Jump to topic
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine School Objectives
Common taxonomy of competencies from AAMC [1 – 8].
- Patient Care: Provide patient-centered care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the promotion of health and treatment of health problems
- Knowledge for Practice: Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and healthcare delivery sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate one’s care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals’
- Professionalism: Demonstrate a commitment to behaving in a professional manner and adhering to ethical principles
- Systems-Based Practice: Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care
- Interprofessional Collaboration: Demonstrate the ability to engage in an interprofessional team in a manner that optimizes safe, effective patient- and population-centered care
- Personal and Professional Development: Demonstrate the qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth
- Medical Humanities: Demonstrate respect for the diverse values, beliefs and practices one encounters in the field of healthcare, while embodying a commitment to becoming an ethical, reflective, curious, humble, informed, and compassionate physician
- Critical thinking: Apply higher-order cognitive skills and deliberate thinking that leads to action that is context appropriate
Curriculum Evaluation Committee (CEC): 8/21/15
Presented to the following committees for Comment:
Course Directors 8/12/15
Curriculum Management Committee (CMC) 8/14/15
CUMED Phase I 10/5/15
CUMED Phase II-IV 10/1/15
CUMED Oversight 10/26/15
Administrative Policies and Procedures
The Office of Student Conduct at Penn State University serves as a valuable resource for the university community by promoting a safe living and learning environment. The Code of Conduct exists to maintain a civil and safe community in which all Penn State students can live and learn. The disciplinary process administered by the Office of Student Conduct is designed to foster growth and learning through holding students accountable for their behavior.
The goal of the Office of Student Conduct is to create a community in which students’ actions validate the essential values of Penn State University:
The University identifies unacceptable student behavior in a document called the Code of Conduct. Specific information can be found on the Code of Conduct & Student Conduct Procedures page. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the behaviors identified in the Code of Conduct and to allow it to inform their everyday decision-making both in and out of the classroom.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has recommended that medical schools conduct criminal background checks on their students entering their clinical years.
The following outlines the rationale for performing Criminal Background Checks:
- To bolster the public’s continuing trust in the medical profession.
- To enhance the safety and well-being of patients.
- To ascertain the ability of accepted applicants and enrolled medical students to eventually become
licensed as physicians.
- To minimize the liability of medical schools and their affiliated clinical facilities
In order to conform with the AAMC recommendations and existing hospital requirements, we have decided to require Criminal Background checks (CBC) for our accepted students, as well as our students entering their clinical years. Therefore, we are requiring our incoming students to get criminal background checks by Sept. 1 of their first year and our rising third-year medical students to get criminal background checks by April 1 before starting their clinical rotations.
The following three clearances need to be obtained:
- Pennsylvania Criminal History (PATCH)
- Child Abuse History Clearance
- Federal Criminal History/Fingerprinting via Cogent
Certiphi Screening Inc., will be managing this requirement for the medical students.
See the criminal background check policy in the policy management system here (ePass login required).
The registration process is initiated when a student consents to do University Business Electronically. This agreement allows you to accept your financial aid, enroll for classes, and pay your bill through the new student system. Once you have consented within LionPATH to the terms and conditions set forth in this document and the Financial Responsibility Agreement (see below), you will then be eligible to enroll in classes. Your consent expires annually and will need to be renewed yearly.
The second agreement to which you must consent within LionPATH is the Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA). The FRA is a promise to take financial responsibility for payment of your account. Once you have consented within LionPATH to the terms and conditions set forth in this agreement and the Consent to Do Business Electronically document, you will then be eligible to enroll in classes. The FRA is required to be completed every semester.
Students enrolling at the Penn State College of Medicine are responsible for full payment of tuition and fees. A student who is delinquent on payment of tuition or outstanding bills owed to the University past the due date will have a hold placed on their account. The University reserves the right to cancel an incomplete registration for failure to pay tuition and fees. If registration is cancelled the student will not be covered by The Pennsylvania State University professional liability insurance.
To complete registration, the student must take the following steps:
- Login to LionPATH and consent to do University Business Electronically.
- Agree to the Financial Responsibility Agreement.
- Enroll in a minimum of one class.
- Take action on his/her tuition bill (eBill) before the due date, even if the balance is zero
Students who do not take action on their tuition bills may experience several consequences of delinquent tuition payments that include but are not limited to:
- You will not receive grades for courses attended.
- You will be ineligible to register for future semesters.
- If you are receiving student loans, you may enter repayment status with your lender.
- If you are receiving student aid, some aid sources may be canceled.
- The University reserves the right to cancel an incomplete registration for failure to pay tuition and fees.
Following sufficient payment, the hold will be removed.
The student will be notified by the Senior Director for Educational Affairs when attendance to courses is no longer allowed until the student’s payment obligation is met.
See the delinquent accounts policy in the policy management system here. (ePass login required)
Official Holidays, 2016-2017
- Independence Day – July 4
- Labor Day – September 5
- Thanksgiving – November 24-27
- Winter Break – December 17-January 1
- Memorial Day – May 25
Students are expected to exhibit professional and altruistic behavior at all times, as outlined in the Medical School Objectives at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. (See above.) Additionally, students are expected to demonstrate professionalism as outlined by the AAMC, which are detailed below.
- Students should exhibit honesty and integrity, including:
- Forthright, truthful and trustworthy behavior.
- Appropriate identification of status when participating in patient care.
- Showing ethical behavior at all times
- Students should demonstrate responsibility and reliability, including:
- Punctuality and meeting deadlines
- Compliance with policies, rules, regulations and laws.
- Attendance at required sessions.
- Demonstration of appropriate prioritization between personal and professional life.
- Demonstration of accountability, including appropriate assumption of responsibility and reporting of inappropriate behaviors.
- Students should demonstrate respect for others, including:
- Respecting the authority and knowledge of other professionals.
- Working well with and showing respect to all team members.
- Showing appropriate grooming and cleanliness.
- Students should demonstrate altruism and empathy, including:
- Showing appropriate concern for others.
- Perception and acknowledgment of other people’s physical, emotional and social needs.
- Demonstration of sensitivity and concern regarding those needs.
- Maintenance of objectivity in difficult interactions with other individuals.
- Students should demonstrate commitment to competence and excellence, including:
- Setting, achieving and reflecting on realistic goals.
- Routinely seeking to develop additional knowledge and skills.
- Striving for excellence rather than to meet minimum standards.
- Students should demonstrate responsibility for self-assessment and self-improvement, including:
- Admission of errors and accepting responsibility for actions.
- Seeking feedback, and implementing changes as a result of feedback.
- Demonstration of appropriate self-confidence.
- Asking for help when appropriate.
- Students should demonstrate respect for patients and their families, including:
- Sensitivity to patients’ beliefs, opinions, gender, race, culture, religion, sexual
preference, and status.
- Respecting patients’ autonomy and right to choose.
- Demonstration and maintenance of sensitivity to confidential patient
- Sensitivity to patients’ beliefs, opinions, gender, race, culture, religion, sexual
See the full professionalism policy in the policy management tool here (ePass login required).
Academic Policies & Procedures
Academic Integrity at Penn State is defined by Faculty Senate Policy 49-20 as “the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner.”
The University Code of Conduct states, “all students should act with personal integrity; respect other students’ dignity, rights, and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.”
Academic dishonesty (including, but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, or falsification of information) will not be tolerated and can result in academic or disciplinary sanctions such as a failing grade (F) in the course.
See the full Academic Integrity Policy in the policy management tool here. (ePass login required)
The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine are dedicated to developing and maintaining a strong commitment to ethical teaching practices at all levels of the education process.
See the full Educator Code of Conduct in the policy portal here. (ePass login required)
The basis for grade determination, as stated in Senate Policy 47-20, is “… the instructor’s judgment of the student’s scholastic achievement …” Occasionally, a disagreement arises in the determination of a grade. A student who wishes to question or challenge the grade achieved in a course/clerkship must first discuss the course or clerkship’s competency-based achievement criteria, the grading procedures, and assignments with the instructor. It is expected that the student and instructor will try to eliminate any misunderstandings and will attempt to work out any disagreements over grades. Some examples of the basis for a legitimate disagreement could include, but are not limited to the following:
- . The instructor did not inform the student of the competency-based criteria used for assessment, or the rubric used in determination of grades as required in Senate Policy 47-20.
- The instructor did not determine the student’s grade in accordance with the instructor’s stated procedure for determining grades.
- There is an error in the determination of the grade that was not corrected.
- The student, through no fault of his or her own, was not provided with the same opportunity to complete the requirements for the course in terms, for example, of time, access to materials, or access to the instructor as the other students.
- There is a problem with the statistical defensibility of the grading rubric used.
- There was insufficient or delayed data submitted to the course/clerkship director to make a valid grade determination.
- There is an error in the computation of the grade that was not corrected.
Grade Adjudication Petition
On the rare occasion that a student and instructor fail to resolve the grade determination dispute through informal means, the student may request further review from the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs. The student makes this request in a formal grade adjudication process by completing a Grade Adjudication Petition Form and returning it to the Vice Dean. The student must submit the Grade Adjudication Petition Form within 60 days of receiving the course grade.
The basis for a grade adjudication petition is limited to cases in which a grade determination does not conform to Senate Policy 47-20 and therefore, the petition must present clear evidence that the determination of the grade was based upon factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor. The Vice Dean will review the petition to determine if the student’s concern provides evidence that the instructor’s determination of the grade is in violation of Senate Policy 47-20.
No Violation of Senate Policy 47-20
If the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs decides that the determination of the grade does not violate Senate Policy 47-20, he/she will notify the student and the grade will stand.
Violation of Senate Policy 47-20
If the vice dean for educational affairs believes that the determination of the grade does violate Senate Policy 47-20, he/she will contact the instructor and request a response. If, after reading the instructor’s response, the vice dean concludes that the grade determination does violate Senate Policy 47-20, he/she will decide upon a course of action that may include a recommendation for an amended grade. The vice dean will send a brief summary of the reasons for the recommended course of action to the student and the instructor.
The Vice Dean might choose to appoint an ad hoc committee of 2-3 faculty with appropriate expertise in learner assessment and/or the disciplinary field to assist in adjudicating the student’s request. The ad hoc committee will recommend a grade. The vice dean will notify the student and instructor of the recommended grade and the supporting rationale in accordance with Senate Policy 47-20. The recommended grade will be transmitted to the campus registrar (if the grade change is recommended).
Appeal to the Dean
The student or the instructor may appeal the vice dean’s decision to the dean of the College of Medicine. An appeal to the dean must be made in writing within ten (10) days of the receipt of the notification from the vice dean.
The petition and any relevant findings of the Vice Dean will be forwarded to the dean.
If the dean finds that the grade determination does conform to Senate Policy 47-20, the original grade determination will stand and the adjudication process is concluded.
If the dean finds that the grade determination does not conform to the Senate Policy 47-20, the dean might appoint an ad hoc committee of 2-3 faculty members with appropriate expertise in learner assessment and/or the disciplinary field to determine and recommend a grade, or make the determination of the grade and transmit it to the campus registrar.
See the full policy for grade mediation and adjudication in the policy portal here. (ePass login required).
The grading criteria for each course must be objective, communicated clearly to the students at the start of the course, and applied fairly and consistently. Course Co-Directors are responsible for defining, communicating and applying the grading criteria.
The following must be defined in the course syllabus, published on the course site, and presented verbally to the class at the start of the course. Any changes in grading criteria after the start of the course must be clearly communicated to the students.
- The sub-competencies to be assessed (ie, Medical Knowledge 2.1) and the scoring criteria.
- The passing grade: An absolute grade of 68%; alternatively, a criterion of one-and-a-half standard deviations below the mean may be used alone or in combination with an absolute grade; in the latter case, priority must be defined: e.g., “The passing grade is 68% or 1.5 standard deviations below the mean, whichever is lower.”
- The rounding percentage: Final percentages should be expressed to one decimal place and rounded up to determine grades: e.g., for a course with an absolute pass of 68%, a final score of 67.5% or greater would be passing.
See the grading policy for Phase I in the policy portal here. (ePass login required).
The purpose of the LOA is to allow students to interrupt continuous enrollment (usually for not more than one year) without having to apply for re-enrollment and without changing conditions and requirements of their academic program.
Terms and Conditions
- Students may request a leave of absence (LOA) from the College of Medicine’s educational program for personal, health or educational reasons (i.e. Away research)
- LOA requests will be granted or denied, at the discretion of the College of Medicine’s Vice Dean for Educational Affairs or his/her designee.
- Generally, LOA requests for medical students will not be granted for a period in excess of one year. Any “extensions” for a leave-of-absence must be approved by the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs or his/her designee.
- A student who fulfills the conditions of an approved LOA may register upon return without applying for re-enrollment. The student registers for courses according to the returning start dates for the courses or clinical learning experiences as applicable.
