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

Orthopaedics 3+5 Accelerated MD Pathway

Building a Pathway to Orthopaedics

The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation has implemented a 3+5 accelerated pathway, combining three years of medical school with five years of orthopaedics residency.

Matriculating students who are interested in pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery have the opportunity to apply to this pathway on the Penn State College of Medicine secondary application.

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

Pathway Overview

The Orthopaedics Accelerated Pathway at Penn State offers exceptional students many opportunities, including:

  • Reduction of the length of medical school by one year and earlier entry into a career in orthopaedics.
  • A scholarship equivalent to one year of tuition.
  • Focused mentorship in orthopaedics and early clinical exposure.
  • Residency training in the Penn State College of Medicine Orthopaedic 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pathway are consistently evaluated throughout their medical education, and their acceptance into the residency can be rescinded should they fail to maintain acceptable performance levels.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+5 pathway?

There are many advantages this special opportunity offers to students, including:

  • The ability to complete medical school in three years instead of four.
  • The opportunity to save one year of tuition, housing and fees.
  • A continuum of undergraduate medical school and graduate residency training.
  • Conditional acceptance to the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Orthopaedic Residency.
  • Access to mentors in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation.

What is the timing of the pathway?

Students matriculate with the incoming medical school class in the summer. The 3+5 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+5 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+5 students will begin five 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 Orthopaedic Residency can accept students through the match only. Therefore, you must enter the NRMP matching process.

Will my residency training be different?

Your five-year orthopaedic residency training at Penn State will not differ in curriculum from that of a non-O-APPS student. During medical school, you will have additional contact with the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation with attendance at orthopaedic conferences, motor-skills labs and journal clubs, as well as tailored rotations with structured shadowing with residents on call. You will build a relationship with faculty, residents and staff in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, easing your transition to residency.

What if I change my mind and no longer want to pursue orthopaedics 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 orthopaedics 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 O-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 O-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 O-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 O-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 orthopaedic surgery 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 O-APPS will be reviewed on a rolling basis. However, the final selection will not occur until May by the O-APPS subcommittee.

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

Pathway Faculty

Director

Paul Juliano, MD
Robert B. Greer III, MD, Professor of Orthopaedics
Vice Chair and Residency Program Director
Captain, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve, retired
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Mail Code EC089
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
30 Hope Drive, Building A
P.O. Box 859
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-4837

Email: OAPPS@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

A portrait photograph of Dr. Paul Juliano in front of a professional photo background.
Paul Juliano, MD

Faculty

  • April Armstrong, MD
  • Douglas Armstrong, MD
  • Umur Aydogan, MD
  • Michael Aynardi, MD
  • Jesse Bible, MD
  • Kevin Black, MD, Chair, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation; Member, 3+5 Steering Committee
  • Henry Boateng, MD
  • Carol Copeland, MD
  • Michael Darowish, MD, Member, 3+5 Steering Committee
  • Charles Davis, MD
  • Aman Dhawan, MD
  • Kristine Fortuna, MD
  • Edward Fox, MD
  • Robert Gallo, MD, Associate Residency Director; Member, 3+5 Steering Committee
  • Matthew Garner, MD
  • William Hennrikus, MD
  • Paul Juliano, MD, Residency Director; Member, 3+5 Steering Committee
  • Mike Kim, MD
  • Mark Knaub, MD
  • Scott Lynch, MD
  • Mark Mason, MD, Course Director of Medical Students; Member, 3+5 Steering Committee
  • Alexander Payatakes, MD
  • J. Spence Reid, MD
  • Scott Sorenson, MD
  • Kenneth Taylor, MD
  • Gary Updegrove, MD
  • Edward Vresilovic, MD

Contact Us

Additional questions and inquiries can be made to:

Paul Juliano, MD
Robert B. Greer III, MD, Professor of Orthopaedics
Vice Chair and Residency Program Director
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, EC089
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
30 Hope Drive, Building A
P.O. Box 859
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-4837

Email: oapps@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

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