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MD Student Handbook (Policies, Procedures and Services)

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Competencies, Subcompetencies and Milestones

Medical Student Competencies and Subcompetencies for Graduation Expand answer

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: Gather a history and perform a physical exam (EPA 1)
  • PC 1.2: Prioritize a differential diagnosis following a clinical encounter (EPA 2)
  • PC 1.3: Recommend and interpret common diagnostic and screening tests (EPA 3)
  • PC 1.4 : Enter and discuss orders and prescriptions (EPA 4)
  • PC 1.5 / ICS 4.3: Document a clinical encounter in the patient record (EPA 5)
  • PC 1.6 / ICS 4.4: Provide an oral presentation of a clinical encounter (EPA 6)
  • PC 1.7: Perform general procedures of a physician (EPA 12)
  • PC 1.8: Recognize a patient requiring urgent or emergent care and initiate evaluation and management (EPA 10)
  • PC 1.9: Give or receive a patient handover to transition care responsibility (EPA 8)
  • PC 1.10: Describe the informed consent process (EPA 11)
  • PC 1.11: Demonstrate higher order clinical reasoning

2. Knowledge for Practice

Demonstrate knowledge of and critical thinking about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and health systems sciences, as well as health humanities, and apply this knowledge to patient care.

  • KP 2.1: Apply biomedical, clinical, health systems sciences, and health humanities to clinical decision making in an integrated manner
  • KP 2.2: Contribute to research

3. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate one’s care of patients, to appraise and assimilate evidence and emerging research, and to improve patient care through a practice of being reflective and engaging in life-long learning.

  • PBLI 3.1: Engage in continuous self-assessment and identify and perform appropriate learning activities.
  • PBLI 3.2: Form clinical questions and retrieve evidence to advance patient care (EPA 7)
  • PBLI 3.3: Apply systems and critical thinking to interrogate one’s own perspectives, biases, and reasoning

4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Demonstrate verbal and non-verbal communication skills that show respect for and result in effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals.

  • ICS 4.1: Communicate effectively with patients and families (EPA 11)
  • ICS 4.2/SBP 6.1: Collaborate as a member of a team, including members of one’s profession or interprofessional teams. (EPA 9)
  • ICS 4.3/PC 1.5: Document a clinical encounter in the patient record (EPA 5)
  • ICS 4.4/PC 1.6: Provide an oral presentation of a clinical encounter (EPA 6)

5. Professional Behaviors

Demonstrate professional behavior with patients and families, teams, health systems, and society.

  • PB 5.1/HH 7.2: Act with honesty, integrity, accountability, reliability, and self-regulation, adhering to ethical norms and principles
  • PB 5.2/HH 7.4: Identify factors contributing to resilience and respond to burnout
  • PB 5.3/HH 7.5: Demonstrate cultural humility
  • PB 5.4/HH 7.6: Develop and employ emotional intelligence

6. Systems-Based Practice

Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and public health, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care.

  • SBP 6.1/ICS 4.2: Collaborate as a member of a team, including members of one’s profession or interprofessional teams. (EPA 9)
  • SBP 6.2: Incorporate considerations of value-based care in decisions about patients and/or populations
  • SBP 6.3: Identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement (EPA 13)
  • SPB 6.4/HH 7.1: Analyze social determinants of health and other sociocultural factors affecting the health outcomes of patients, populations, and communities

7. Health Humanities

Approach patients as whole persons, demonstrating compassion, humility, and respect.

  • HH 7.1/SBP 6.4: Analyze social determinants of health and other sociocultural factors affecting the health outcomes of patients, populations, and communities
  • HH 7.2/PB 5.1: Act with honesty, integrity, accountability, reliability, and self-regulation, adhering to ethical norms and principles for the practice of medicine
  • HH 7.3: Employ humanities tools and concepts for wellness and clinical effectiveness
  • HH 7.4/PB 5.2: Identify factors contributing to resilience and respond to burnout
  • HH 7.5/PB 5.3: Demonstrate cultural humility
  • HH 7.6/PB 5.4: Develop and employ emotional intelligence

Adapted from:

Obeso V, Brown D, Aiyer M, Barron B, Bull J, Carter T, Emery M, Gillespie C, Hormann M, Hyderi A, Lupi C, Schwartz M, Uthman M, Vasilevskis EE, Yingling S, Phillipi C, eds.; for Core EPAs for Entering Residency Pilot Program. Toolkits for the 13 Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency. Washington, DC: Association of American Medical Colleges; 2017.

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.

See the Competencies and Milestones in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

General Policies

The following policies are relevant to MD students at Penn State College of Medicine. For more policies, see the Policy Portal (ePass login required) and policy.psu.edu.

Academic Integrity Expand answer

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 Academic Integrity Policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Academic Progress Committee Expand answer

The purview of the Academic Progress Committee is to approve the promotion of students in the doctor of medicine program as defined by the competency domains of Penn State College of Medicine. It is the job of the APC to make promotion determinations for all students, and to develop and ensure accountability for individualized plans for those students with customized requests or deficiencies in some aspect of the medical education program competencies. In addition, the APC will make recommendations to the Dean of the College of Medicine with respect to those students who the APC determines should be dismissed from the medical education program for academic reasons.

Membership

The Academic Progress Committee is composed of 10 voting members: eight department chairs (a minimum of two basic science department chairs) and two diversity faculty positions appointed by the dean.

Chairs who wish to serve on the APC may nominate themselves for membership or be nominated by another member of their respective Chairs’ Council. The Chairs’ Councils will vote to choose the member(s) that the Council will propose to the Faculty Organization for approval. The chair of the APC will submit the slate of candidates for APC membership to the Faculty Organization for approval.

When the diversity positions become available, the Faculty Organization will call for nominations (either self-nominated or nominated by other faculty). Following verification of interest, a list of potential candidates will be presented to the dean for final selection to the committee.

Each department chair selected by the Faculty Organization for APC membership shall serve an initial term of three years. There are no term limitations with terms renewing every 3 years.

The diversity faculty representatives appointed by the dean shall serve an initial term of three years. There is no term limitation with reappointment by the dean every 3 years.

If, for any reason, a department chair member is unable to complete their three-year term, their respective Chairs’ Council shall select a successor who shall serve until expiration of the member’s term. If, for any reason, a diversity member is unable to complete their three-year term, the dean will appoint a successor who shall serve until the expiration of the diversity member’s term.

In addition, the following non-voting members will serve on the APC: the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs (ex-officio, non-voting), Associate Dean for Student Affairs (ex-officio, non-voting), Assistant Dean for Student Affairs University Park Curriculum (ex-officio, non-voting), Associate Dean for Learner Assessment and Program Evaluation (ex-officio, non-voting) and Associate Deans for Medical Education at the Hershey and University Park campuses (ex-officio, non-voting members).

The chair of the APC is elected by the committee’s voting members for a term of up to three years.

