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Education at Penn State College of Medicine

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Dr. Erica Friedma, vice dean for Educational Affairs for Penn State College of Medicine, interacts with students Natalie Hearty, left, and Akhil Bolisetti, as they walk down the hallway with Friedman in the middle.

At Penn State College of Medicine, we are committed to enhancing health by preparing the next generation of clinicians, educators and scientists to be the leaders and change agents of 21st-century medicine and research.

We will meet this goal through the education of medical and nursing students, basic science graduate students, medical residents, medical and postdoctoral fellows, students in other healthcare-related professions and practicing health professionals.

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Student-Led Research

Meet Lydia Smeltz, third-year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine. Lydia’s story highlights how the Health Systems Science Office sponsors students to create curricula and health care delivery projects of their own.

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Why Penn State College of Medicine?

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Health Systems Science

Penn State College of Medicine was one of 11 U.S. medical schools to receive a five-year, $1 million Accelerating Change in Medical Education grant from the American Medical Association to develop a new curriculum component in health system science.

This program includes opportunities for students to serve as patient navigators across the system.

Read more about health systems science at Penn State College of Medicine.

Integrated Research

Research is a key part of what students do at Penn State College of Medicine.

Students enhance health through biomedical research and innovation that leverage the clinical strengths of Penn State Health and the research strengths of Penn State College of Medicine.

Master's and PhD students work on research projects alongside faculty, and MD students complete a research project as part of their curriculum.

Read more about research at Penn State College of Medicine.

Humanities and Ethics

Our College of Medicine produces students who are well-rounded, critical thinkers with an acute understanding of their own capabilities.

Through Medical Humanities, our students learn to demonstrate respect for the diverse values, beliefs and practices encountered in the field of healthcare, while embodying a commitment to becoming an ethical, reflective, humble, informed and compassionate health professional.

Learn more about the Department of Humanities.

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Learn more about Penn State College of Medicine in this video.

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Educational Opportunities

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Medical Education and Physician Assistant Education

Penn State College of Medicine opportunities include a medical degree, a physician assistant degree, as well as many combined program opportunities.

Graduate Education

Graduate studies at Penn State College of Medicine offer a variety of PhD and master's degree options in diverse areas such as biomedical sciences, anatomy, neuroscience, public health, biostatistics, laboratory animal medicine and more.

Other Opportunities

In addition to the various degrees offered by Penn State College of Medicine, students and health professionals can expand their education in a variety of other ways, including graduate certificates, undergraduate programs, residencies and fellowships and continuing education.

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Innovative Initiatives

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Simulation Center

Students Zainul Hasanali and Lauren Kaminsky in the Penn State College of Medicine MD/PhD Program practice a simulation exercise in the Penn State College of Medicine Simulation Center in April 2017. The students are seen wearing short white lab coats and blue gloves, working with a model arm, which is in the lower center of the photo with an IV bag to the left.
An IV-placement simulation is one of many tools available in the Sim Center.

The Clinical Simulation Center at Penn State College of Medicine is designed to improve patient outcomes through simulation programs that enhance practitioner skills, clinical competence, teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Read more about the Simulation Center.

University Park Curriculum

A group of 12 students are pictured, socially distanced and wearing masks, sitting on and standing in front of a wall in which the words The Pennsylvania State University are engraved.
Students in the University Park Curriculum show their UP pride as well as their best masking and social distancing practices at the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.

The University Park Curriculum is a four-year medical curriculum that uses early immersive practice-based experiences and patient stories as the springboard for integrated learning in basic science, clinical science, health systems science and health humanities.

Students have the opportunity to take advantage of the resources of a major Big Ten University campus and engage in health care at the community level while pursuing the full range of career options in medicine.

Read more about the University Park Curriculum.

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Global Health Center

Students in the Penn State College of Medicine Global Health Scholars Program traveled to Ghana in 2016. A student is pictured here speaking with a Ghanaian woman and her child.
Students in the Penn State College of Medicine Global Health Scholars Program travel to Ghana and many other locations.

Global health programs for medical and graduate students at Penn State College of Medicine provide immersive worldwide educational opportunities for students interested in international health, including challenges that commonly present a greater burden to disadvantaged populations.

Read more about the Global Health Center.

Harrell Health Sciences Library: Research and Learning Commons

Students are seen studying in summer 2016 in the newly renovated Harrell Health Sciences Library at Penn State College of Medicine. The new study booths pictured are set up like restaurant booths, with padded seats. In the foreground, a woman studies with her laptop while talking to a woman across from her who is not visible in the picture. In the background, other students are seen studying.
The Harrell Health Sciences Library was renovated in summer 2016 and includes new study booths.

The Harrell Health Sciences Library offers print and electronic materials, as well as clinical information, to meet a variety of educational and research needs. The library is a 24-hour facility that offers individual and group study spaces for College of Medicine students, professional-level audio and video recording, and a sandbox lab for technologies such as virtual reality and 3D printing.

Read more about the Harrell Health Sciences Library.

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Student Resources

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Penn State College of Medicine strives to create the best culture of respect and inclusion for our students. A number of programs, services and facilities are available.

Dr. Inginia Genao sits on a bench outside the Penn State College of Medicine with a student.
Dr. Inginia Genao, right, Penn State College of Medicine’s vice dean of diversity, equity and belonging, meets with a student on the College of Medicine campus.
See more resources for current students

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Campus Life

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Student Housing

Housing is available to Penn State College of Medicine students, residents and postdocs in University Manor East and West apartment complexes. One of the complexes is pictured as seen from a higher floor of a nearby building, with a road and trees framing it in the background.
Housing in University Manor apartments is available to Penn State College of Medicine students.

Penn State College of Medicine offers housing in its University Manor East or University Manor West apartments to full-time students, residents, postdoctoral scholars and visiting scholars.

Read more about on-campus housing.

Life in Hershey, PA

Penn State College of Medicine is in Hershey, PA, a town known as the home of the HersheyPark amusement park and the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Two banners depicting cartoon candy characters are seen on a light pole in downtown Hershey, PA, in summer 2016, with a brick building with large glass windows in the background.
Hershey, Pa., is known as "The Sweetest Place on Earth."

Penn State College of Medicine's primary campus is located in Hershey, Pa. The area provides numerous diverse and delicious dining experiences, sports, concerts and entertainment, and is a short drive away from the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metro areas.

Read more about life in Hershey.

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What's New in Education