The Penn State College of Medicine Nittany Lion statue is seen surrounded by plants in the central courtyard of the College in June 2016.

Emergency Medicine 3+3 Accelerated MD Pathway

Building a Pathway to Emergency Medicine

Penn State Emergency Medicine Accelerated Pathway (EM-APPS) is a 3+3 accelerated pathway program where students complete medical school in three years, followed by a three-year Emergency Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Matriculating students who are interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine may apply to this pathway on the Penn State College of Medicine secondary application.

After the application screening and interviews with members of the department, the accepted student will be placed in an accelerated pathway.

Pathway Overview

To address the increased need for emergency medicine physicians, Penn State College of Medicine, partnering with the Department of Emergency Medicine, developed a three-year EM-APPS program offering students many opportunities, including:

  • Reduction of the length of medical school by one year and earlier entry into a career in emergency medicine
  • A scholarship equivalent to one year of tuition
  • Focused mentorship in emergency medicine and early clinical exposure
  • Residency training in the Penn State College of Medicine Emergency Medicine Residency

Students accepted into this pathway are consistently evaluated throughout their medical education, and their acceptance into the residency can be rescinded should they fail to maintain acceptable performance levels.

Pathway Details

What are the advantages of choosing the 3+3 pathway?

This educational opportunity offers numerous advantages to students, including:

What is the timing of the pathway?

Students matriculate with the incoming medical school class in the summer. The 3+3 accelerated coursework begins during the first year of medical school, with an early introduction of clinical rotations.

In order to complete the graduation requirements in a compressed time frame, students in the 3+3 program do not get a six-week summer break after the first year. Students are enrolled in a combination of rotations during this time, and continue to work on their medical student research project.

Students participate in commencement from medical school in May of their third year. Participating 3+3 students begin three years of residency training in June, at what would be the start of their fourth year in a traditional MD pathway.

When am I expected to take USMLE 1, USMLE 2CK and USMLE 2CS?

You will be expected to take and pass USMLE 1, 2CK and 2CS prior to graduation, which is a Penn State College of Medicine requirement. You will have preparation time during your third year to successfully complete these requirements.

Will I need to enter the National Resident Matching Program?

Yes. The Penn State Health Emergency Medicine Residency can accept students through the match only. Therefore, you must enter the NRMP matching process.

Will my residency training be different?

Your three-year emergency medicine residency training at Penn State will not differ in curriculum from that of a non-EM-APPS student. During medical school, you will have additional contact with the Department of Emergency Medicine, including opportunities to attend resident conferences and departmental events,as well as tailored rotations featuring structured shadowing with faculty residents on call. You will build a relationship with faculty, residents and staff in the Department of Emergency Medicine, easing your transition to residency.

What if I change my mind and no longer want to pursue emergency medicine nor accelerate my training?

You would revert back to the traditional four-year pathway and enter the match as usual. Any scholarship granted will convert to a loan. Credits for partial courses may not carry over to the four-year pathway. For this reason, it’s important that you are certain about pursuing a career in emergency medicine before you apply to the pathway.

What if I do not make satisfactory progress in the pathway?

If you have academic difficulties or fail to progress as expected, you would revert to the traditional four-year pathway and enter the match as usual.

How much will tuition be?

If you complete the EM-APPS pathway as designed, you will receive a scholarship equal to one year of tuition. Thus, you’ll pay the equivalent of three years’ tuition, saving a full year of tuition. If you revert out of the EM-APPS pathway for any reason, any scholarship funds provided as a part of the pathway would convert to a loan.

Application Process

To be interviewed for EM-APPS, you must first apply and be accepted into the MD Program at Penn State College of Medicine.

After acceptance into the College of Medicine, eligible students must complete a separate EM-APPS application.

The ideal candidate is a self-directed mature learner with a strong academic background who possesses good organizational skills and the ability to multitask, and who has demonstrated a strong commitment to emergency medicine as a career.

A selection committee will make the final selection in late May regarding acceptance to the College of Medicine and the overall MD program. Once a commitment has been made to attend Penn State College of Medicine, a secondary application to EM-APPS will be reviewed on a rolling basis. However, the final selection will not occur until May by the EM-APPS subcommittee.

If you are a prospective Penn State College of Medicine medical student with an interest in the emergency medicine accelerated pathway, email mmcaloose@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Pathway Faculty

Director

Lawrence Kass, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Professor of Emergency Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-8955

Email: lkass@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

A portrait photograph of Dr. Lawrence Kass in front of a professional photo background.
Lawrence Kass, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Contact Us

Additional questions and inquiries can be made to:

Lawrence Kass, MD, FACEP, FAAAS
Director of EM-APPS
Department of Emergency Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-8955

Email: lkass@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Elizabeth Werley, MD
Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-8955

Email: ewerley@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Marie McAloose
Program Coordinator
Department of Emergency Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-0003, ext. 283442

Email: mmcaloose@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

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