They may be re-elected for additional terms.

A quorum of the APC for all purposes shall be at least five voting members or their designee (approved by the APC Chair) attending in person or by telephonic or other remote options.

Scope of Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Academic Progress Committee to ensure students in the doctor of medicine program have met the requirements for promotion and, ultimately, the MD degree. In performing this function, the APC may meet with a student to address specific performance deficiencies. For example, the APC may schedule a meeting in the following circumstances:

  1. A student whose performance in Phase I is of concern as identified by the Competency Progress Committee. The performance concern may encompass deficits in more than one competency such as Knowledge for Practice, Problem-based Learning and Improvement, and Critical Thinking, among others.
  2. A student whose performance in Phases II-III is of concern as evidenced by a failing grade in a clerkship, advanced course requirement, elective, or other required Penn State College of Medicine curriculum activity or failure to successfully remediate a failing grade. The performance concern might encompass deficits in multiple competencies such as Patient Care, Interprofessional Collaboration, Interpersonal and Communications Skills, and Knowledge for Practice, among others.
  3. A student whose performance in Phases I-III is of concern as evidenced by documented lapses in professional behaviors in interactions with individuals and/or teams. The performance concern might encompass deficits in multiple competencies such as Professionalism, Interprofessional Collaboration, and Personal and Professional Development, among others.

In such circumstances, the Committee shall review the student’s entire educational record to assess progress in all of the College of Medicine competencies. This comprehensive evaluation of performance in all competency measures including those in courses/clerkships, electives, and any other required activities may result in a recommendation of remediation activities or actions including dismissal from the College of Medicine.

Process

Curriculum Promotion and Graduation Qualification Decisions: It is required that students will successfully complete all requirements for each Phase before entering the next Phase. In order to graduate, students must have successfully completed all graduation requirements. At the end of each Phase, the Associate Dean for Evaluation and Assessment will present a slate of students who have met all competency requirements for promotion to the next portion of the curriculum or for graduation, for review and approval by the committee.

Student Performance Reviews: A student whose performance is being reviewed by the APC will be asked to appear before the Committee. The student is encouraged to review their status in all competencies with their society advisor-coach prior to the meeting. The society adviser-coach will be invited to attend the APC meeting with the student. If requested by the APC chair, the input of the course, clerkship or other activity directors will be sought by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for presentation to the APC.

The student will receive at least five-calendar days’ notice prior to the meeting with the APC. The student must meet with the Committee at the date, time and location specified by the Committee. Attendance is mandatory; exceptions will not be made. If the student does not appear at the scheduled time, the meeting shall proceed and a recommendation will be made based on the information submitted to the APC.

The Committee’s purpose in meeting with the student is to hear the student’s view of their past performance and present situation. After hearing from the student, the committee will make a determination on a specific course of action for the student. In each case, a student’s entire situation, past and present, will be reviewed by the APC for all competency domains. This may include the margins by which the student has met (passed) or not met (failed) expectations in various courses, the particular courses that they have failed, the student’s personal situation, professional behaviors and other relevant considerations.

Recommendations for Action, Other Than Dismissal

Recommendations for action other than dismissal based on a student’s deficiencies in progressing in any of the College of Medicine competencies/sub-competencies are communicated to the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs (or designee). Such a recommendation may include (but not be limited to) repeating the course/clerkship, repeating the entire academic year and documentation of progress with expected behavior changes. In some instances, the APC may place a student on academic probation until successful completion of the remediation activities.

A grade of “Does Not Meet Expectations” (DNM) or “Fail” when completing remediation activities may result in a subsequent APC recommendation that the student repeat a course, repeat an entire academic year, repeat the course following a leave of absence or dismissal.

Appeal Process for Actions Other than Dismissal

The student may request a review of the decision of the APC by submitting a written request to the Chairperson of the APC no later than seven calendar days following receipt of the Committee’s decision. In their submission, the student must clearly communicate why the recommendation of the APC should be reconsidered. The student may provide materials they believe support their position for review by the appellate committee. The Chairperson will forward to the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs the student’s written submission along with a summary of the APC’s deliberations and the information presented at the student’s meeting with the APC.

The Vice Dean for Educational Affairs will assemble an ad hoc appellate committee of at least three faculty members, none of whom are members of the APC, in addition to the Associate Dean for Evaluation and Assessment, to consider the student’s appeal.

The student will be provided with an opportunity to meet with the appellate committee. If the student chooses not to meet with the committee or requests a meeting and fails to appear at the scheduled time, the committee will make a determination based on the recommendation of and information presented to the APC, and any additional materials submitted by the student. The appellate committee may decide to uphold the APC’s decision or modify it. The decision of the appellate committee is final.

The Vice Dean for Educational Affairs will provide written notification to the student and to the APC of the appellate committee’s decision.

Recommendations of Dismissal

In the event the APC recommends dismissal of a student from the College of Medicine, a written notice of this recommendation will be submitted to the Dean of the College of Medicine and the student. The dean has the ultimate authority for separation of the student from the College of Medicine.

The student may appeal to the Dean of the College of Medicine within seven days of receiving notification of the Academic Progress Committee’s recommendation of dismissal. The student may submit a written statement of their position, including supporting materials. The dean will schedule a meeting with the student. If the student fails to appear at the scheduled time, the dean will make a determination based on the recommendation of and information submitted to the APC, and any materials submitted by the student. The dean will provide written notification to the student of the final decision.

See the Academic Progress Committee policy in the policy management tool (ePass login required).

Admissions Conflict of Interest Expand answer

All members of Penn State College of Medicine (PSCOM) Medical and PA Student Selection and Admission Steering Committees, sub-committees thereof (individually and collectively, “Program Committees”), as well as any faculty, staff, student or community member who either screens or interviews applicants, must be aware of and seek to avoid conflicts of interest (“COI”) and the appearance of a conflict of interest while performing related duties. Hereinafter these individuals shall be referred to collectively as “Program Representatives.”

A COI might occur when Program Representatives have a relationship that may conflict with, or prevent a person from carrying out duties or exercising good judgment in an independent way with matters that involve admissions activities. All Program Representatives have an obligation to self-disclose and should err on the side of disclosure. Not all relationships create a COI or automatically exclude a person from serving. However, declaration of such relationships may require an adjudication process to resolve the potential conflict.

All Program Representatives shall review this policy annually to ensure all necessary disclosures are made and addressed prior to performing their role in the admissions cycle. Program Committee members shall complete this prior to September 15th for the MD program and July 1st for the PA Program. Applicant screeners and interviewers shall do so prior to the assignment of any applicants for that admissions cycle year.

In addition to the annual policy review, Program Committee Chairs shall query committee members at the start of each meeting to ascertain if a COI exists between any member and any of the applicants under review.

