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 by submitting a secondary application for EM-APPS.

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 at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residency

Upon meeting the academic and professional standards for graduation from medical school, students are ranked to match into the Penn State Health Emergency Medicine Residency program through the National Resident Matching Program®.

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 Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 exams?

You will be expected to take and pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 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.

Upon meeting the academic and professional standards for graduation from medical school, students are ranked to match into the Penn State Health residency program through the National Resident Matching Program®. Should students choose to rank Penn State, they would match into an Emergency Medicine residency position at Penn State Health .

Will my residency training be different?

Your three-year emergency medicine residency training at Penn State Health will not differ 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 and 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 program 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 program. 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 program 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. A selection committee composed of educational leadership in the Department of Emergency Medicine will review applications, interview applicants and make the final selection for EM-APPS.

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.

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

Pathway Faculty

Director

Michael Dipietro, MD
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-8955

Email: EMAPPS@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

A portrait of Dr. Michael Dipietro in front of a professional photo background.
Michael Dipietro, MD

Contact Us

Additional questions and inquiries can be made to:

Michael Dipietro, MD
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: EMAPPS@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Michelle Fischer, MD, MPH
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: EMAPPS@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Jamie Agnew-Gruber
EM-APPS Program Coordinator
Department of Emergency Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-4604

Email: EMAPPS@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

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