespread disparities in health outcomes among minority groups throughout the country. It is crucial that the health care system mirror the patients and communities served in order to ensure that their unique needs are adequately addressed. In keeping with this organizational goal, as well as the guidelines set forth by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the Office for Diversity Equity and Belonging offers robust outreach programs to support institutional diversity and establish an effective and consistent pipeline of applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Read more about pipeline programs


Penn State Health College of Medicine is committed to making medical education accessible to all qualified students. Donors have established 15 new scholarships and strengthen two already-existing funds to support students whose gender, race, ethnic, cultural and/or national background contribute to the diversity of the student body. Scholarship support “not only helps us support a diverse group of students who are already part of our learning community, but it also strengthens our ability to recruit other members of communities that are underrepresented in medicine and build an inclusive culture that contributes to equity in healthcare and scientific discovery for the diverse populations we serve,” said Dr. Kevin Black, interim dean of Penn State College of Medicine.

Read more about these scholarships here
Photo of an outdoor space with flowers, grass, and a tree, along with blue and white sign that reads “Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine” and a photograph of Dr. Alphonse Leure-duPree, former associate dean of academic achievement and professor emeritus.
The estate of Dr. Alphonse E. Leure-duPree, former associate dean for academic achievement and professor emeritus of neural and behavioral sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, has endowed a $1 million scholarship for students whose gender, race, ethnic, cultural and/or national background contribute to the diversity of the Penn State community.

Diversity is woven into our curriculum

Pictured are medical students of mixed gender and diverse backgrounds who are seated in a portion of a large lecture room and smiling, with a person speaking to them.
Class of 2023 Orientation ,Penn State College of Medicine: First-year medical students respond as Dr. Terry Wolpaw, vice dean for educational affairs with the Penn State College of Medicine, welcomes them during the first day of orientation in lecture room B in July 2019.

Founded in fall 2018, the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education works to ensure that medical students, physician assistant students, and graduate students have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to provide culturally excellent health care and research for diverse populations. Diverse populations include but are not limited to those defined by race, ethnicity, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, veteran status and disability.