Assumed Conflict of Interest

An assumed conflict exists if the Program Representative is or has:

  • A family member of an applicant;
  • A spouse or significant other of an applicant or their family member;
  • A personal friend, godparent, or religious mentor of an applicant or their family member;
  • A current or former healthcare provider to an applicant or their family member;
  • A Professional Relationship or other position from which undue influence may be applied by an applicant or their family member;
  • A potential to benefit in some manner from the success or failure of the applicant; or
  • A belief that recusal is necessary to preserve the integrity of the admissions process.

A Program Representative who is a first or second-degree relative, spouse or significant other of an applicant must remove themselves from all screening, interviewing, discussions, and decisions about all applicants during the entirety of that admissions cycle. For all other relationships identified above, the

Program Representative shall be removed from all discussion and decisions related to the applicant with whom the relationship creates the COI.

Additionally, first or second-degree relatives, spouses and significant others may not serve as Program Representatives during the same admissions cycle.

Potential Conflict of Interest

In addition to the relationships that create assumed COIs, a Program Representative who is uncertain whether a particular situation or circumstance creates a real or perceived COI should make a disclosure to the COI Committee Chair for evaluation by the Program COI Committee. If the potential conflict pertains to a member of the COI Committee, that member shall not participate in the discussions nor the resulting determination. If the COI Committee determines no COI exists, the Program Representative may continue in their role. If the COI Committee determines the existence of a real or perceived conflict, the Program Representative will either be excused from 1) all screening, discussions, and decisions regarding the respective applicant; or 2) all activities during that application cycle.

Disclosure of Inquiries made on behalf of an Applicant

The admissions process shall not be unduly influenced. Program Representatives must disclose any inquiries from individuals outside the College of Medicine made on behalf of an applicant, whether or not explicitly so stated, to the Chair of the COI Committee for evaluation by the Committee. It is anticipated that such inquiries may be managed by corrective action, including the setting of clear expectations with the inquirer that the assessment of the applicant will not be influenced in any way outside the admission process.

Non-Disclosure

Information about applicants and decisions rendered during the admission cycle will not be disclosed to non-Program Representatives, except where required (eg, AAMC) and should not be used or shared by Program Representatives in ways beyond those needed to perform their responsibilities.

Definitions

Family Member: A person who is a dependent of that individual as the result of marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption; or a first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree relative of the individual, or of a dependent of the individual (ref. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008). This includes consanguinity and affinity family members.

  1. First-degree relative: includes an individual’s spouse or significant other, parents, siblings, and children
  2. Second-degree relative: includes an individual’s grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and half-siblings
  3. Third-degree relative: includes an individual’s great-grandparents, great-grandchildren, great uncles/aunts, and first cousins
  4. Fourth-degree relative: includes an individual’s great-great grandparents, great-great grandchildren, and first cousins once-removed

Professional Relationship: Includes an individual’s employer, employee, mentor, mentee, colleague, teacher, student or any other interpersonal connection between persons in a place of business

See the Admissions Conflict of Interest Policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Concern Form Expand answer

The concern report is the form that is filled out by a faculty or staff member who has a concern with a medical student. The report is marked as either an “early concern” or a “serious concern,” and contains a description of the behavior that is of concern to the person filing the report, in addition to whether the student has been notified of the concern, and what has been conveyed to the student. Copies of the form are given to the student and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

A medical student at the Penn State College of Medicine should, at the minimum, exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Conscientiousness: Demonstrating a high degree of reliability by following through on commitments, approaching work in a methodical manner, and completing work tasks thoroughly and systematically; displaying high standards of attendance, punctuality, enthusiasm, and vitality in approaching and completing tasks.
  • Integrity: Showing consistency between principles and values, and behavior; choosing an ethical course of action and doing the right thing; being truthful and direct; maintaining confidentiality; remaining free from substance misuse; avoiding conflicts of interest; obeying health system and regulatory policies.
  • Accountability: Accepting responsibility for individual and group performance; accepting the consequences of one’s behavior; admitting mistakes and attempting to learn from mistakes.
  • Teamwork: Collaborating and coordinating with others to achieve work goals; showing concern for and providing assistance and support to others; interacting respectfully with others; creating a desire for team accomplishment.
  • Patient-Centered Care: Understanding patients’ needs and feelings and treating them with respect; focusing one’s efforts on discovering and meeting patients’ needs; handling challenging patient situations effectively; promoting and striving to create a workforce and environment that represents and values diversity of people and ideas.
  • Stress Tolerance: Effectively handling stressful situations and interactions, even when under time pressure; making effective decisions under time pressure. This form is being completed due to an important concern of one or more behaviors (above) that I feel needs to be addressed.

Complete the form online

Criminal Background Checks Clearance Requirement Expand answer

Rationale

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. Therefore, we are requiring our incoming students to get criminal background checks by Sept. 1.

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).

Culture of Respect in Education - C.O.R.E. Expand answer

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.

Read about the C.O.R.E. policy here.

Delinquent Accounts Expand answer

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.

POLICY STATEMENT

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.

PROCEDURE STEPS

To complete registration, a student must take the following steps:

  1. Login to LionPATH and consent to do University Business Electronically.
  2. Agree to the Financial Responsibility Agreement.
  3. Enroll in a minimum of one class.
  4. 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.

The following actions may occur if delinquent tuition remains unpaid:

  • Placement of your account with a licensed collection agency. Collection agencies may assess collection fees up to 33.33% of your balance.
  • Assessment of litigation and court costs.
  • Your delinquency will be reported to a national credit bureau.

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.

View the Delinquent Accounts policy on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Disability Services Expand answer

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 disabilityservices@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or 717-531-3033.

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.

See information on student disability services at Penn State College of Medicine here.

See information on student disability services at Penn State here.

See information on the Affirmative Action Office here.

See information on the Section 504 Grievance Procedure here.

Diversity in Ongoing, Systematic and Focused Recruitment and Retention Activities Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine is fully committed to diversity among its faculty, staff, students and volunteers. We are also accountable for fostering an environment of justice, belonging, equity and inclusion, consistent with Penn State’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and with Penn State’s Nondiscrimination Statement.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), in its June 2018 accreditation letter, acknowledged that Penn State College of Medicine had created vision and mission statements and a strategic plan regarding diversity in the College of Medicine. The LCME requested, in addition, a formal diversity policy to guide ongoing, systematic, and focused recruitment and retention activities and to achieve mission-appropriate diversity outcomes among its students, faculty, and staff. This policy, fully consistent with Penn State Statements on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and on Nondiscrimination, serves as a companion to those statements and a guide for focused recruitment and retention activities at the College of Medicine, in compliance with LCME accreditation standards.