- The student will be expected to return to the College of Medicine according to the conditions of the approved leave set forth by the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs or his/her designee.
- If at the end of the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs’ or his/her designee’s specified length for the LOA the student does not notify the Vice Dean or his/her designee in writing of his or her intentions to resume formal studies, it will be assumed that the student no longer wishes to continue in medical school and has withdrawn from the College of Medicine.
- Students requesting a LOA for health reasons must provide a written request from the physician involved in his/her care at the time the request is made. In addition, reevaluation from the physician must be received by the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs or his/her designee prior to readmission. This evaluation must include the statement that the student is able from a medical standpoint to resume his or her studies.
If a student desires a leave of absence for any given reason, they will be required to discuss the matter with his/her society advisor first.
- Student schedules a meeting with Associate Dean for Student Affairs to discuss LOA. The student will be required to provide a rationale for the LOA. If necessary, support documentation (Medical- i.e. doctor note or Research – mentor) will need to be provided.
- If the LOA request is approved by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, the student will receive official approval in writing. This written approval will
- Summarize any conditions pertinent to the individual student’s leave
- Set a date (60 days before the student is scheduled to return) by which time the student must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in writing of his or her intent to return as scheduled.
- The student is responsible for getting all the signatures required on the LOA form. The Registrar (the last required signature) will make a copy of the completed form for the student. The original will be placed in the student’s academic folder. The LOA status will become official when the completed LOA form for the student has been returned to the Registrar. LOA Form- A leave of absence cannot exceed one year. At the end of one year, a request for an extension of the leave of absence must be approved by the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs. If a student fails to resume his/her academic program within 2 years from the date of commencement of the leave of absence, that student shall be deemed withdrawn from the College of Medicine. Students who believe they have special circumstances to justify extending their leave of absence more than two years can appeal by submitting a formal request to the appropriate Academic Progress Committee (Year 1 and 2 or Year 3 and 4). The Academic Progress Committee will review the student’s request and make the final decision on the extension of the leave of absence.
- Sixty days prior to the date of return from the LOA, the student must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
A student’s Penn State Access Account is suspended at the beginning of the semester that his/her leave begins. The account (with the same account number and password) is automatically reactivated a few weeks prior to the student’s scheduled return to school. Students, at any Penn State campus, who want to keep their accounts active while on an official leave of absence, should complete the Penn State Access Account Extension for Student Leave of Absence form. The completed form can be given to the Registrars Office at C1802. A monthly fee is charged to the student’s University account.
Students can view the full Leave of Absence Procedure in the policy portal here (ePass login required).
View the full Personal Improvement Plan policy in the policy portal here (ePass login required)
Curriculum, Assessment and Evaluation
The MD degree course of study for all students at Penn State University College of Medicine (COM) is designed as a four-year developmental, competency-directed progression in learning and professional identity formation that facilitates the students’ achievement of the graduation competencies of the COM. We recognize that learners in our COM educational programs will develop along the competency directed MD course of study through a combination of common and individualized educational experiences. Given the opportunity for individualization in progression towards the MD degree, there will be learners whose time-frame for progression in learning and professional identify formation will vary from the four-year framework. Students in the COM must complete all required educational experiences and achieve graduation competencies of the COM in a time period that does not exceed seven years from the time of matriculation, unless the student is in the MD/PhD program.
The Extended Directed Study Options offer a student additional time to complete the educational program under certain circumstances. It is intended for a variety of purposes, including personal, financial, to do scholarship/research (but not pursue an advanced degree) and for academic reasons. Examples of situations in which this option might be considered include: taking a year off to engage in a research project with a faculty member or needing a decelerated pace to achieve COM competencies.
Students may, with the approval of the Academic Progress Committee, use the extended directed study options for no more than two additional semesters of study. In addition to discussions with the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs or the Associate Deans for Medical Education, Student Affairs or Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation, students who are considering taking advantage of the Extended Directed Study Options (details below) should also meet with the Director of Financial Aid to clarify the potential implications of this decision on financial aid status. Approval to extend the curriculum must be obtained from the Academic Progress Committee. This status is not intended for students in combined degree programs or for students who have funded fellowships for research outside Penn State University. These students are considered to be on a leave of absence.
Initiation of Placement in the Extended Directed Study Options
A request for participation in the Extended Directed Study Program may be initiated by any of the following:
- The student. (A student who desires to participate in an Extended Directed Study option should review the reasons for the extended option with the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs, Associate Dean for Medical Education, Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation, or Associate Dean for Student Affairs)
- The Vice Dean for Educational Affairs, Associate Dean for Medical Education, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, or the Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation
- The Director of the Office for Medical Student Research
- The Academic Progress Committee
Types of Extended Directed Study and Application Process
There are two types of Extended Directed Study to which a student may apply:
- Directed Curriculum Option: A student may opt for additional time to allow for a decompressed course load and/or remediation, academic enhancement, or for personal or financial reasons, at any time during the four year curriculum. Students requesting enrollment in the Directed Curriculum Option must:
- Develop a clear and detailed curriculum plan with their advisor and the Associate Deans for Student Affairs and Medical Education, to ensure a comprehensive education plan will be achieved without adversely impacting other students’ education and experience. This plan must include the outcomes the student expects to achieve by the end of the Extended Directed study period and be signed by both the student and the student’s advisor.
- The student’s proposed curriculum plan, once signed by the advisor, must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, the Associate Dean for Medical Education, and the Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation for review.
- Once the plan is reviewed by the Associate Deans for Student Affairs, Medical Education, and Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation, and revised if necessary, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will present the student’s proposal to the Chair of the Academic Progress Committee (APC). The Chair of the APC may approve the proposal or choose to present it to the full APC for consideration.
- The Associate Dean for Student Affairs, once the Directed Curriculum Option is approved by the APC, will send the student’s name to
- the Director of Finance in the Office of Medical Education who will manage the tuition process;
- the registrar who will ensure that the student is on active status and coursework included on the transcript;
- the Associate Dean for Medical Education and
- the Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation.
- Students on an Extended Directed Curriculum Option status must demonstrate, on a quarterly basis, that they are making academic progress during this period by submitting a quarterly progress report to the Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation and to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
- Directed Scholarship/Research Option: The Directed Scholarship/Research Option is intended for students who wish to pursue up to two additional semesters of research or other scholarly activity. This status is not intended for students in combined degree programs or for students who have funded fellowships for research outside Penn State University. These students are considered to be on a leave of absence. Students requesting to pursue the Directed Scholarship/Research option must:
- • Develop a clear and detailed Directed Scholarship/Research Plan in conjunction with their advisor and the Director of the Office for Medical Student Research. This plan must include the outcomes the student expects to achieve by the end of the Extended Directed Scholarship/Research period. It must be signed by the student, the student’s advisor, and the Director for Medical Student Research.
- Once the plan is approved by the Director of the Office for Medical Student Research, the student’s proposed scholarship/research plan must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, the Associate Dean for Medical Education, and the Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation for review.
- Once the plan is reviewed by the Associate Deans for Student Affairs, Medical Education, and Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation, and revised if necessary, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will present the student’s proposal to the Chair of the Academic Progress Committee (APC). The Chair of the APC may approve the proposal or choose to present it to the full APC for consideration.
- The Associate Dean for Student Affairs, once the Directed Scholarship/Research Option is approved by the APC, will send the student’s name to
- the Director of Finance in the Office of Medical Education who will manage the tuition process;
- the Director for Medical Student Research;
- the Associate Dean for Medical Education and
- the Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation.
- Students on an Extended Directed Scholarship/Research Option status must demonstrate, on a quarterly basis, that they are making scholarly progress during this period by submitting a quarterly progress report to the Director of Medical Student Research.
Students who are granted an Extended Directed Study Option are still required to be enrolled in and pay for eight full-tuition semesters of study prior to graduation. The Extended Directed Study Option can be used for a maximum of two semesters. The Extended Directed Option rates per semester are:
- Curriculum Option: 10% current full time tuition per semester
- Directed Scholarship/Research Option: 10% current full time tuition per semester
Fees for Extended Directed Study do not include insurance, living expenses, etc., so the figures listed above are not the full cost to the student
We wish to acknowledge and thank Pritzker School of Medicine for allowing us to adapt their model for Extended Study Options for use at Penn State College of Medicine.
You can see the full Extended Directed Study Program policy in the policy portal here (ePass login required)
In order to satisfy the requirements for an M.D. degree from The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, all students shall complete an approved Medical Student Research Project (MSR) or present qualifications for exemption. The selection of an MSR topic is the responsibility of each student who should consult his or her advisor, and other faculty members. MSR projects are usually initiated in the first two years.
For more information on the project, view the MSR section of this site.
You can view the full Medical Student Research Project policy in the policy management system here. (ePass login required)
1. Patient care
Provide patient-centered care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the promotion of health and treatment of health problems
PC 1.1: Perform a problem-focused and complete history and physical examination
PC 1.2: Use clinical information to formulate differential diagnosis; identify and interpret clinical and diagnostic test information to formulate a prioritized differential diagnosis and management plan
2. Knowledge for Practice
Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and healthcare delivery sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care
KP 2.1: Demonstrate knowledge of the biomedical and clinical sciences and apply this knowledge to diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making and clinical problem-solving
KP 2.2: Contribute to the creation, dissemination, application, and translation of knowledge and practices
3. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
Demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate one’s care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care
PBLI3.1/PPD8.1: Incorporate reflection and self-assessment in the development of one’s own professional identity, systematically analyze one’s own performance to identify strengths and challenges, set individual learning and improvement goals, and engage in appropriate learning activities to meet those goals
PBLI 3.2: Identify one’s own knowledge gaps as they emerge in patient care activities, formulate an appropriate question to address the gap, utilize clinical informatics to locate, appraise, and assimilate evidence to inform patient care
4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals
ICS 4.1: Communicate effectively with patients, families, and other individuals across a broad range of backgrounds, beliefs, and identity
ICS 4.2: Demonstrate the ability to document and organize patient information both orally and in the medical record
ICS 4.3/IPC 7.3: Communicate effectively with others on an interprofessional team
Demonstrate a commitment to behaving in a professional manner and adhering to ethical principles
Prof 5.1: Advocate effectively on behalf of individual patients and patient populations
Prof 5.2/MH 9.3: Act with honesty, integrity, accountability, and reliability, adhering to ethical norms and principles for the practice of medicine
6. Systems-Based Practice
Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care
SBP 6.1: Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of healthcare delivery, organization and finance
SBP 6.2: Incorporate considerations of value-based care in decisions about patients and/or populations
SBP 6.3: Identify and analyze adverse events, medical errors, and systems issues and propose interventions that will improve the value of healthcare
SBP 6.4: Analyze factors that affect the health outcomes of patients, populations, and communities
7. Interprofessional Collaboration
Demonstrate the ability to engage in an interprofessional team in a manner that optimizes safe, effective patient- and population-centered care
IPC 7.1: Apply principles of team dynamics in interactions with other health professionals, patients, and families, in the context of shared knowledge, shared goals, and mutual respect
IPC 7.2: Use the knowledge of one’s own roles and responsibilities – and those of other health professionals — to optimize health care
IPC 7.3/ICS 4.3: Communicate effectively with others on an interprofessional team
8. Personal Growth and Professional Development
Demonstrate the qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth
PPD 8.1/PBLI 3.1: Incorporate reflection and self-assessment in the development of one’s own professional identity, systematically analyze one’s own performance to identify strengths and challenges, set individual learning and improvement goals, and engage in appropriate learning activities to meet those goals
PPD8.2: Manage conflict between personal and professional expectations
PPD8.3: Articulate potential rewards and challenges of future phases of one’s own career
9. Medical Humanities
Demonstrate respect for the diverse values, beliefs and practices one encounters in the field of healthcare, while embodying a commitment to becoming an ethical, reflective, curious, humble, informed, and compassionate physician
MH 9.1: Demonstrate compassion, humility, and respect toward all persons regardless of their diverse identities, values, beliefs, and experiences.
MH 9.2: Apply the humanities and/or the arts to illuminate the lived experience of illness and to enhance the care of the patient.
MH 9.2: Apply the humanities and/or the arts to illuminate the lived experience of illness and to enhance the care of the patient.
MH 9.3/Prof 5.2: Act with honesty, integrity, accountability, and reliability, adhering to ethical norms and principles for the practice of medicine
10. Critical Thinking
Apply higher-order cognitive skills and deliberate thinking that leads to action that is context appropriate
CT 10.1: Demonstrate skepticism, curiosity, and a willingness to acknowledge uncertainty when confronted with new information or situations
CT 10.2: Demonstrate mindful interrogation of one’s own thinking process and biases in making decisions
Adapted from: Englander R, Cameron T, Ballard AJ, Dodge J, Bull J, Aschenbrener CA. Toward a common taxonomy of competency domains for the health professions and competencies for physicians. Acad Med. 2013; 88(8):1088-94.