Policy and Procedure Statements

  • The Penn State College of Medicine recognizes that a diverse workforce is a critical component to addressing the health care needs of a diverse society, eliminating health care disparities, and maximizing our academic educational mission and therefore is committed to continuously increasing the diversity of our student body, faculty and staff with respect to those populations that are underrepresented in medicine and biomedical research.
  • Penn State College of Medicine will address intergroup disparities in areas such as representation, retention, learning outcomes, and graduation rates. We will seek to recruit a medical school class whose identities and principles represent the diversity of our community and the mission of our College.
  • Penn State College of Medicine recognizes that a diverse workforce deserves a just, = equitable and inclusive work and patient care environment and is therefore committed to measuring and addressing any challenges that will impact our ability to recruit and retain diverse individuals.

Guidelines for ongoing, systematic, and focused recruitment and retention activities in order to achieve mission-appropriate diversity outcomes among students, faculty, and senior administrative staff of Penn State College of Medicine

  • In an effort to improve the diversity among its students, faculty and senior administrative staff, Penn State College of Medicine has set the following guidelines for ongoing, systematic, and focused recruitment and retention activities:
    • Medical student diversity: Penn State College of Medicine is fully committed to the recruitment of a diverse student body including and not limited to racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine and biomedical research as defined by state and federal law (American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Asians), and individuals with disabilities or military backgrounds. It will focus its ongoing, systematic recruitment and retention activities to address intergroup disparities in representation and retention for underrepresented students. To support this systematic and focused recruitment, the College of Medicine, through the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will continue its pathway programs and address challenges related to recruitment and retention of students from groups underrepresented in medicine.
    • Faculty diversity: Penn State College of Medicine is fully committed to the recruitment of diverse faculty including and not limited to racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in the healthcare and biomedical workforce as defined by state and federal law (American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Asians), women who are traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles within medicine, and individuals with disabilities or military backgrounds. It will focus its ongoing, systematic recruitment and retention activities to address intergroup disparities in representation and retention for faculty underrepresented in US medical schools. The College of Medicine will work with Human Resources and with its employee resource/affinity groups to identify and address challenges to the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty members.
    • Senior administrative staff diversity: defined as individuals in academic leadership roles, to include but not limited to, associate/assistant deans, directors, academic department chairs, and people who oversee the operation of affiliated clinical facilities and other educational sites. Penn State College of Medicine is fully committed to the recruitment of a diverse senior administrative staff, including and not limited to members of racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the healthcare and biomedical workforce as defined by state and federal law (American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Asians), women who are traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles within medicine, and individuals with disabilities or military backgrounds. It will focus its ongoing, systematic recruitment and retention activities to address intergroup disparities in representation and retention of diverse administrative staff. To support this systematic and focused recruitment, the college of medicine will provide bias training to search committees, look into anonymous application processes and apply the “Rooney Rule” to all senior administrative staff positions that are filled externally, thereby requiring that interview pools include at least one individual who contributes to the diversity goals of the College. Applicant and interview pools and hires will be tracked annually.
  • The Penn State College’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will evaluate the effectiveness of the ongoing, systematic and focused recruitment and retention activities outlined in this policy for Penn State College of Medicine. Based on the data review it will propose revisions to this policy to address intergroup disparities in representation and retention and more optimally guide recruitment and retention activities. It will evaluate faculty and senior administrative staff outreach and hiring programs every year, using aggregate data that is collected through the organization’s Executive Order 11246 and 4212 Affirmative Action Plan. The College of Medicine’s Committee on Undergraduate Medical Education (CUMED), in conjunction with the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will evaluate the effectiveness of the recruitment and retention activities for its medical students every two years using aggregate data that is collected through the medical school admissions, residency match, and pathway data base.
  • The Office of Educational Affairs will annually report on medical student diversity to the Dean of the College of Medicine.
  • The Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will annually report on faculty and senior administrative staff diversity to the Dean, Executive Council, and to Faculty Organization.

View the diversity policy on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Dress Code Expand answer

Students are expected to dress professionally for all sessions that involve working with actual or standardized patients. Professional attire includes khakis, slacks, or dress pants; blouses or collared shirts and ties; dresses or skirts of an appropriate length. Students are reminded that low cut shirts, t-shirts, short skirts, jeans, or open-toed shoes are not considered professional attire.

View the dress code on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Tuition Charges, Other Fees and Return of Financial Aid for Students who Withdraw from Penn State College of Medicine Expand answer

The College of Medicine abides by the tuition refund policies set forth by Penn State and the federal government for the return of Title IV funds. See details here.

The purpose of this policy is to provide a guideline for financial obligations for tuition, other fees and financial aid when students withdraw from classes during their MD Program studies at the College of Medicine.

Tuition

If a student terminates his or her medical college registration by official leave of absence or withdrawal, tuition will be charged for that tuition installment period according to the date written notice of such intended action is received by the Registrar’s Office. The tuition schedule begins with the first full week of classes in the installment period and pertains to each subsequent week or fraction of a week.

Students who withdraw will receive a tuition adjustment in accordance with the Tuition Adjustment Schedule (above).

For purposes of this schedule, the first installment period begins with the 1st day of Penn State University classes for the academic year (Fall Semester) and the second installment period begins on the 1st day of Penn State University classes for the second academic semester (Spring Semester).

Other Fees

All other fees (University Student Health Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Student Fee) are non-refundable.

Housing

Students who live in the residence halls should contact the Housing Office regarding room and board adjustments.

Return of Federal Financial Aid

  • To maintain Federal financial aid eligibility during the semester, the student must be attending classes, taking exams and completing required course work.
  • The 1998 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act requires the University to calculate a Return of Federal financial aid funds for students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before attending 60 percent of the semester.
  • Using a pro-rata schedule, the percentage of the semester attended is used to calculate the amount of the student’s earned/unearned Federal financial aid funds. The percentage of semester attended is calculated by using the number of days the student attended and the total number of days in the semester.
  • The unearned portion of Federal financial aid funds will be returned to the appropriate aid program(s). The funds will be returned in the following order:
    • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (Graduate and Parent)
    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)

The student will be responsible for any balance due after the return of federal financial aid funds.

Students who stop attending all classes without officially withdrawing are subject to the return of Federal financial aid funds at the end of the semester. The amount returned is based on the withdrawal date or last documented date of attendance determined by Penn State.

Return of Institutional and Other Aid Funds

If a credit balance remains after the return of Federal and State Grant funds, the credit balance will be returned to all other aid sources (if applicable) based on the following “other aid” refund calculation:

Other Aid Disbursed / Total Aid Disbursed X Adjustment = Refund to Other Aid Source

The other aid will be returned to the appropriate aid sources. The funds will be returned in the following order:

  • Short-term loan (not considered in aid calculation)
  • University loans
  • University scholarships
  • Other grants
  • Outside scholarships

Other aid sources should be adjusted up to the amount of each aid source.

The student account will not be debited to return funds to “other aid” sources.

Credit Balances After Return of Aid

If a credit balance remains after the return of the required Federal financial aid, State grants, Institutional and other aid funds, the balance will be refunded to the student (up to the amount paid for the semester).

See the policy for financial obligations for students who withdraw in the policy portal here (ePass login required).

Guidelines for Student Organizations - Expenditures and Accounts Expand answer

Student organization leaders have a responsibility to assure that all financial transactions posted to the student organization accounts are appropriate, reasonable, and based on the below criteria:

  • The transactions support or advance the student organization’s mission and goals.
  • The transactions are aligned with student organization priorities.
  • The transactions are compliant with University policy.

Student organizations may sponsor events, including group meals, meetings, conferences, retreats, receptions, and health-related wellness recreational activities. All events and activities, regardless of funding source, are considered a University-Sponsored Event.

  • Funds allocated to student groups may be used as the source of funding if the event has a clear educational or academic purpose and/or enhances the student out-of-class experience.
  • Social events are allowable provided a staff or faculty person is in attendance and/or the event falls under student affairs or activity programming.

Penn State is a nonprofit organization and is tax-exempt. The Office of Student Affairs can directly provide tax-exempt documentation to a vendor on the student organization’s behalf.

Activities and Events Supported by University Funding:

Any events not specifically identified below may be submitted as an exception request to studentaffairs@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

  • Meeting expenses, including snacks and group meals associated with events.
  • Honoraria for external guest speakers from outside of the organization.
  • Travel-related expenses for external guests.
  • General supplies (i.e. art supplies, sheet music, general office supplies, etc).
  • Travel-related expenses for University-sponsored events wherein members fundraise to cover associated costs to represent the Penn State College of Medicine.
  • Rental costs associated with approved on-campus events
  • Promotional items for events, door prizes, and participation prizes that are distributed randomly.
  • Group memberships to national associations.
  • Printed materials, including books, journals, and periodicals.
  • Student-led activities related to Second Look Day, White Coat Ceremony, Match Day, and Graduation.

Expenditures related to admission costs for events will be handled case by case. Expenditures for alcoholic beverages require special permission and follow separate guidelines. Please submit requests to studentaffairs@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Activities and Events Not Supported by University Funding

  • Appropriations in furtherance of a political campaign or activity by any candidate or candidate’s staff.
  • Appropriations to a legislative lobby or to a registered student organization whose primary purpose is to influence legislation.
  • Grants-in-aid and scholarships.
  • Donations or charitable contributions of money or products.
  • Philanthropic activities where the primary purpose is fundraising.
  • Retroactive expenses (expenses outside the reimbursement period).
  • National association memberships on a per-person basis.
  • Programs and activities that are for academic credit and/or are considered an essential component of a class.
  • Hiring legal services or providing bail bond funds.
  • Honoraria for Penn State or Penn State Health faculty or staff.
  • Purchase of a specific gift for a specific person.
  • Purchase of items used to raise funds.
  • Purchase or reimbursement for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  • Purchase or reimbursement for the purchase of any tobacco products.
  • Any religious ceremony or worship service, except when such activity is for educational purposes.
  • Any activity, material, or program whose primary purpose is recruitment or increased membership in the sponsoring group.
  • Raffles and gift cards.
  • Printed materials, including books, journals, and periodicals, purchased for recruiting and/or fundraising.

Expense Reimbursement

If College of Medicine student organizations purchase items for their sponsored events they submit receipts utilizing this Reimbursement Request Form for reimbursement.  Forms should be submitted no later than 14 days past the purchase date.

  • Detailed line-item receipts are required.
  • A signed non-employee information form is required.
  • Supporting documentation should also be submitted, including any event advertisements.
  • Students are not permitted to request reimbursement exceeding the funds available in their general and gift fund accounts.

If the cost of a purchase provides a financial hardship and reimbursement is not practical, a University-held purchasing card is available to help assist with purchasing. Please submit this Request to Purhcase Goods form and a representative from Student Affairs will reach out.

Please be advised: Tax on purchases will not be reimbursed. Amazon purchases will not be reimbursed.

Financial Accounts

All banking and financial transactions must flow through the University financial system and follow University guidelines. Class and Student organizations will have (2) internal orders (budget numbers) that will track their funding allocations. One account will be a general fund; the other a gift fund.

General Fund Account:

  • Annual awards by HPSA will be allocated to the general fund.
  • General funds will be zeroed out of the student organization account at the end of the fiscal year.
  • General funds need to be spent by June 15th of the allocation year.
  • Items purchased near the end of the fiscal year must be received by June 30th of the allocation year.
  • General funds cannot be transferred to a gift fund account.

Gift Fund Account: 

  • Any fundraised dollars or donated dollars are to be deposited to the student organization’s gift fund.
  • Gift funds can carry balances forward across fiscal years.

Financial Transactions: 

  • The use of cash and checks is the approved method for financial transactions.
  • PayPal, Venmo, and other third-party payment services companies in the course of University-related activities are not allowable.
  • Student organizations that receive any monies must promptly deposit all funds in their organization account no later than the first University business day after being received. Funds should be given to staff in the Student Affairs Office.
  • It is the responsibility of the leaders of student organizations to know their account balances.

If a recognized student organization has outstanding expenditures and insufficient funds in its student organization accounts, the account will be suspended until payments are resolved. Insufficient funds can prohibit student organizations from receiving general funds during the next fiscal year. Students are to work with the Office of Student Affairs to resolve any debit balances.

All organizations may be subject to an annual audit performed by the College of Medicine Finance and Business office.

See the student fundraising guidelines policy in the policy portal here (ePass login required).

Guidelines for Student Organizations - Fundraising Expand answer

Any class or student organization may schedule one sales event during the fall semester (July 1 – December 31) and one sales event during the spring semester (January 1 – June 30).

Requests for exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact studentaffairs@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for assistance.

Guidelines

  • All fundraising activities planned by students must be approved by the Student Assembly-HPSA.
  • Fundraising must occur within designated areas specifically identified for student organizations. These locations include:
    • directly inside the BMR near the door leading to the breezeway
    • outside of the entrance to the library
    • the back lobby of the BMR building (outside of C1805)
    • the Courtyard
    • the ASB lobby, and the lecture room waiting areas.
  • Groups are not authorized to reserve these areas until their fundraiser has been approved by the Student Assembly.
  • All fundraisers must benefit an organization that directly supports the mission of Penn State College of Medicine.
  • There will be no sales for personal benefit or to provide individuals or patients with materials, cash, or goods outside of approved Penn State Hershey Medical Center programs.
  • All fundraisers must meet the health and safety standards of the Medical Center.
  • If food is part of the fundraiser, proper handling/storage of food is required.
  • Marketing & Communications must approve all products and merchandise bearing Medical Center or College of Medicine name, logo, or other graphic identifiers.
  • Marketing & Communications must also be contacted if any media will be involved with the fundraiser.
  • If flyers are posted on campus, they must be removed immediately following the event. Flyers may only be posted on bulletin boards and may not be taped on walls, in elevators, in restrooms, on fixtures, on doors, or existing signage.
  • The space in which the fundraising event was held must be left in the same condition as it was found. Any cost incurred by the Medical Center/College of Medicine as a result of the event will be assessed to the group.