View the full Competencies & Milestones policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Each medical student must be provided with formal formative feedback early enough during each required course or clerkship to allow sufficient time for remediation.
For Phase I courses that are 4 weeks or more in length, course directors must provide a means of formative assessment by the midpoint of the course so that a student can take actions to remedy deficiencies. Formative feedback in Phase I courses can be through formative quizzes, formative examinations, or other methods that provide students with feedback on his/her performance.
For Phases II-IV clerkships and acting internships, course/clerkship directors must insure that formative feedback is provided to each student by the midpoint of the course/clerkship so that a student can acknowledge that they have received the feedback take actions to remedy deficiencies.
View the full Formative Assessment by Mid-Point policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
The MD degree course of study for all students at Penn State University College of Medicine is designed as a four year developmental, competency-directed progression in learning and professional identity formation that facilitates the students’ achievement of the graduation competencies of the College of Medicine (COM).
We recognize that learners in any of our COM educational programs will develop along the competency-directed MD course of study through a combination of common and individualized educational experiences.
Given the opportunity for individualization in progression towards the MD degree, there will be learners whose time-frame for progression in learning and professional identify formation will vary from the four-year framework.
A student, in consultation with his/her advisor, who is on track to achieve the educational outcomes of the Penn State COM MD course of study in a timeframe of less than four years and who wishes to be considered for early graduation may make such a request to a “Medical Student Progress Review” (MSPR) committee. This process involves the following:
- A comprehensive progress acceleration portfolio, signed off for its veracity by the student’s advisor.
- This is a comprehensive portfolio completed by the student addressing progression in of each of the COM 10 competencies. It is the responsibility of the student, through portfolio reflection essays and robust evidence, to justify how he/she has achieved all educational outcomes of the MD degree course of study and why he/she is qualified to be certified by the COM for early graduation.
- Thorough review of the portfolio by the MSPR and a recommendation by the MSPR to the APC II-IV to approve early graduation.
- Decision by the APC II-IV to approve early graduation.
- This process will take effect for the class of 2019.
- This process for graduation earlier than the four year time frame applies to students in all COM programs.
- Each of our COM programs will have a typical, yet somewhat flexible, pattern of educational experiences, approved by CUMED, that will facilitate achievement of outcomes of the COM’s competency-directed course of study for the MD degree. Students who do not desire consideration for early graduation will follow the pattern of educational experiences for his/her program.
In order to graduate, a Penn State University College of Medicine Medical Student must:
- Demonstrate achievement of all COM Competencies
- Complete a formative and summative Portfolio and achieve a “meets expectations” designation for all COM competencies on summative Portfolio review (effective beginning with the class of 2019)
- Pass USMLE 1, 2CK, 2CS examinations
- Successfully complete all program-specific formative OSCEs; pass the summative OSCE (OSCE III or Remediation OSCE)
- Successfully complete a Medical Student Research project (does not apply to MD-PhD students)
- Complete all required educational experiences and achieve graduation competencies of the COM in a time period that does not exceed seven years from the time of matriculation, unless the student is in the MD/PhD program.
Medical students in the Hershey Program will demonstrate acquisition of competencies through the following educational experiences or an experience designated as comparable by the Vice Dean of his/her designee:
- All Phase I courses
- All Phase II courses (including Integrated Sciences and Profession of Medicine -II)
- Translating Health Systems Science to the Clinical Setting
- Profession of Medicine-III
- 1 Acting Internship + 1 additional Acting Internship or Critical Care
- 1 Humanities selective
- Students must complete a minimum of 16 weeks of Phase III-IV electives to enhance their competency-directed progression in learning, professional identity formation, and residency preparation o Students will complete an Advanced Selective or Acting Internship within five months prior to graduation (to begin for the class of 2020). This course may fulfill one of the Acting Internship or elective expected courses.
- Students participating in accelerated options will complete at least the equivalent of 8 weeks of electives.
The education of a physician comprises a preparatory phase in college, a rigorous course of professional education leading to the M.D. degree, postgraduate or residency training, and lifelong continuing education after the conclusion of formal training.
The award of the MD degree signifies the individual has acquired a broad base of knowledge and skills requisite for the practice of medicine. The medical school educational process prepares an individual to be a physician – not a surgeon, psychiatrist, or any other specialist.
A broad medical education is prerequisite for good patient care and for entry into specialized postgraduate programs. Medical education requires the accumulation of scientific knowledge accompanied by the acquisition of professional skills, attitude, and behavior. It is in the care of patients that the physician learns the application of scientific knowledge. Faculties of medicine have responsibilities to students and patients and ultimately, to society, to graduate the best trained physicians.
Therefore, admission standards for medical school must be rigorous and exacting. Acceptance can be extended only to those who are best qualified to meet the performance standards of medical school.
Medical students must be able to communicate with and care for, in a non-judgmental way, persons whose culture, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different from their own. Students must be able to examine the entire patient, male or female, regardless of the social, cultural, or religious beliefs of the student.
A candidate for the M.D. degree must have demonstrable abilities and skills of five varieties: perception/observation; communication; motor/tactile function; cognition; and professionalism. Technological assistance is available to assist with a variety of disabilities and may be permitted to accommodate disabilities in certain areas. Under all circumstances, a candidate must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. A candidates’ judgment must not be mediated by someone else’s power of selection, observation and communication. Therefore, the use of an intermediary in the clinical setting is not permitted.
- Perception/Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations, microbiological cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation involves the functional use of the visual and somatic senses and is enhanced by the olfactory sense.Students must be able to perceive, through the use of the senses and cognitive abilities, the presentation of information through:
- Small group discussions and presentations
- Large-group lectures
- One-on-one interactions
- Laboratory experiments
- Patient encounters (at a distance and close at hand)
- Diagnostic findings
- Written material
- Audiovisual material
Representative examples of materials/occasions requiring perceptual abilities in Phase I include, but are not limited to: books, diagrams, discussions, physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations, microbiologic cultures, gross and microscopic studies of organisms and tissues, chemical reactions and representations, photographs, x-rays, cadaver dissections, live human case presentations, and patient interviews.
Additional examples from Phases II – IV include, but are not limited to: physical exams; rectal and pelvic exams; examinations with stethoscopes, otoscopes, fundoscopes, sphygmomanometers, and reflex hammers; verbal communication and non-verbal cues (as in taking a patient’s history or working with a medical team); live and televised surgical procedures; childbirth; x-rays, MRIs, and other diagnostic findings; online computer searches.
- Communication: – A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speaking but listening, reading, and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health-care team, in order to:
- Elicit, convey, and clarify information
- Create rapport
- Develop therapeutic relationships
- Demonstrate competencies
Examples of areas in which skillful communication is required in Phase I include, but are not limited to: answering oral and written exam questions, eliciting a complete history from a patient, presenting information in oral and written form to preceptors, participating in small-group discussions/interactions, participating in group dissections, participating in pathology labs.
Additional examples of areas in which skillful communication is required in Phases II – IV include, but are not limited to: participating in clinical rounds and conferences; documenting patient H&Ps (histories and physicals); making presentations (formal and informal) to physicians and other professionals; communicating daily with all members of the healthcare team; talking with patients and families about medical issues; interacting in a therapeutic manner with psychiatric patients; providing educational presentations to patients and families; participating in videotaped exercises; interacting with clerkship administrators; writing notes and papers.
- Motor/tactile function: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, etc.); carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, paracentesis, etc); and read EKG’s and X-rays. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Students must have sufficient motor function and tactile ability to:
- Attend and participate in all classes, groups, and activities which are part of the curriculum
- Read and write
- Examine patients
- Perform basic laboratory procedures and tests
- Perform diagnostic procedures
- Provide general and emergency patient care
- Function in outpatient, inpatient, and surgical venues
- Perform in a reasonably independent and competent way in sometimes chaotic clinical environments
- Demonstrate competencies
Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary
resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding,
opening of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds, and performance of simple obstetrical
maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements,
equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
- Cognition: Students must be able to demonstrate higher-level cognitive abilities, which include:
- Rational thought
- Visual-spatial comprehension (written & diagrammatic)
- Clinical reasoning
- Ethical reasoning
- Sound judgment
Examples of applied cognitive abilities in Phase I include, but are not limited to: understanding,
synthesizing, and recalling material presented in classes, labs, small groups, patient interactions,
and meetings with preceptors; understanding 3-dimensional relationships, such as those
demonstrated in the anatomy lab; successfully passing oral, written, and laboratory exams;
understanding ethical issues related to the practice of medicine; engaging in problem solving,
alone and in small groups; interpreting the results of patient examinations and diagnostic tests;
analyzing complicated situations, such as cardiac arrest, and determining the appropriate
sequence of events to effect successful treatment; reaching a full understanding of genetic
Additional examples of required cognitive abilities in Phases II – IV include, but are not limited
to: integrating historical, physical, social, and ancillary test data into differential diagnoses and
treatment plans; understanding indications for various diagnostic tests and treatment modalities –
from medication to surgery; understanding methods for various procedures, such as lumbar
punctures and inserting intravenous catheters; being able to think through medical issues and
exhibit sound judgment in a variety of clinical settings, including emergency situations;
identifying and understanding classes of psychopathology and treatment options; making
concise, cogent, and thorough presentations based on various kinds of data collection, including
web-based research; knowing how to organize information, materials, and tasks in order to
perform efficiently on service; understanding how to work and learn independently;
understanding how to function effectively as part of a healthcare team.
- Professionalism: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of intellectual abilities, good judgment, prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and education processes.
Students with questions about components of our Minimal Essential Standards requirements can contact the Office of Student Affairs at (717) 531-4398.
Students with questions regarding accommodations for a disability should contact Dr. George Blackall, email@example.com, 717-531-6148. There are a number of accommodations that can be made for students with documented disabilities. For more information related to disabilities, please visit Penn State Student Disability Resources.
View the Minimum Essential Standards for Matriculation, Promotion and Graduation in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
The Penn State College of Medicine strictly follows the NBME rules and procedures for all subject examinations in all clerkships.
Personal belongings in the testing room
All materials, except pencils and erasers must be deposited in the area designated for personal belongings (e.g. front of the lecture hall).
The following items ARE NOT PERMITTED in the seating area of the testing room:
- Personal Digital Assistants (e.g. palm pilots)
- Watches with alarms, computer or memory capability
- Electronic paging devices
- Cellular telephones
- Recording/filming devices
- Reference materials (books, notes, paper)
- Backpacks, briefcases, luggage, coats, or brimmed hats
- Beverages or food of any type
Before the examination
Permission to take the exam will be denied if an examinee arrives late.
During the examination period
An examinee must be escorted, one at a time, on all personal breaks taken during the examination. The test book and answer sheet will be collected and then returned when the examinee is ready to resume testing. No make-up time is allowed for time lost.
View the NBME Subject Examinations Policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
All students in the College of Medicine must take and pass Step 1, Step 2—Clinical Knowledge and Step 2—Clinical Skills of the USMLE in order to graduate.
Time is provided for USMLE Step 1 preparation prior to the exam. Find informational materials and applications on the USMLE site. At this site, you will find application materials, the USMLE Bulletin of Information, and sample test materials.
In the event of Step 1 or Step 2 failure, a student is required to repeat the examination. Although USMLE scores do not constitute part of the evaluation of students in their medical school courses, scores may be very important in the attainment of desired postgraduate training programs as well as for medical licensure. Many residency programs look at these scores very closely.
Students are required to take Step 1 at the conclusion of the second year unless written permission is granted in advance from the Vice Dean of Educational Affairs. In all instances, the Step 1 examination must be taken and passed by July 31 following Year 3. If a student has not passed Step 1 by then, he/she must take a leave of absence until Step 1 is passed. The clerkship schedule may be altered if a student has failed either step of the USMLE in consultation with the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs.
Step 2 Clinical Skills and Clinical Knowledge must be taken no later than January 1st of the fourth year and a passing score must be recorded in order to receive the M.D. degree.
A student who fails any component of any step of USMLE may repeat the exam twice. A failure of any component on the third attempt will result in the student’s dismissal from the College of Medicine.
Step 3 is taken after graduation from medical school at the end of not less than six months of internship. All examination requirements for USMLE certification must be met within a seven-year period. Questions regarding the USMLE application process should be directed to Diane Gill, Registrar, firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the USMLE Student Requirements in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
A single deficiency
The Academic Progress Committee (APC) will review the performance of all students with a single deficiency and will identify whether or not they wish to have the student appear in person before the committee. The APC may recommend that a student be allowed, depending on the deficiency, to remediate that course without personally appearing before the APC. A student with a single deficiency is placed on academic probation until the deficiency is remediated, regardless of whether or not they appeared before the APC.