Permission may be denied to fundraise on Medical Center/College property to any group or organization that does not comply with the guidelines and regulations. Class leaders and student organization officers are responsible for ensuring that fundraisers follow the guidelines and University policy.

Fundraising approval

All fundraising requests must be submitted via the Fundraising Request Form. All submissions must be received two weeks before the fundraiser. The submitted form is reviewed by the Student Assembly and the student organization will be notified via email of their approval status.

Each request must follow the above guidelines and include the following information:

  • Primary contact person’s name and email (a recognized student organization officer must submit a request).
  • Name of the group requesting the fundraiser.
  • Details about the fundraising event (including date, location of the fundraiser, a description of what the fundraiser is benefiting, and description of the fundraiser). If an external vendor is being used, you must include the vendor’s name.
  • Explain how the event/benefiting organization relates to the University or Hospital’s mission of education, research, and health care.

See the student fundraising guidelines policy in the policy portal here (ePass login required).

Guidelines for Student Organizations - Use of Alcohol Expand answer

Alcoholic beverages may only be served at events involving students if approved prior to the event and must comply with the University’s general provisions for alcoholic beverages. The following approvals are required:

  • Educational Affairs Budget Administrator
  • COM Finance and Business Office
  • COM Dean Exception Approval

Students should submit their request eight weeks prior to the event with justification to studentaffairs@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for consideration. Requests submitted 30 days before the event will not be approved. The request for alcohol at student events should be limited and reserved for those events attended by University leadership, including the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs and the College of Medicine Dean.

The provision or serving of Alcoholic Beverages at all University-Sponsored Events must comply with the following rules:

  • Non-alcoholic beverage alternatives must be available. (This applies even if University funds are not used to purchase Alcoholic Beverages.) All non-alcoholic beverages must comply with the University’s contract with its beverage provider (see Policy AD26 Sale and Serving of Food and Beverages at University Locations).
  • Alcoholic Beverages should not be served or ordered prior to 3 p.m. on a business day (Monday – Friday).
  • Costs for Alcoholic Beverages should not exceed an average of 2 drinks or $25 per person.
  • Top shelf beverages and premium wines are rarely appropriate on University funds.
  • Kegs of beer are never permitted at events on University property.
  • If the event is being held on-campus, permission must be granted to possess/use Alcoholic Beverages on Penn State property per the provisions of University Policy AD18 Possession, Use, and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages.
  • Off campus events where Student Organization or Class funds will be used to purchase food such as appetizers and students will be purchasing alcohol using personal funds requires permission per the provisions of University Policy AD18 Possession, Use, and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages.
  • Serving Alcoholic Beverages must comply with University Risk Management guidelines (See Addendum) to assure the safety of those attending, even if the Alcoholic Beverages are not purchased with University funds.

Disclaimer: The University assumes no responsibility for any liability of any nature arising from the possession, use, distribution, and/or sale of alcoholic beverages on University property or at any University-Sponsored Event pursuant to any permission for such use, possession, distribution, and/or sale granted by the University under Policy AD18 Possession, Use, and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages. Any person, not in the course of the University employment, receiving permission or approval under Policy AD18 Possession, Use, and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages to possess, use, distribute, or sell alcoholic beverages on University property or at any University-Sponsored Event shall indemnify and hold harmless the University from any liability, damage, or claim, including counsel fees, arising from such possession, use, distribution and/or sale, pursuant to a written agreement in form and substance satisfactory to the Risk Management Office.

See the student fundraising guidelines policy in the policy portal here (ePass login required).

Leave of Absence Procedure Expand answer

Purpose

The purpose of the LOA is to allow students to interrupt continuous enrollment for no more than 2 consecutive semesters or 1 calendar 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 academic reasons.
  • LOA requests will be granted or denied, at the discretion of the College of Medicine’s
    Associate Dean for Student Affairs or their designee.
  • LOA requests for medical students will not be granted for a period in excess of 2 consecutive semesters or 1 calendar year. Any request for an initial leave in excess of one year or extensions of a current leave that would exceed one year must be approved by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or their designee.
  • A student who fulfills the conditions of an approved LOA, may register 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.
  • If at the end of the specified length for the LOA, the student does not notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or their designee in writing of the intentions to resume formal studies within 60 days of return, it will be assumed that the student no longer wishes to continue in medical school and has withdrawn from the College of Medicine.
  • The student will be expected to return to the College of Medicine according to the conditions of the approved leave set forth by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or their designee Students must submit in writing, his/her/their letter of intention to resume formal studies 60 days prior to their anticipated return date.
  • Students requesting a LOA for health reasons must provide a written request from the treating health professional involved in their care at the time the request is made. In addition, re-evaluation by the treating health professional and a fitness for duty confirmation must be received by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or their designee at least 2 weeks prior to resuming studies.  This fitness for duty must include the statement that the student is able from a medical/mental health standpoint to resume studies under usual and customary conditions for students in PSCOM.

Action Steps

  1. If a student desires a leave of absence for any given reason, the student will first discuss the matter with their career and academic advisor.
  2. The student schedules a meeting with Associate Dean for Student Affairs to discuss the LOA. The student must provide a rationale for the LOA. If necessary, support documentation (Medical- i.e. doctor note or Research – mentor) will need to be provided.
  3. 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 by which time the student must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in writing of their intent to return as scheduled. Generally, this is 60 days prior to the scheduled return but may be shortened depending on the length of the leave.
  4. The student is responsible for getting all the signatures required on the LOA form.The Director of Student Affairs (the last required signature) will scan a copy of the completed form for the student for filing. The LOA status will become official when the completed LOA form for the student has been returned to the Registrar. A request for an extension of the leave of absence must be approved by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or their designee. If a student fails to resume their academic program within two 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. The Academic Progress Committee will review the student’s request and make the final decision on the extension of the leave of absence.
  5. The student must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs by the date set in 2b.

Students can view the Leave of Absence Procedure and forms in the policy portal here (ePass login required).

Penn State Code of Conduct Expand answer

The Office of Student Conduct at Penn State 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:

  • Community
  • Discovery
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility

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.

Policy on Student Roles and Employment During Program Enrollment Expand answer

Students are strongly discouraged from paid employment while enrolled in medical school because of the need to focus on their studies in order to be successful in the program.

Students are not required to disclose to the program whether paid employment is taking place. It is expected that the MD Program is the student’s primary responsibility.

View Policy on Student Roles and Employment During Program Enrollment in the policy portal here (ePass login required).

Sexual and/or Gender-Based Harassment and Misconduct Expand answer
Vision Statement on Diversity Expand answer

You can view Penn State College of Medicine’s diversity page to find out more about our ongoing efforts to inculcate diversity, equity and inclusion.