Regardless of whether a student appears in person before the APC, a student who does not meet expectations in a single course will:
- Meet with his or her advisor, as well as the Course Director, to review the circumstances that led to the failure, and, in consultation with them, develop a plan to meet criteria for successful remediation.
- Consult additional resources available in the College of Medicine, as necessary, such as Director of Cognitive Skills Program or Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
- Prepare a draft of a Remediation Personal Improvement Plan (Remediation PIP) outlining the student’s perceptions of what happened and the plan to meet criteria for successful remediation. The plan will be submitted to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to make sure that both the proposed plan and timeframe are appropriate. (The timeframe to demonstrate successful remediation will vary depending on the circumstances).
- Complete the requirements for remediation according to the timing set forth in the Remediation PIP. Medical knowledge remediation examinations for Phase 1 will be scheduled after the end of each year’s courses unless otherwise determined by the Associate Dean for Assessment.
A student will be presented to the APC if the student fails remediation. The APC will recommend subsequent action.
If the deficiency observed is a lapse of medical professionalism judged to be egregious, the student’s performance is reviewed by APC. The APC will recommend subsequent action.
Two or more deficiencies
The performance of a student who does not meet criteria in two or more courses will be reviewed by the APC. If the student’s deficiencies are in medical knowledge, the APC may offer the option of taking a comparable examination. The APC may recommend that a student repeat a portion of the curriculum, repeat the entire year or may recommend dismissal. Students on academic probation are reinstated when they meet expectations. The Vice Dean for Educational Affairs approves all decisions.
Students with two or more deficiencies are required to follow the same steps outlined above for a single deficiency. In addition, the APC may refer the student for an evaluation by a learning specialist, psychologist or psychiatrist. The APC may add conditions for the student’s continuation in the curriculum. Acceptance of a Remediation PIP, with stated goals, and progress milestones, may qualify a student to continue. Documented monitoring of milestone achievements is required. Successful remediation is defined as the student satisfactorily completing all requirements as determined by APC and meeting expectations in the deficiencies noted.
View the full Phase I Academic Remediation policy on our policy management portal. (ePass login required)
At the Penn State College of Medicine, students are considered junior colleagues. Here, student professionalism is valued equally with mastery of medical knowledge and clinical skills. Participation, attendance, and timeliness are fundamental to professional and curricular responsibilities. Your attendance and participation in group learning activities allows you to learn from and teach your classmates, and enhances the learning experience for all involved.
When Penn State confers the MD degree, the faculty is attesting to not only the student’s level of competency as measured by performance on a variety of assessments, but to the student’s commitment to professional responsibility. This commitment includes active participation in the entire educational experience that is defined by the curriculum, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and the state of Pennsylvania. Thus, the following guidelines have been established for participation and attendance:
- On-time attendance and full participation is required in all instances where students collaborate with other students in the learning experience or in which patients are involved. Students must arrive to educational sessions on time and be well prepared for the activities that take place during these sessions. Such sessions include but are not limited to:
- Classes and venues that require student collaboration, such as
- Small-group sessions for courses such as Medical Humanities, Foundations of Patient Centered Care and Science of Health Systems and interprofessional education activities
- Medium-sized groups such as Team-based Learning (TBL), Gross Pathology Labs, Imaging Sessions, Simulation Labs and rotational exercises such as Neurology Day
- Classes and venues that require student collaboration, such as
- Faculty who participate in the above required learning experiences will monitor students’ attendance, timeliness, and participation and submit reports in each of these areas to the Office of Medical Education (OME) who, in turn, will track attendance and tardiness.
- Vacations: Student vacations are limited to those periods specified by the official academic calendar. Students may not “bookend” their vacations by missing required activities to lengthen their time away. Required activities will take place as scheduled on the day prior to and the day following a vacation (i.e., PBL and other required activities will not be rescheduled).
- Out of respect for others engaged in the learning experience, the student should discuss his/her absence with all faculty and students involved (e.g., PBL group, course director). The student should ask the other students/facilitator how he/she can help with the group’s work before or following the absence. The School of Medicine is opened unless there is an official announcement of closure from the Dean. Every day when school is in session the Academic Participation and Attendance Procedure is followed. Weather-related Absences will be marked as use of a Discretionary Day and students will follow the procedures for an Unexpected Absence.Four types of absences are recognized:
- Discretionary Days
- In the Foundation Phase 1, students have the opportunity for up to 3 discretionary days in year 1 and 2 discretionary days in year 2 prior to the start of the clinical clerkships (phase 2).Examples of discretionary day absences include family-related events (e.g., reunion, wedding, birthday), social obligations, school conference, etc. Students need not provide a reason for requesting a discretionary day.Discretionary days do not carry over from year 1 to year 2 of the Foundation Phase.
- Please note there are important limitations to requesting discretionary days:
- Discretionary day absences will not be approved on the final PBL, Humanities and Science of Health Systems session for any course, on examination days, or to “bookend” any official vacations or holidays (including 3-day weekends);
- the curriculum contains several categories of unique small-group sessions that cannot easily be recreated (preceptorships, simulator sessions, interprofessional education activities, communications workshops). Whenever possible, student rescheduling is supported, with timely communications that include all parties. Otherwise, such sessions are not eligible for discretionary-day absences. Discretionary days must be requested at least three (3) working days in advance by submitting a Notification of Absence Form and does not need to be approved by the student Advisor. Out of respect for others engaged in the learning experience, the student should discuss his/her planned absence with all faculty and students involved (e.g., PBL group), once approval for the discretionary day is received. Students will submit their requests electronically, and, if they need to speak to the Office of Medical Education regarding a request, the number is 531-8563.
- Blackout dates for discretionary absences:
- All Courses and Activities: OSCE, Standardized Patients, Simulation Center Sessions, Wellness Retreats, Interprofessional education sessions
- Cardiology: EKG sessions, Harvey, Lipid session
- Communications: Standardized Patient sessions
- Foundations of Patient Centered Care: Putting It All Together sessions, Standardized Patient Taped Exercises, Core Interviewing, Physical Exam Skills
- Gastroenterology, Pathophysiology and Nutrition: Path Wet Lab sessions, Simulation session, Live Patient sessions
- Musculoskeletal/ Dermatology/ Rheumatology: Physical Exam/ Path Lab, Dermatology Practicum, Rheumatology large group
- Neural and Behavioral Sciences: Neurology Day, Lab Practicals
- Renal Medicine: Course Introduction, Acid Base large group, Salt Water Balance large group, Pathology lab
- Scientific Principles of Medicine (SPM): Live Patient Sessions
- Anticipated Absences
- Anticipated absences, for example, include presentations at professional meetings or attendance at religious holiday services or celebrations. Anticipated absences will generally not be approved on examination days, on day of an extended PBL debriefing, or to “bookend” any official school vacations or holidays. Anticipated absences must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting a Notification of Absence Form. The request for an Anticipated Absence requires approval by the student’s Society Advisor prior to the absence. This can be done by discussing the request with the student’s Society Advisor. Out of respect for others engaged in the learning experience, the student should discuss his/her planned absence with all faculty and students involved (e.g., PBL group), once approval for the anticipated absence is received.
- Unexpected Absences
- Unexpected absences include cases of personal illness or family emergency, such as serious illness or death of a family member. Unexpected absences must be submitted the morning of the absence using the Notification of Absence Form. The request for an Unexpected Absence requires approval by the student Advisor. Failure to report an Unexpected Absence within 24 hours will be marked as an Unexcused Absence and the student will be required to meet with his/her Society Advisor. (See the Penn State Missing Student Policy) Students are requested to provide contact information (e.g., email and phone number) if they are traveling. Out of respect for others engaged in the learning experience, the student should discuss his/her absence with all faculty and students involved (e.g., PBL group), once approval for the unexpected absence is received.
- Unexcused Absences
- All absences that are not approved as discretionary days, anticipated absences or unexpected absences are considered to be Unexcused Absences. Failure to report an absence from a mandatory session will result in an Unexcused Absence and the student will be required to meet with his/her Society Advisor.
- Discretionary Days
- Consequences of unexcused absences or repeated tardiness
- Unexcused absences or patterns of consistent tardiness will be considered as lapses in conscientious behaviors, which are a part of professional behavior. Students who have any unapproved absences or repeated tardiness for a given activity (e.g. PBL group) may receive a designation of “Does Not Meet Expectations – Targeted Remediation Required” for the course or activity during which the problem has occurred. Completion of remediation must be documented to reverse the “does not meet” designation
For any questions about the absence requests, please contact Amy Savastio-Ladd, email@example.com, in the Office of Medical Education
Scheduled required activities, averaged over the course of the academic year, should not exceed 28 hours per week. When there are activities assigned to be completed outside of scheduled class time, in general, no more than 2 hours of required preparation per hour of contact time should be assigned. Course directors of concurrent courses should work in concert with one another regarding out of class expectations.
View the full Phase I Scheduled Time guidelines on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Tutorial assistance is defined as provision of additional resources to students who are having difficulties during a pre-clinical course, in contrast to remediation that occurs after a course has been completed. Tutorials may decrease the number of students who fail a course and subsequently require remediation. Therefore, Course Co-Directors are encouraged to advise students to contact the Office of Student Affairs to provide tutorial assistance when appropriate and feasible. The following guidelines are recommended:
- Course Co-Directors should meet with students encountering difficulties in order to determine whether students have any special needs or problems. Any meetings with students, the availability of tutorials, and student attendance at tutorials should be documented. Course Co-Directors are encouraged to include mechanisms in a course to identify students in difficulties, such as, in-class or on-line quizzes as self-assessment or as part of the final grade.
- Students in need of tutoring should contact the Office of Student Affairs. The student should also meet with his/her society advisor to discuss the need. Tutorial assistance is not available one on one, only in small groups.
- Tutorials may be provided by faculty, graduate students, residents, or medical students who have demonstrated expertise in the subject matter. The Office of Student Affairs will solicit volunteers and maintain a database of qualified individuals willing to provide tutorials.
- Student-led study and tutorial groups (i.e., students tutoring peers within the same class) are encouraged.
View the Student Tutorial Assistance Policy in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
All Phase II Clinical Clerkships, intersession courses, the Integrated Medical Sciences course, and the Acting Internships provide the core of clinical training for students in the Penn State College of Medicine. Successful completion of all clinical clerkships and mandatory Phase II courses are prerequisites for advancement to Phases III – IV, with the exception of the Underserved Medicine and Domestic Health clerkship, which may be taken by October of Phase IV unless granted approval by the Director of Core Clinical Medicine or the Associate Dean of Medical Education. All of the aforementioned courses must be successfully completed as a requirement for graduation from the College of Medicine.
Respecting the primacy of these core courses, it is expected that all students will approach and complete these requirements with responsibility, energy and professionalism. Expectations common to the clinical clerkships, intersession courses, and acting internships can be found in the Resources section.
Requirements for rotation-specific procedure logs will be provided by the individual courses, including specifics of the requirements for the Observed Examination Logs and the Patient Encounter Logs. Students are expected to review and be familiar with the goals, objectives and expectations provided for each clinical rotation and mandatory course.
A full listing of Phases II-IV course requirements is included below. Additional required educational experiences that must be completed during the clinical years are described in Section II: Course and Procedural Policies.
The Phase II curriculum begins with a Profession of Medicine II (POM II) course. This course is designed to provide students with necessary basic skills to begin clinical work. The remainder of Phase II includes a sequence of required core clinical clerkships in Internal Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, Psychiatry, Underserved Medicine and Domestic Health, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Surgery. Students also select one “third-year” elective (exact listing can be found on the Educational Affairs website) and complete integrated sessions as a part of the Integrated Medical Sciences course. Student may complete their third year elective and/or Underserved Medicine and Domestic Health clerkship in Phase III-IV.
Phases III-IV consists of a discovery phase and residency preparation consisting of elective rotations and required advanced clinical experiences, including acting internships in different clinical fields or one acting internship and one critical care rotation, one humanities selective, the Translating Health Systems Course, and the Profession of Medicine III course (Translation to Internship). The College of Medicine offers a variety of both clinical and research electives. There are many opportunities for clinical opportunities in rural and metropolitan locations across Pennsylvania, in other regions of the country, and abroad. (See reference to away-elective policy.)
Changes to Phase II Clerkship Core Rotations
Students have several opportunities to modify their Phase II core rotation schedule and site selection during the lottery process. Immediately following the lottery for site selection, students may switch sites with other students during a defined period of time as guided by the registrar. Once that period is completed, the assignment is considered final. Students who require a modified schedule or a modification in site due to compelling circumstances should make a request in writing to the Director of Core Clinical Medicine (Hershey students) or the Associate Dean for Medical Education at University Park (University Park students). The respective Director or Associate Dean will weigh the circumstances of the student against available resources, site availability, and potential impact on other students. The resolution might be a change in site, a rescheduling of the clerkship to another time to accommodate the student’s needs, or no change.
Changes to Phase III/IV Electives
Phase III/IV provides flexibility in elective choices and students may make changes in electives up to 4 weeks prior to the start of the course using the add/drop process. Students are asked to plan ahead and be mindful of this time period. Students who require a change within that 4-week time window due to unforeseen circumstances or need to fulfill an educational commitment should make a request in writing to the Director of Core Clinical Medicine (Hershey students) or the Associate Dean for Medical Education at University Park (University Park students). The respective Director or Associate Dean will weigh the circumstances of the student against available resources and potential impact on other students. The resolution might be a change in elective or no change.
Changes to Phase IV Acting Internships
In order to make Acting Internships available to all medical students in a fair manner, Acting Internships are scheduled during the lottery process and schedules are finalized by the registrar based on availability. However, students may require a change within that 4-week time window due to career specialty change, unforeseen circumstances or need to fulfill an educational commitment. Students who require a change within that 4-week time window should make a request in writing to the Director of Core Clinical Medicine (Hershey students) or the Associate Dean for Medical Education at University Park (University Park students). The respective Director or Associate Dean will weigh the circumstances of the student against available resources and potential impact on other students. The resolution might be a change in Acting Internship, a rescheduling of the Acting Internship or no change
Students with requests regarding possible planned absences are expected to discuss their plans with the Clerkship Director, Acting Internship Director, or elective director at least 4 weeks prior to the onset of the course, so that schedules may be adjusted appropriately whenever possible. Students should note that approval of absences is only at the discretion of the course director.
All excused absences from Clinical Clerkships and Acting Internships must be granted by the Clerkship or Acting Internship Director. Students may have no more than 1 day of excused absence from 4-week Clerkships (Family Medicine, Primary Care, Psychiatry, and Neurology) and Acting Internships, and no more than 2 days of excused absence (including illness) from each of the remainder of the Clinical Clerkships. Excused absences in excess of the above stated need to be made up prior to receiving a final grade for the clerkship. All Unexcused absences will need made up prior to completion of the clerkship and may result in an incomplete or failure for the rotation and filing of a professionalism form.
When appropriate, the course director will assist students with arrangements to make up excused absences that exceed the allowed limit. However, planned absences must be reviewed and approved by the course director in advance of the beginning of the Clerkship.
In general, students may receive no more than 1 day of excused absence from 4- week elective courses. However, it is recognized that additional time may be required for residency interviews. For the purpose of residency interviews only, up to 5 days may be excused from a “fourth-year” elective. The structure of some electives, however, may necessitate that fewer days of absence for interviews can be allowed; this is at the discretion of the elective course director. Students should discuss interview plans and seek approval for absences with the course director in advance of the beginning of the elective. Students should plan their interview time accordingly, and should not expect that multiple excused absences for residency interviews will be allowed during Phases III – IV required courses (Acting Internships).
All absences (planned/unplanned) should be reported to the Course Director, Site Director, Course Coordinator AND the Office of Medical Education Curriculum Manager when they occur. Students are not expected to participate in course experiences when they are ill; however, because of the importance of the required Clerkships and Acting Internship experiences to clinical training, it must be understood that time missed due to illness may need to be made up. Therefore, it is very important to discuss these absences and make-up requirements with the Clerkship/Acting Internship Director as soon as possible after the absence. The Office of Medical Education will track these absences across the year.
Certain sessions in each clerkship are mandatory; absences should not be planned during these sessions and will not be excused:
- Clerkship orientation sessions
- Shelf/final exams
- Primary Care Clerkship Communication Seminar
Students should consult the clerkship schedule on OASIS and/or contact the clerkship director to ensure that absences do not occur during these sessions. Students are expected to report on time to all orientation and examination sessions.
In addition to mandatory clerkship sessions, all students are required to attend mandatory courses and events as prescribed by the Office of Medical Education. Examples include:
- Profession of Medicine II (POM II) course sessions
- Profession of Medicine III (POM III) course sessions
- Phase II Reflection and Assessment sessions
- Translating Health Systems course sessions
The Integrated Medical Science Sessions are mandatory, and all students are expected to attend each session which corresponds to his or her scheduled block. Exceptions to this rule are the following:
- Students who are scheduled for a vacation rotation
- All students currently on the Underserved Medicine and Domestic Health Clerkship
- Students at off-site affiliate campuses with greater than one hour travel time (which may include students on the Family Medicine Clerkship)
Students excused from a session due to an exception listed above must notify Alyssa Heintzelman at least one week prior to the scheduled absence. In the event of unexpected illnesses/emergencies, students must contact the Alyssa Heintzelman to report the absence.
Student rotations at the following sites will not be excused:
- Camp Hill
- Mount Joy
Students at the University Park Program will attend sessions on that campus throughout the year, according to the schedule provided at orientation. All students are expected to attend each session, with the following exceptions:
- Students who are scheduled for a vacation rotation
- Students on the Underserved Medicine and Domestic Health Clerkship
- Students on the Med B clerkship at the Hershey Medical Center. (They are invited to join the HMC sessions, but are not required to do so.)
All University Park Program students who are excused from a session for any reason must notify Denise Rill at least one week prior to the scheduled absence. She should also be notified any illness or emergency that results in a student’s unscheduled absence from a session. Students need to copy Gene Marsh, MD. All students will be responsible for any session material missed during an absence, which will be available on PSU Box.
Students are expected to attend all scheduled conferences and participate in all of the clinical experiences scheduled in each Clerkship or Acting Internship. Students are expected to report promptly to all clinical assignments, whether in clinic, hospital wards, operating suites or lecture rooms.
View the full clerkship attendance policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
LCME Standard (11.3)
If a medical student at a medical school is permitted to take an elective under the auspices of another medical school, institution, or organization, a centralized system exists in the dean’s office at the home school to review the proposed extramural elective prior to approval and to ensure the return of a performance assessment of the student and an evaluation of the elective by the student.
Penn State College of Medicine policy
Established electives at any LCME-accredited U.S. medical school will be automatically approved. However, students must complete the “Away Elective Form” and submit to the Office of Student Affairs at least two months prior to the beginning of the rotation.
Established electives at affiliate institutions of the Penn State College of Medicine will be automatically approved. However, students must complete the “Away Elective Form” and submit to the Office of Student Affairs at least two months prior to the beginning of the rotation.
Affiliate institutions at which electives are offered include:
- Lebanon VA Hospital
- PinnacleHealth System
- Reading Hospital
- York Hospital
For away electives at any other site, students must also complete the “Away Elective Form” and submit to the Office of Student Affairs at least two months prior to the beginning of the rotation. In addition to the form, students must submit the following information.
- Course Description: This document should include a detailed description of the educational experiences which will occur on the elective, and a statement detailing the number of hours the student will spend weekly in clinical work. Electives must include at least 40 hours weekly of work within the elective.
- Course goals and objectives.
- Faculty list: A listing of faculty responsible for educational experiences during the elective. This listing must include an individual or individuals who will be on site with the student.
- Attestation: A letter from the course director or supervisor attesting that he/she has reviewed the above documents and that they represent a realistic description of the elective. Note that it is the responsibility of the student to gather the above documents, but the description, goals and objectives should come from the organizers of the elective.
The entire packet of material must be reviewed for approval by the parallel course director at the Penn State College of Medicine. In the absence of a similar elective, the away elective will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Medical Education.
View the full away elective approval document in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
All announcements regarding all third- and fourth-year courses will be distributed via students’ Outlook email accounts. Students must check their Outlook email frequently. Failure to check this email account is not a valid excuse for missing important course information.
View the email communication document on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
It is expected that students will complete all course evaluations and faculty evaluations in a timely manner. These evaluations will be distributed by the New Innovations/ OASIS system. Timely completion of evaluations is your professional responsibility and will be tracked by the Office of Medical Education.
Along with evaluations, New Innovations/ OASIS will also be used to log procedures required in your courses and to log your duty hours. You will be expected to effectively use this system, print reports, and submit information electronically. Additional information, including training documents, can be found on ANGEL under the Profession of Medicine II course.
Final clerkship grades will be distributed via New Innovations/OASIS, rather than being distributed via the student mailboxes.
View the full Course Evaluations document on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Clerkship students must be observed, by faculty members, performing focused histories and component physical exams. These observations will be recorded by the students in the New Innovations database, but also require “on paper” documentation with a faculty signature for each history or component physical examination completed. Clerkships will provide students and faculty with clear expectations of the clinical skills which should be demonstrated for each of the required observed histories or examinations. Each observation must be completed during the designated clerkship. It will be the students’ responsibility to seek out the opportunity for the observed exam, but it is clearly expected that students will have the opportunity to be observed for specific examinations during the Clerkships as detailed below. Guidance regarding these opportunities will be provided during each clerkship orientation. Student responsibility in seeking out the experiences early in the rotation is expected and required.
Each exam or history is detailed below, along with the associated clerkship
- Family Medicine
- Back Pain Assessment
- Cardiac Examination
- Pulmonary Examination
- Eye Examination
- Neurologic Examination
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Pelvic Examination
- Newborn Examination
- Developmental Examination
- Mental Status Examination
- Head and Neck Examination
- Abdominal Examination
- Breast Examination
View the direct observation of clinical skills document on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
In partial fulfillment of this requirement, all fourth year students at the Penn State College of Medicine must satisfactorily complete two separate history and physical examinations observed by a faculty member, including attending, fellow or chief resident. These sessions should include a patient history and physical examination appropriate to the presenting problem, and will include observation of the history and physical examination, subsequent discussion of a differential diagnosis and plan, and review with the student regarding performance on this exercise.
Observed history and physical exam sessions may occur in the in-patient or out-patient setting, in any approved clinical rotation (electives or acting internships.) It is the responsibility of each student to seek out opportunities to complete these sessions in a timely fashion. Faculty of the Penn State College of Medicine and its affiliated teaching sites are likewise expected to respond positively whenever possible to student requests for observation. The Office of Medical Education will send yearly reminders to faculty describing this evaluation process. The 1 st required form must be completed by October 31st of the fourth year. The 2nd required form must be completed by January 31st of the fourth year. The Office of Medical Education will contact delinquent students to determine what assistance is needed. This is a graduation requirement for the Penn State College of Medicine.
An evaluation form for this exercise is included with this packet. The student will be evaluated on six competencies; Medical Interviewing Skills, Physical Examination Skills, Clinical Judgment, Communication Skills, Organization and Efficiency, and Humanistic Qualities and Professionalism. Each competency should be ranked as below, meeting, or exceeding expectations as detailed on the form. An overall performance “meeting expectations” defines successful completion of this examination. The final grade should reflect the sum of the individual competencies which were evaluated. Both sides of the form should be completed, including comments, and the evaluation should be discussed with the student. Faculty should rate the student in comparison to other students at a similar level of training.
The completed forms should be returned to the Office of Medical Education.
Students are expected to dress professionally for all sessions that involve working with actual or standardized patients. Men should wear khakis or other dress pant with collared shirt and tie. Women should wear slacks and blouse, skirt or dress of an appropriate length. Students are reminded that low cut blouses, short skirts, jeans, t-shirts, open-toed shoes, and sneakers are not considered professional attire.
View the dress code on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Medical students in Phase II
In order to foster the appropriate balance of experience and education, the weekly time spent on clinical and on site educational responsibilities should be determined by the clerkship director and Director of Core Clinical Medicine and must comply with the following maximum limits:
- a maximum of 80 hours per week;
- one day free from clinical experience or on-site educational responsibilities in seven averaged over 4 weeks;
- on call duties no more frequent than once weekly averaged over 4 weeks;
- a maximum of 24 hours continuous work hours with an additional 4 hour window for on-site educational activities, signout and handoffs.
Medical students in Phases III – IV
In order to foster the appropriate balance of experience and education, the weekly time spent on clinical and on site educational responsibilities should be determined by the course director and Director of Core Clinical Medicine and must comply with the following maximum limits averaged over four weeks
- a maximum of 80 hours per week;
- one day free from clinical experience or on-site educational responsibilities in seven;
- on call duties no more frequent than every third night;
- a maximum of 24 hours continuous work hours with an additional 4-hour window for on-site educational activities, sign-out and handoffs.
Students should report duty hour violations during Phase II through IV rotations to the Clerkship/Course Director or the Director for Core Clinical Medicine.
In order to effectively guide medical students in the design of their academic course of study, and fulfill these LCME requirements, students must meet with their academic advisor to discuss their choices for elective and acting internship courses. These meetings can be face-to-face, telephone or electronic conversations.