You can also see our mission and vision statements for the student population here.

Curriculum, Assessment and Evaluation

Graduation Requirements (Class of 2024) Expand answer

This updated policy only applies to students in the class of 2024.

The MD degree course of study for all students at Penn State 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.

  • The College of Medicine recognizes that learners in any College of Medicine curriculum options 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 toward the MD degree, there will be learners whose timeframe for progression in learning and professional identify formation will vary from the four-year framework.
  • A student, in consultation with their adviser, who anticipates achieving the educational outcomes of the Penn State College of Medicine MD course of study in a timeframe of less than four years and who wishes to be considered for early graduation, but is not already enrolled in the Hershey Curriculum 3+ track with differentiation into residency, may make such a request to the Competency Progress Committee (CPC). This process involves the following:
    • A comprehensive progress acceleration portfolio, signed off for its veracity by the student’s adviser.
    • This is a comprehensive portfolio completed by the student addressing progression in each of the College of Medicine 10 competencies. It is the responsibility of the student, through portfolio reflection essays and robust evidence, to justify how they have achieved all educational outcomes of the MD degree course of study and why they are qualified to be certified by the COM for early graduation.
    • Thorough review of the portfolio by the CPC and a recommendation by the CPC to the APC to approve early graduation.
    • Decision by the APC to approve early graduation
  • Each of the College of Medicine curriculum options, all approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Medical Education (CUMED), have a typical, yet somewhat flexible, pattern of educational experiences 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 their curriculum choice.

In order to graduate, all Penn State College of Medicine medical students must:

  • Demonstrate achievement of all College of Medicine competencies
  • Complete a formative and summative portfolio and achieve a “meets expectations” designation for all COM competencies on summative portfolio review
  • Pass USMLE 1 and 2CK examinations.
  • Successfully complete all OSCEs/summative patient care skills assessments
  • Successfully complete a Medical Student Research project (does not apply to students in the MD/PhD program)
  • 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 will demonstrate acquisition of competencies through the following educational experiences or an experience designated as comparable by the Vice Dean or their designee:

  • All pre-clerkship courses
  • All courses and clerkships in the core clinical curriculum (i.e., Phase II and CES weeks in Hershey Curriculum; clerkship year in University Park Curriculum)
  • Translating Health Systems Science to the Clinical Setting
  • Transition to Internship
  • One acting internship plus one additional acting internship or critical care rotation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students may substitute a clinical elective for the second acting internship/critical care rotation if a second acting internship/critical care experience is not available in their area of interest. However, students must demonstrate competency in all assessed areas of their first acting internship in order to qualify for this substitution.
  • One Humanities selective
  • Electives
    • Students must complete a minimum of 24 weeks of Phase III electives to enhance their competency-directed progression in learning, professional identity formation and residency preparation
    • Students will complete an acting internship, critical care or other four-week clinical elective with active patient care within five months prior to graduation. This course may fulfill one of the acting internship or elective course expectations.
    • Students participating in the Hershey Curriculum 3+ track who have differentiated into their residencies must complete a Phase I Career Confirmation Elective. Phase II Career Exploration Synthesis electives are waived. For students participating in all Hershey Curriculum 3+ tracks, Phase III-Discovery electives are waived, and these students will complete at least the equivalent of eight weeks of electives.
    • For students in the MD/PhD program, the Phase II course Advanced Translational Medicine: Longitudinal Selective for MD/PhD Students will count toward the Phase III/IV elective requirement.

View the Graduation Requirements policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Graduation Requirements (Class of 2025 and Later) Expand answer

This updated policy only applies to students in the class of 2025 and thereafter.

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 curriculum options will develop along the competency-directed MD course of study through a combination of common and individualized educational experiences.
  • Each of our COM curriculum options, all approved by CUMED, provide a pattern of educational experiences that will facilitate achievement of outcomes of the COM’s competency-directed course of study for the MD degree.

In order to graduate, all Penn State College of Medicine medical students must:

  • Demonstrate achievement of all COM Competencies
  • Pass USMLE 1 and 2CK examinations.
  • Successfully complete all OSCES/summative patient care skills assessments
  • Successfully complete a Medical Student Research project (does not apply to students in the MD/PhD program)
  • 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 will demonstrate acquisition of competencies through the following educational experiences or an experience designated as comparable by the Vice Dean or his/her designee:

  • All Phase I courses. Students in the graduating class of 2027 and thereafter must complete the Phase I Medical Student Research-1 (MSR-1) course requirement.
  • All Phase II clerkships and courses
  • Translating Health Systems Science to the Clinical Setting
  • Transition to Internship
  • 1 Core Acting Internship + 1 Emergency Medicine or Critical Care Rotation at Penn State Health or PSCOM affiliates.
  • 1 Humanities selective
  • Medical Student Research-2 (MSR-2)
  • 24 weeks of Phase III Electives, a minimum of 12 weeks of which must be taken at Penn State Health or PSCOM affiliates.
  • As part of their Phase III coursework, students will complete a minimum of two four-week clinical rotations within five months prior to graduation. The clinical rotations could include an Acting Internship, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine or other four-week clinical electives with active patient care.
  • Students participating in the Hershey Curriculum 3+ track:
    • Must complete a Phase I Career Confirmation Elective.
    • Must complete the equivalent of 8 additional weeks of electives and the remainder of the 24-week elective requirement is waived. Based on extenuating circumstances, students may apply for a waiver of 4 weeks of the 8 weeks of electives through the Associate Dean for Student Affairs which will then be reviewed for approval by the Academic Progress Committee.
  • Students participating in the MD/PhD program:
    • The Medical Student Research courses (MSR-1 and MSR-2) and the Medical Student Research project (MSR) requirements are waived, since they are fulfilled by the PhD portion of their program.
    • MD/PhD students must complete their MD studies in a time period that does not exceed 3 years in Phase I and 4 years in Phases II-III.

View the Graduation Requirements policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Minimum Essential Standards for Matriculation, Promotion and Graduation Expand answer

MD candidates in the College of Medicine must have demonstrable abilities and skills in the areas of perception and observation, communication, motor and tactile function, cognition, and professionalism.

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.

A broad medical education is prerequisite for good patient care and for entry into specialized postgraduate programs.

The goal of Penn State College of Medicine is to prepare students to be competent, caring physicians who have the skills necessary to incorporate contemporary, appropriate healthcare methods and knowledge into their practice, and to adapt to a changing professional environment.  Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to assure that candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of medical training. To be qualified for health sciences programs at the College of Medicine, those individuals must be able to meet both the College’s competency-based standards and the Technical Standards, with or without reasonable accommodation.