The advisor must sign the attached form to document that this meeting has occurred. This form must be submitted with the list of courses to the College of Medicine’s Registrar, located in the Office of Student Affairs, on or before the deadline for course selection in the electronic course selection system (OASIS). The list of courses should include all of the courses that will be entered into the lottery system for possible enrollment. A student will not be entered into the lottery system for courses until the form is submitted.
Students are encouraged to meet with their career mentors and/or other faculty members for additional advice and guidance, but these meetings are supplemental to the above described procedure and will not satisfy this requirement. Information about the Career Mentorship program is available from the Office of Student Affairs.
View the elective choice policy in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
To meet graduation requirements, students in the Penn State College of Medicine must successfully complete a total of at least five (5) four-week elective rotations during the clinical years (Phases II – IV) To complete these 5-required electives:
- One elective should be taken during Phase II core clerkships.
- Multiple potential four-week elective blocks are available in Phases III -IV.
The majority of elective courses are available during Phases II – IV of medical school. However, some elective rotations are specifically designed for Phase II students or for Phases III – IV students.
- Regardless of the year, any listed pre-requisites must have been successfully completed prior to beginning the elective.
- Those electives that are designated as “third-year” electives have been specifically designed for Phase II students and may only be taken during Phase II of medical school.
- Those electives that are designated as “fourth-year” electives have been specifically designed for Phases III & IV students and may only be taken during Phases III & IV of medical school.
- Only one of the elective requirements may be completed as two (2) two-week elective courses. (Current two-week elective courses are all third-year electives and may only be taken by third-year students.)
View elective requirements in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Referring to Profession of Medicine II, Phase II Reflection and Assessment Week, Translating Health Systems, Profession of Medicine III.
Students must attend all components of each Intersession Course. In the event of unexpected illnesses/emergencies, students must contact the Intersession Course Director to report the absence, and to make arrangements to make up the session. All missed class activities must be made up.
Each Intersession will be graded Pass-Fail. Components of the Intersession grade may include, but are not limited to:
- Attendance at all components of the Intersession Course
- Active class participation
Completion of all required assignments
- Appropriate professional conduct
- Successful completion of the Intersession post-test
Students who fail the post-test for an Intersession Course may repeat it once.
Students who do not successfully complete an Intersession due to test score or lack of participation will be required to remediate the Intersession Course; remediation must be discussed with the Intersession Director. At the discretion of the Director, remediation requirements may include repeating the Intersession Course during Phase IV.
Students who do not remediate a failing grade for an Intersession Course will be required to appear before the Academic Progress Committee. Successful completion of all Intersession Courses is a graduation requirement for the Penn State College of Medicine.
View intersession course information in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Narrative assessment is used to provide a student with feedback on his/her progress within PSCOM’s competency and sub-competency domains. Narrative feedback must address both the student’s strengths and specific areas for improvement and must be made available in OASIS to students. Narrative assessment must be provided in all required courses and clerkships in which students work in small groups of 12 or less for at least four or more separate mandatory sessions with the same instructor at each session.
View the narrative description information in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Expectations for Phases II – IV students include demonstration of competency in obtaining patient histories and physical examinations, procedures, and experience in common clinical scenarios as documented in the Case Logger in New Innovations/ OASIS. In all rotations, students are expected to clearly, concisely, and accurately document patient care encounters in written form in the medical record, and to develop organized and accurate oral case presentations.
Students should be familiar with the requirements and procedures for completion of the Procedure and Patient Encounter logs, the Phase II observed physical examination components, and Phases III-IV observed full histories and physical examinations.
It is expected that students will log patient care experiences on a weekly basis, and will self-monitor to ensure that appropriate progress is made toward completion of the requirements. It is expected that students will take advantage of the opportunities provided in each clerkship to meet the patient care/procedure requirements.
Each site director should hold a mid-cycle feedback session with the students. During this time, the students are responsible for printing out a copy of their patient encounter and clerkship-specific procedure log and for bringing it to the session for discussion. During this session, the site director will discuss the students’ plans for completing the required patient encounters/procedures.
At the conclusion of the clerkship, all students must complete 100% of the assigned patient encounters/procedures. The students must bring a printed copy of the encounters and procedures that were completed during the clerkship to the exam for review by the clerkship director. (Please see the New Innovations/ OASIS instructions for instructions on the proper format for printing.) If all encounters and procedures are not completed, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Clerkship Director within two weeks of the end of the clerkship to determine a plan for remediation. If the student does not contact the director, he/she will not pass the course.
All Phase IV students at the Penn State College of Medicine must satisfactorily complete two history and physical examinations observed by a faculty member (including Chief Residents and Fellows). These sessions should include a patient history and physical examination appropriate to the presenting problem, and will include observation of the history and physical examination, subsequent discussion of a differential diagnosis and plan, and a review with the student regarding performance on this exercise. (See Resources Section)
Observed history and physical exam sessions may occur in the in-patient or out-patient setting, in either elective rotations or acting internships. The student is responsible to seek out opportunities to complete these sessions in a timely fashion. Faculty of the Penn State College of Medicine and its affiliated teaching sites are likewise expected to respond positively, whenever possible, to student requests for observation.
These sessions may also occur at affiliate locations, but a separate form (See Resources Section) in addition to the History and Physical Exam form must be completed by the faculty observing you to complete this requirement. This additional Affiliate Site form is required to provide us with contact information for the Affiliate Site faculty member observing you during this encounter.
The first required Observed History and Physical Exam form must be completed by October 31st of Phase IV. The second required form must be completed by January 31st of Phase IV. The Office of Medical Education will contact delinquent students to determine what assistance is needed. Students who have not completed this requirement by the end of January may also be required to meet with the Director of Core Clinical Medicine.
Completion and documentation of the above procedures, patient encounters, and observed examinations are graduation requirements for the Penn State College of Medicine.
View the Patient Care and Procedure Requirements in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)
All students must satisfactorily complete all the requirements for Phase II – Clinical Core before progressing to Phase IV – Residency Prep.
Students who have not successfully completed all Phase II – Clinical Core requirements by Oct. 1 of Phase IV will be withdrawn from all Phase III and IV courses until the Phase II requirements are completed. This includes all Core Clerkships, Reflection and Assessment weeks, Profession of Medicine II, the Integrated Medical Sciences course, and successful completion of the end of Phase II OSCE exam. Exceptions to this are approved at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Medical Education or his/her designee.
Remediation of a failed OSCE exam must be completed within 4 months of notification of failure.
Students cannot enter Phase IV courses without having completed specific Phase II requirements listed for that course. All Phase II – Core Clerkships, with the exception of Underserved Medicine and Domestic Health, must be passed to enter an acting internship.
All students must take and PASS the USMLE Step 1 examination by July 31st following Phase II. If a student has not passed Step 1 by then, they must take a Leave of Absence until Step 1 is passed. (See USMLE requirements section for exact details of this requirement.)
Only under special circumstances, and at the discretion of the Director of Core Clinical Medicine, will changes to clerkship assignments be allowed. Changes for elective rotations in the third year and for fourth-year schedules are not permitted within eight (8) weeks prior to the start date of the rotation.
View schedule change requests information in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine will utilize the on-campus telephone extension 8888 as an emergency number that can be used to report extremely serious events observed by our campus community, while still maintaining established campus extensions for non-emergency security or facilities related calls.
If you are not using a campus phone (i.e., if you’re on your cell phone), you can call 717-531-8888.
Extension 8888 should be called in an emergency situation to report:
- violent or extremely serious security incidents;
- fire, chemical, or other serious building safety related emergencies;
- medical emergencies.
Calling extension 8888 will place the caller in immediate contact with the medical center switchboard who will then appropriately direct the call.
For other Security incidents or service requests from Security, extension 8711 should be called to reach the 24-hour Security Operations Center (SOC).
Facilities-related issues are received at the Buildings Operation Center (BOC), extension 8096.
View the crisis response telephone numbers in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
View the lockdown procedure on the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
PSUAlert is Penn State’s emergency notification system for students, faculty and staff. The system will be used to alert members of Penn State’s campus communities of emergencies, campus closings and other urgent information. Using this portal, students, faculty and staff can choose to receive PSUAlert messages by text message, voice message and e-mail. (The system will never be used to send advertising or spam messages.)
View the PSU Alert information in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
The possibility of severe weather conditions during the academic school year requires the College of Medicine to be prepared to modify its normal academic schedule from time-to-time.
When a weather emergency is called by the national weather bureau, Penn State College of Medicine may decide to cancel classes when the local authorities determine that roads are unsafe and suggest the closure of schools and non-essential businesses in the area.
The decision to close school or delay the start of classes at the College of Medicine is made by the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs after a thorough examination of current and predicted weather conditions.
Once the decision has been made, the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs will contact the Senior Director, Educational Affairs who will initiate the notification process using the attached phone tree. The Senior Director will notify the Strategic Services on-call person at pager 1484.
Any decision changing the College of Medicine’s normal operating school hours caused by ice, snow or other unexpected weather event, shall be announced as soon as the decision is known, in the following manner:
- Posted on the Penn State Hershey Web site in a number of locations (Strategic Services).
- Sent via e-mail to students, the Office of Medical Education and course co-directors.
- Medical students will be contacted by the Office of Medical Education.
- Graduate students will be contacted by the Office of Graduate Student Affairs.
One of the following messages will be made if an announcement is made to cancel or delay the start of classes at the Penn State College of Medicine. Due to limited space/time on TV and radio announcements, we will limit our announcement to one of the below.
- Penn State College of Medicine: Two-hour delay for classes.
- Penn State College of Medicine: Classes are canceled.
Please note that these announcements apply to Year I and Year II medical student classes, and graduate student classes. Year III and Year IV medical students should continue their patient care responsibilities.
On the web, the following messages will be used:
- Delay for Penn State College of Medicine: Two-hour delay for Year I and Year II medical student classes, graduate student classes. Year III and Year IV medical students should make all attempts to continue their patient care responsibilities. Graduate students should check with their thesis advisors for laboratory activities.
- Cancellation for Penn State College of Medicine: Classes are canceled for Year I and Year II medical students, and graduate students. Year III and Year IV medical students should make all attempts to continue their patient care responsibilities. Graduate students should check with their thesis advisors for laboratory activities.
In November of each year, this plan for handling weather emergencies will be issued to the medical students, graduate students, and faculty.
View weather emergency information in the policy management portal. (ePass login required)
View more information about the Student Health Services in Hershey.
Penn State College of Medicine provides all medical students with timely access to needed diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services at sites in reasonable proximity to the locations of their required educational experiences. At the University Park (UP) Campus, healthcare is available locally for University Park Program students at University Health Services (UHS) located at Penn State University, 438 Student Health Center, University Park, PA 16802.
Healthcare for UP Program students is also available at the Hershey campus, located at 845 Fishburn Road, Hershey, PA 17033; telephone number 717-531-5998.
The University Park Campus has policies and procedures in place that permit our students to be excused from educational experiences to seek needed care. Please review such policies to comply with requirements for excused absences.
Penn State College of Medicine ensures that medical student health records are maintained in accordance with legal requirements for security, privacy, confidentiality, and accessibility. A record of care provided through UHS is maintained electronically at this facility for all students being treated there. A separate record of care for all students treated through Student Health at the Fishburn Road office in Hershey is also maintained. Note these are two different Electronic Medical Records.
Faculty members who provide psychiatric/psychological counseling or other sensitive health services to medical students will have no involvement in the academic evaluation or promotion of the student receiving those services.
This policy will be carried out by insuring the following:
There are designated student health providers who will provide health care services to students. These designated student health providers will have no involvement in the academic evaluation or promotion of any medical student they have seen as a patient. Faculty members who serve on medical student promotion committees, or who evaluate academically will not serve as designated student health providers.
Should emergent or urgent conditions or consultations arise for which a student must see a provider who is not a designated student health provider, that provider must recuse him/herself from any involvement in the academic evaluation or promotion of that student.
The director of student health will not have any involvement with the academic evaluation or promotion of any medical student.
When students are on an away rotation and need health care services, preceptors should refer the student to another member of the practice or physician in the community who can competently care for the student and who have no involvement in the academic evaluation or promotion of medical students receiving their services.
Students, faculty members and staff members will be informed of this policy on a yearly basis.
View the care of medical students at student health policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
To help expedite form completions, please follow the instructions below:
- Student Health has your immunization record and lab titers.
- Copies can be obtained by calling the Student Health office at 717 531-5998 or send an email to Student_Health@pennstatehealth.psu.edu. These are available for you to complete your medical forms for rotations at hospital sites away from the Hershey Medical Center.
- Each site can have different requirements. Look at each form carefully to determine what information the school needs to process your paperwork. Be sure you have completed all requirements. If you have questions please call the Student Health office for assistance.
- Determine how the form is to be delivered to the school, uploaded into VSAS, mailed or faxed.
- Student Health can assist with uploading your health forms to VSAS or we will give the signed documents back to you to send to the schools that are not in the VSAS system.
- If the form needs a signature from Student Health, you can e-mail it to Student_Health@pennstatehealth.psu.edu. Another alternative is to fax the form to 717-531-0129 or bring it to the office. Please allow 2 to 3 business days to complete your request.
View completing forms for clerkships in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
- All students enrolled in the College of Medicine’s educational program leading to an MD degree are required to have the disability insurance which is arranged through the College of Medicine.
- Coverage is provided by Med Plus Advantage, which is sponsored by the American Medical Association.
- Insurance rider can be found on www.medplusadvantage.com and enter ID number: 644220. 4.
- An electronic announcement declaring the requirements and the dates for payment of the disability insurance will be sent to the students by the accountant in the College of Medicine’s Office of the Bursar to all medical students on the second Monday in July. This announcement will include the following:
- Specific requirements
- Dates for completion
- Consequences for non-compliance, to include:
- A meeting with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions
- Notification to the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs
- A professionalism form citation to the student file
- Withdrawal from classes until the issue is resolved
- Two weeks after the initial announcement, a follow-up reminder for the requirements and the dates for completion will be sent out by the accountant in the College of Medicine’s Office of the Bursar. This reminder will include the following:
- Specific requirements
- Dates for completion
- Consequences for non-compliance, to include:
- A meeting with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions
- Notification to the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs
- A professionalism form citation to the student file
- Withdrawal from classes until the issue is resolved
- Records of completion will be maintained in the Office of the Bursar.
- One week after the reminder is sent out to the students, a list of non-compliant students will be forwarded by the Office of the Bursar to the Director, Office of Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions.
- The Director, Office of Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions will send a note to the con-compliant students, reinforcing the consequences for noncompliance.
- Two days prior to the deadline for completion, a list of non-compliant students will be forwarded to the Director in the Office of Medical Education and the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs.
- This list will include the student names, contact information, and their course location.
- All students who have not responded to the Office of the Bursar on the deadline date will be considered non-compliant, and the following actions will be taken:
- Issue a professionalism citation with a copy to their student file (Office of Medical Education)
- Schedule a meeting for the student to meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions (Office of Student Affairs)
- Withdraw the student from the course until the issue is resolved (Office of Medical Education).
- Once the issue is resolved, the student will be reinstated to his/her course by the Office of Medical Education.
View the disability insurance requirement in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
In accordance with recommendations of the Association of American Medical Colleges and standards of the Licensing Committee on Medical Education, the Penn State College of Medicine requires all medical students to have continuous health insurance coverage.
This policy is in place to maintain the health and wellness of our students and provide protection from the financial risk of health care expenses.
Student health insurance is billed to the student’s account around the same time as fall tuition. At the beginning of each academic year, all students will be charged for the PSUCOM Administered Health Insurance Plan (also referred to as the University’s plan) unless they are enrolled in another PSU Administered Insurance Plan (MD/PhD students) or are granted an approved insurance waiver.
Students who are married and/or have eligible dependents may elect to enroll their dependents in the insurance plan by completing an online application and personally paying the required premium at FirstStudent.com.
Students have the option of enrolling in the PSUCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan or requesting a waiver for an alternative health insurance plan. If a waiver is granted, the selected insurance policy will provide the same minimum care as the University’s plan and provide uninterrupted coverage throughout the year. Requirements are listed on the Waiver form and shown below (international students have additional waiver requirements-see appendix). A signed waiver form will be maintained in the bursar’s office.
An acceptable health insurance plan will:
- Include coverage for both accidents and sicknesses. Insurance that covers only emergencies will not be acceptable.
- Include coverage for all pre-existing conditions: (ACA)
- Have a deductible not in excess of $3,000 per individual per year.
- Have maternity benefits, these should be the same as benefits for an illness. If they are not the same, the maternity benefit must meet all applicable waiver standards (e.g., deductible, maximum benefit, etc.)
- Have an unlimited maximum benefit per incident: (ACA)
- Have inpatient and outpatients, mental and nervous disorder benefits
- Pay benefits worldwide.
Certain insurances and Medicaid plans (not from PA) do not meet these standards and cannot be accepted. Students that have a regional HMO insurance policy must request a guest membership or purchase a plan that allows the student to have coverage in the central PA area.
- During the orientation period students must complete a PSUCOM Insurance Enrollment Form, or
- Complete a Waiver of Health Insurance Form and provide proof of appropriate insurance coverage. A copy of the alternative insurance card will serve as proof of coverage. New students must bring a copy of the alternative insurance certification to orientation to complete the waiver process. After approval, the insurance cost will be adjusted on the student’s account.
At the beginning of each academic year, continuing students will need to complete either an Insurance Enrollment Form for the PSUCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan or complete a waiver if opting not to purchase the PSUCOM insurance plan.
Students requesting not to participate in the PSUCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan must complete an Insurance Waiver Form at the beginning of each academic year to ensure that the College of Medicine has documented appropriate insurance coverage. Waivers are not automatically renewed from one year to the next. If a Waiver form is not submitted by the assigned insurance deadline (see below), students will be enrolled and charged for the PSUCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan. If no waiver is received by the deadline, students are responsible for the insurance charges and cannot be removed from the University’s Insurance Plan. Additionally, if students are enrolled in the University’s plan and use the benefits within the first thirty days of coverage and also present a waiver, they will not be permitted to be dropped from the University’s plan and are responsible for the premium charges
Deadline and Where to Submit Forms
The deadline for submitting an Enrollment or Waiver Form to the College of Medicine Bursar’s Office is August 31st of each year. Ideally forms should be received by July 1, to ensure coverage is in place by August 1 (Medical and PA Students), when the plan renews. There may be a gap in the University’s plan paying benefits in August if you do not submit the enrollment form by July 1.
An Enrollment or Waiver Form must be submitted by the established deadline date to avoid being charged for the PSUCOM- Administered Health Insurance Plan.
Email the forms to Bursar-COM@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, or send forms to:
Office of the Bursar, Penn State College of Medicine
500 University Dr.
Hershey, PA 17033
Premiums Payment Schedule
Student premiums will be charged to the student account to coordinate with fall tuition and fee charges and fall financial aid disbursement.
Students enrolled for coverage in the PSUCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan may also enroll eligible dependents. An eligible dependent is a spouse, domestic partner and/or any unmarried child(ren) under the age of 26 who are not self-supporting. Dependent eligibility expires concurrently with that of the insured student. Students must personally pay premiums for dependent coverage. Visit Firststudent.com to enroll dependents.
All students are required to meet the immunization requirements set forth by the College of Medicine’s Office of Student Health. Failure to complete the immunizations by the due date established by the Office of Student Health will result in one or more of the following consequences
- Inability to begin classes or clinical rotation at the beginning of the semester. If in the middle of a clinical rotation, the student will be pulled immediately.
- Scheduled meeting with the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
- Documentation of the College of Medicine’s professionalism report form
- Inability to register for a new semester of classes
- Revoking of University privileges including but not limited to issuance of grades, issuance of transcripts, registration for subsequent semesters, participation in graduation ceremonies, awarding of a degree and participation in classroom examinations. Access to eLion and/or ABLE may be suspended.
If a student has an extenuating circumstance that makes it impossible to meet the immunization due date, the student must contact the Office of Student Health at least one (1) week before the due date. The contact information for the Office of Student Health is 717-531-6126, Room C-1607.
View the immunization requirements in the policy management tool. (ePass login requirement)
Preventive Health Requirements for New Medical Students
- Prior to matriculation all students must undergo a complete history and physical examination.
- The results of the examination must be reported to the College of Medicine Student Health Office. These records will be maintained confidentially in the Student Health Office.
- Students identified by reviewing pre matriculation physical examination reports as having a chronic illness or other need to establish care will be contacted by the Student Health Office to schedule an appointment.
- All students are encouraged to get yearly health maintenance exams to screen for hypertension and other illness.
- Student Health services also offers yearly gynecological exams.
- 2 step PPD administered 1 to 3 weeks apart. An IGRA TB blood test is recommended for those with a history of BCG vaccination or allergy to the PPD skin test. TB testing is required within 10 weeks prior to beginning classes and annually thereafter students are required to have a Mantoux PPD or T-spot for Tuberculosis screening
- If a student has a positive test for exposure to Tuberculosis or there is a history of positive PPD, a chest x-ray must be done 10 weeks prior to matriculation in the first year of medical school.
- Treated PPD positive students should provide physician documentation of completed prophylactic isoniazid therapy.
- Students with a positive PPD will continue to be followed annually during medical school. Students will be contacted by Student Health to confirm that they have not developed symptoms of Tuberculosis. If symptoms are present a chest x-ray will be repeated, and the student will be given appropriate therapy if an active case is found.
- All PPD positive students will be counseled about treatment options. Students converting during medical school to a positive tuberculin test will be given, free of charge, the necessary medications, blood work monitoring and studies.
Hepatitis B Prevention
- Documentation of current immunization with a series of 3 doses or a positive quantitative Hepatitis B surface antibody titer is required prior to matriculation. A challenge dose is recommended for those who were not tested 1-2 months after a 3 dose series. Obtain a quantitative titer 1-2 months after the challenge dose. If quantitative Hepatitis B titer is negative the student will repeat the entire series.
- A quantitative titer will be redrawn 1 to 2 months after the completion of the second series of Hepatitis B vaccine.
- If a student again fails to demonstrate immunologic response to the vaccine they will be counseled and given information about receiving Hepatitis B immunoglobulin in the event of an invasive exposure.
- Varicella antibody IgG titer is required for those students with a history of chicken pox. No titer is required for students with documentation of two vaccines. If the student has a history of the disease and a negative titer, but not documentation of immunizations, a series of 2 Varicella injections should be given.
- If a student has further concerns about a negative titer they will be referred to an Infectious Disease provider.
- Documentation of completed primary polio series is required prior to matriculation.
- If no documentation is available then confirmation of immunity must be done with titer. If the titer is negative students will be vaccinated with 3 dose of IPV vaccine.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella
- Prior to matriculation medical students are required to have two doses of vaccine given after 12 months of age or a positive Measles, Mumps and Rubella antibody IgG titer.
- One dose of MCV4-Meningococcal conjugate serogroups ACWY immunization on or after 16th birthday is required for all students who will reside in campus housing. No revaccination is currently required.
- Students who decline immunization may sign a waiver to meet housing requirements.
- Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended annually.
- Immunizations are offered yearly, as supplies allow, in the fall. Students are not charged for influenza vaccinations.
- This is the recommended vaccine as of 10/26/20005 by the ACIP for adults having a Tetanus immunization. All students need a TDAP. Subsequent vaccines of Td/Tdap will be administered as per recommended schedule thereafter.
- A tetanus booster prior to admission to medical school should be given within the past 5 years.
- If an invasive incident or exposure occurs students are expected to call the sharps hotline at 717 531-7775. Report immediately for care at Employee Health and are to follow the invasive incident protocol. If Employee Health is closed, students should go to the Emergency Department for treatment. Any required follow up lab testing will be done through Student Health. Please note protocol will be different in University Park.
Visiting Medical Students
- Visiting medical students are required to meet the same immunizations requirements as currently enrolled students.
- Student Health personnel review vaccine records of visiting students. Outstanding requirements are reported to the department sponsoring the student’s clinical clerkship.
- It is the responsibility of the clinical department to insure all requirements are met. Student Health personnel may be consulted on the requirements if interpretation is needed.
- Student Health does not provide travel immunizations. Students are referred to local travel clinics.
- Students are required to have mask fit testing prior to the start of the clinical rotations. During clinical skills week prior to the clinical year’s students will be educated in the method of prevention of air borne and blood borne pathogens and procedure to follow should exposure occur.
- The medical school will assure the financial responsibility for treatment of HIV exposure and prophylaxis as well as conversion to a positive PPD.
View the infectious disease program in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Wear all required protective gear for every session, during class hours or after hours.
Wash the wound with soap and copious amounts of water. Place a dry sterile dressing over the area. A band-aid is appropriate and antibiotic ointment may be used. Medical student’s tetanus immunization should be within five years, if you are unsure call Student Health at 717-531-5998 to verify the date. If it is after hours call the office the next day.
Watch the area for signs of infection such as worsening redness, pus, soreness and red streaks on skin as the area heals.
Larger lacerations are those roughly approaching 1 centimeter or above. The wound should be washed with soap and copious amounts of water. If bleeding can be controlled use a bandage and watch for signs of infection as listed above. If bleeding cannot be stopped in 5-10 minutes, cover the area with a clean and absorbent towel and keep the area elevated.
Student Health should be called at 717-531-5998 for an appointment for suturing of the wound. After office hours contact nurse triage or the family medicine physician on call for triage advice. Call Student Health if you are unsure of your tetanus immunization status.
Serious Injuries and Wounds
Student Health (5998) can be called first to triage a student to the appropriate place unless a wound is life-, limb- or sight-threatening. These injuries should go to the Emergency Department, calling extension 8444 for transport when appropriate.
Loss of consciousness with trauma to the head should go directly to the Emergency Department. If students are unable to walk extension 8444, should be called for assistance.
Large wounds with rapid blood loss or involving nerves, tendon or bone should go to the Emergency Department for treatment.
For injuries requiring Emergency treatment, the College of Medicine will pay the student’s remaining patient bill for emergency room/ambulance service after the student demonstrates that their health insurance carrier has fulfilled their payment responsibilities.
View the policy for injuries in the anatomy lab in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
- U.S. carrier or entity is approved to do business in the U.S. and compliant with all guidelines of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and;
- Carrier has a filed and approved health insurance policy with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Insurance or has a sponsored insurance plan that meets the waiver standards and is approved by the Student Health Insurance Office, together with a letter of financial guarantee directly from the Plan Sponsor;
- Coverage for 100% of preventive and contraceptive care (preventive examinations, immunizations and screening tests, as required by the PPACA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for student health insurance plans);
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions with no waiting period;
- Deductible no greater than $500;
- Coverage for all essential benefits for accident and sickness, including prescription drug coverage, without a limitation;
- Pregnancy as any other illness or injury;
- Inpatient and outpatient mental health/substance abuse as any other condition;
- No exclusions for injury or illness as a result of alcohol, drugs or attempted suicide;
- Worldwide coverage;
- $3,000 In-Network out-of-pocket maximum;
- $15,000/$30,000 Out-of-Network out-of-pocket maximum;OR U.S. employer-sponsored health insurance in place of standards #1 – 12; 14. AND Medical evacuation ($100,000)/Repatriation ($50,000) minimum limits.
View the student health insurance plan waiver standards in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Penn State College of Medicine students should not be treated by health care providers who are responsible for their education and academic evaluation. If a student at an academic affiliate is ill they should be referred to Penn State College of Medicine’s Student Health office when possible. Medical students should be allowed time away from their clerkship to travel and be seen at Student Health. Make up of time missed is based on Penn State College of Medicine individual department clerkship requirements.
If the distance or the acuity of the illness makes this unreasonable other options exist. An ill student could be treated by a colleague who is not involved in the student’s academic evaluation. Emergency department services at affiliate sites may be used when appropriate. Medical care provided to medical students at affiliate institutions is the financial responsibility of the student and their medical insurance carrier.
Medical students experiencing mental health issues while at affiliate institutions should be referred to Dr. Holder or Student Health at Penn State College of Medicine. The relevant LCME standard states:
“The health professional that provides psychiatric/ psychological counseling or other sensitive health services to medical students must have no involvement in the academic evaluation or promotion of the students receiving those services.”
In the rare instances when a medical student is acutely psychiatrically ill, including being suicidal, homicidal or psychotic an affiliate institution should take several steps. First and foremost the student’s and the public’s safety should be considered. A student may be taken to an emergency department or available psychiatric services and involuntary commitment may be pursued when appropriate. In a severe case where a student is a danger to themselves or others the following individuals should be notified:
- Vice Dean for Educational Affairs, Dr. Terry Wolpaw, 717-531-3876
- Director, Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling, Dr. Kelly Holder, 717-531-8658
This policy will be reviewed with students prior to going into the clinical years. It will also be distributed annually to affiliate institutions.
- Wash needle sticks and cuts with soap and water
- Flush splashes to the nose, mouth or skin with soap and water
- Irrigate eyes with clean water
- Report injury/exposure to the supervising physician and ensure source is tested
- CALL THE SHARPS INJURY HOTLINE at 717-531-7775
- Report to Employee Health or the Emergency Department as directed by the Hotline
- Follow -up with Student Health at (717) 531-5998 on the next business day
Procedure at Unaffiliated Clinic Sites or Other Institutions
- Report injury/exposure to the supervising physician and ensure source is tested
- Follow the institution/hospital’s established policy for exposure
- Call the SHARPS INJURY HOTLINE at 717-531-7775
- Students are expected to seek care during a rotation for sharps injuries or bodily fluid exposures and should do this immediately after the incident
- Follow-up with Student Health at (717) 531-5998 on the next business day
View the sharps injury/blood and body fluid exposure in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Students exposed at Mount Nittany Medical Center will have the initial evaluation and baseline testing completed through the normal Mount Nittany Medical Center process. Report incident to the provider they are working with, followed by Employee Health Service, so that they can direct them to the Emergency Department and process testing for source patient. When seen at the Emergency Department the student will need to provide their medical insurance information so the charges can be processed. Any balance remaining after the insurance payment will be paid by the College of Medicine. Submit these bills to Student Health Services at Hershey Medical Center.
Students will need to complete a Mount Nittany non-employee event report by typing event report in search located on the connect home page. Students should call the Hershey Medical Center Sharps Injury Hotline at 717 531-7775 and call HMC Employee Health.
Source patient testing will be conducted through Mount Nittany Medical Center Employee Health.
Serial testing to be completed at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months as per the College of Medicine’s protocol.
Mount Nittany Medical Center will correspond in writing and by telephone with student all baseline testing results.
Student will notify Student Health at Hershey Medical Center when due for subsequent testing to obtain a lab requisition.
Student Health will provide laboratory requisition for testing at the appropriate testing dates and direct the student to the Penn State Hershey Medical Group Benner Pike Laboratory.
Students who will be at the College of Medicine affiliate sites for clinical rotations must notify Student Health services at 717 531-5998 to send their immunization records.
Please give the office 48 hours advance notice to complete your request. All students are required to get an influenza vaccine yearly or sign an influenza vaccination declination form. Students who are not vaccinated must wear a mask while in patient care during flu season, approximately December to May.
If you choose to get your vaccine at another location it is your responsibility to provide documentation to us and your clinical sites. If you cannot come to the flu clinics provided by our services please call the office to arrange a time to receive the vaccine.
View the vaccine records info at affiliate sites in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
Penn State College of Medicine is committed to assuring a safe, encouraging, and supportive learning environment that reflects our commitments to professionalism, respect, appreciation of diversity, and virtues such as honesty, integrity, compassion, and kindness.
Our Culture of Respect in Education (C.O.R.E.) Policy upholds and affirms this commitment.
Penn State College of Medicine is committed to diversity and inclusion and, out of that commitment, supports the success of students with disabilities in all aspects of the University’s educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic accommodation in this course, please contact the College of Medicine’s disability services coordinator through the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-531-0003, ext. 283693.
The disability services coordinator will share with you the documentation guidelines to be considered for academic accommodation.
If the documentation you provide supports the need for accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the disability services coordinator will provide you a letter identifying appropriate accommodation(s), and work directly with you and your instructors to implement approved accommodations in the classroom, laboratory, clinical, and/or examination settings.
University Manor is a housing complex situated on the campus of Penn State College of Medicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
University Manor apartments are divided into two sections, University Manor East and University Manor West. University Manor East consists of 248 garden-style apartments. There are 24 one-bedroom apartments, 208 two-bedroom apartments, and 16 three-bedroom apartments. University Manor West consists of 31 four-bedroom (furnished) apartments. The four-bedroom suites have a closed hallway separating the bedrooms from the living area, allowing privacy to each tenant. All of the apartments are solidly constructed, designed to make them as soundproof and fireproof as possible.
It is expected that all students have access to transportation for their clinical rotations. Student schedules will not be changed due to transportation problems.
In general, housing is provided for all clerkship rotations with sites greater than one hour from Hershey (with the exception of St. Margaret in Pittsburgh). If the site is located within one hour, housing will not be provided and you should plan to stay in your apartment at Hershey and commute to your site location.
View the Housing & Transportation for Clerkships information in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)
On or immediately after June 2nd of each academic year, any lockers that have not been appropriately vacated will be vacated by staff.
At the time of MD program orientation, each matriculating student will be assigned a locker to store his/her belongings. Students will maintain this locker assignment for three years. At the end of their third year (NO later than June 1st), students must clean out their lockers and notify the Office of Student Affairs that their lockers are vacated. If a student requires storage space during their 4th year of medical school, they will be assigned a lockable cabinet. Requests for a cabinet are made in the Office of Student Affairs.
At the time of MD program orientation, each matriculating MD/PhD student will be assigned a locker to store his/her belongings. Students must vacate their lockers at the completion of Phase I. Upon returning to the Phase II portion of the MD curriculum (core clerkships), the student will be reassigned a locker for the third year of medical school. At the end of the third year (NO later than June 1st), the student must clean out the locker and notify the Office of Student Affairs that the locker is vacated. If a student requires storage space during Phases III and IV of the MD curriculum (4th MD program year) the student will be assigned a lockable cabinet. Requests for a cabinet are made in the Office of Student Affairs.
Students on Leave of Absence
Students must vacate their locker or cabinet when going on LOA no later than 10 days after the start of the LOA. Upon returning to the College of Medicine, the student will be reassigned a locker if a Phase I or II student upon return, or a lockable cabinet if a Phase III-IV student upon return. At the end of the third MD program year (NO later than June 1st), the student must clean out the locker and notify the Office of Student Affairs that the locker is vacated. If a student requires storage space during Phases III-IV of the MD curriculum (4th MD program year), the student will be assigned a lockable cabinet. Requests for a cabinet are made in the Office of Student Affairs.
Students can view the full Student Locker Procedure in the policy portal here (ePass login required).
- The patient/visitor parking areas are designated for patients and visitors only. Employees/students parking in these areas other than to attend a clinic visit will be ticketed.
- Students should park in their assigned parking area only.
- Vehicles owned or operated by employees/students must have a valid Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Penn State College of Medicine parking sticker displayed on the back rear or back passenger window at all times.
- The acceptance by the employee/student of the privilege to park or drive a motor vehicle on campus shall constitute acceptance of the responsibility to see that any vehicle owned or operated in his or her name is not parked in violation of these regulations. It also shall constitute acceptance of the appropriate penalty when violations are cited.
- Parking tickets/violations will be issued by Security for violation of campus parking regulations. If penalties/fines are not paid or appealed within ten days of the violation being issued, your student account will be placed on hold and will remain on hold until all outstanding citations have been paid in full.
- Employees/students who repeatedly violate any provision of the Parking Rules and Regulations may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- The fact that other vehicles are parked improperly shall not constitute an excuse for parking any part of the motor vehicle outside or over a prescribed parking space.
- It is not feasible to mark with signs or paint all areas of Medical Center or College of Medicine property where parking is prohibited. Parking is prohibited on walks, grassy areas, dirt areas, parking lot curb areas, graveled areas (unless specified for parking), in fire lanes, in loading zones, in service drives, at yellow curbs, at hatched-painted areas, at any posted prohibition, in traffic lanes, at traffic signs or signals, by fire hydrants, at building egress points, or in any other area that is not designed specifically by marks as a parking space.
- Vehicles may not be store on campus at any time. Any vehicle found to be stored may be towed at the owner’s expense.
- Any vehicle parked on campus shall be parked at the owner’s risk. PSHMC assumes no responsibilities for theft, damage, or personal injury.
- Employees/students may find it necessary to use a rental/temporary car. Anyone using a rental/temporary vehicle should contact Parking Services with the vehicle information for every rental/temporary vehicle in order to obtain a temporary permit sticker.
- If you are living on campus at University Manor East (UME) or University Manor West (UMW) you must park in your Housing assigned parking space only. Those living on campus at UME or UMW may not park anywhere else on campus per Housing’s Rules and Regulations.
- To accommodate our growing campus, it may be necessary for Parking Services to change or adjust any of the parking rules and regulations. Parking Services reserves the right to alter any of these rules or regulations at any time. For the most up to date information regarding parking, see the Parking Services Infonet page (ePass login required) or contact Parking Services at email@example.com or 717-531-3713 with questions.
Penn State College of Medicine University Park Program offices and classrooms are located on the third floor of the Centre Medical Sciences Building, located at 1850 East Park Avenue, State College, PA 16803. Students and residents are asked to reserve parking spaces closest to the building for patients.
Mount Nittany Medical Center is located at 1800 East Park Avenue, State College, PA 16803. Medical students and residents are asked to park in Lot B2. Students and residents are not permitted to park in the Physician’s lot.
Students must otherwise obey all Penn State University parking policies. The Penn State University Parking page has more.
There is a shuttle available between University Park and Hershey. You can find more information at the University Park-Hershey Shuttle page.
All fundraising activities planned by students that occur in an area designated specifically for student groups and organizations must be approved by the Student Assembly. Fundraising activities occurring in non-approved areas must vacate the area immediately. In addition, raffles are not permitted.
See the full student fundraising guidelines policy in the policy portal here (ePass login required).