The College of Medicine has a societal responsibility to train competent healthcare providers and scientists who demonstrate cultural competency, critical judgment, extensive knowledge, and well-honed technical skills, while considering patient safety to be paramount.  As such, a candidate must have demonstrable abilities and skills in the following five categories: observation, communication, motor function, cognition, and professionalism/social and behavioral skills.  The essential abilities described herein, also referred to as Technical Standards, are required for admission, retention, promotion, and graduation.

Five Key Abilities and Skills

A candidate for the MD degree must have demonstrable abilities and skills of five varieties:

  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Motor/tactile function
  • Cognition
  • Professionalism

Observation

A candidate must be able to:

  • Acquire information from and evaluate images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states.
  • Utilize auditory perception, visual perception and somatic sensation abilities (or their functional equivalents), to observe and accurately acquire information directly from the patient, both at a distance and close at hand, to develop an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Consider written documents, pictorial images, simulators, and computer programs and videos to assimilate large volumes of technically detailed and complex information presented in large group sessions, small group discussions, individual and group learning activities, and individual clinical settings.
  • Process information through observation and respond accordingly in a manner that is consistent, rapid, accurate, and free of bias.

Communication

A candidate must be able to:

  • Communicate effectively, sensitively, and accurately with students, faculty, patients, and all members of the healthcare team.
  • Record examination and diagnostic results clearly, accurately, and efficiently.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills necessary to develop rapport and positive relationships with patients.  Utilize empathic listening to promote openness on issues of concern and sensitivity to the patient.
  • Assess all patients to allow for appropriate, well-focused inquiry.
  • Care for and communicate with, in a non-judgmental way, patients and providers from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, types of illness, and varying cultures.

Motor/Tactile Function

A candidate must be able to:

  • Elicit information from patients by inspection, palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers or their functional equivalents required to perform a physical examination.
  • Execute precise and timely motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.  This requires the coordination of both fine and gross muscular movements, equilibrium, and the use of sight, hearing, and touch, or the functional equivalents.
  • Manipulate the equipment, instruments, apparatus, or tools required to collect and interpret data appropriate to the domain of study, practice, or research.
  • Demonstrate physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study, which may include prolonged periods of sitting or standing, and/or the need to move rapidly from one location to another.

Cognition

A candidate must be able to:

  • Solve problems and think critically, both independently and as part of a team, to develop appropriate products and services (e.g., a treatment plan).  Synthesize information to develop and defend conclusions regarding observations and outcomes.
  • Learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to: classroom instruction; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; simulations and use of computer technology.
  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, memorize, organize, and transmit data concurrently in a multi-task setting wherein a candidate may experience a high level of stress, fatigue, and distraction.
  • Formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical settings and health care systems.
  • Integrate historical, physical, social, and ancillary test data into differential diagnoses and determine the appropriate sequence of events to effect successful treatment for all patients.

Professionalism

A candidate must be able to:

  • Possess the emotional health required for full utilization of intellectual abilities, good judgment, and prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of all patients.
  • Tolerate physically taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical environment.
  • Demonstrate compassion, integrity, non-discrimination, dedication, and honesty in interactions with both colleagues, patients and family. Relate to all patients, families, and colleagues with courtesy, maturity, and respect.
  • Maintain effective, mature, sensitive, and ethically appropriate relationships under all circumstances (e.g. clients, patients, students, faculty, staff and other professionals).
  • Self-assess their ability to function at the level necessary to provide effective and safe care of their patients and/or obtain appropriate professional assistance, should identified impairments compromise patient care and safety.

Students with Disabilities

Penn State’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness extends to students with disabilities. In accordance with federal law and Penn State College of Medicine policy, no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from participation in College of Medicine programs or activities.

The College of Medicine supports students with a wide range of disabilities. We offer great resources and services available for disability support. We will provide supportive solutions to reasonably accommodate students with disabilities.

The Student Advocacy Specialist is available to help navigate barriers encountered in medical school that are caused by disabilities. It is the responsibility of a candidate who seeks reasonable accommodation(s) to contact the Student Advocacy Specialist at disabilityservices@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

For additional information about our disability services, and information related to disabilities, please visit College of Medicine Disabilities Services and Penn State Student Disability Resources.

Contact us

Students with questions about components of our Minimal Essential Standards requirements can contact the Office of Student Affairs at 717-531-4398.

If you have questions about the essential standards in the MD program, please contact us at 717-531-8755 or StudentAdmissions@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

View the Minimum Essential Standards for Matriculation, Promotion and Graduation in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Promotion from the MD Program (Phase I) to the PhD Program and from the PhD Program to the MD Program (Phases II-III) Expand answer

Promotion (hand-off) from the MD Program – Phase I to the PhD Program:

An MD/PhD student is promoted from the MD Program (Phase I) to the PhD Program upon successful completion of all of the following:

  • Passing all Phase I MD courses
  • Passing USMLE Step I within 2 attempts

The student is considered part of the MD Program until all the above has been successfully completed. Until then, the students may not enter their PhD program. If the student does not successfully complete any of the above requirements, the student will follow the policies set forth in MD Program (with the exception that the student must pass Step I within 2 attempts). Failure to meet any of the requirements may result in dismissal from the MD/PhD program. Decisions within the MD Program may affect the student’s status as a joint MD/PhD as well as their status in the MD Program. Students have a total of 3 academic years to complete all Phase I and Step I requirements. If a student has not completed all requirements within 3 academic years, they will be referred to the Academic Progress committee for dismissal from the MD Program.

If an MD/PhD student is dismissed from the MD Program, the student may petition the relevant graduate program committee to enter the PhD program solely.  If the relevant graduate program committee or relevant program director (if there is no committee) approves, the student must take and pass the Qualifying Examination to be admitted to the PhD Program.

If an MD/PhD student is dismissed or chooses to withdraw from either the MD or the PhD portion of the MD/PhD program, the student may petition the Academic Progress Committee or the relevant graduate program committee to enter the MD or PhD program, respectively. For the PhD Program, if approved, the student must take and pass the Qualifying Examination to be admitted to the PhD Program unless they have passed Step 1 of the USMLE.

Promotion from the PhD Program to the MD Program Phase II-III

An MD/PhD student is promoted from the PhD Program to the MD Program (Phase II-III) upon successful completion of all of the following:

  • Successful completion of graduate program requirements
  • Successful completion of a dissertation and acceptance by the University
  • Passing the summative OSCE I and OSCE II (within one calendar year prior to expected reentry to MD program)
  • Successfully passing BMS 802: Clinical Exposure in Translational Research in Medicine

The student is considered part of the PhD Program until all of the above have been successfully completed. Failure to complete the requirements within a reasonable period may require that the trainee take a Leave of Absence (LOA) in order to complete all requirements. Until then, the student may not enroll in any MD Phase II-III clerkships/courses.

MD/PhD students should plan their return to the MD program to coincide with the start of Phase II Transition to Clerkships. Any deviation from this start date must be approved by the Associate Dean for Medical Education, Hershey campus, or their designee. Delayed reentry into the MD program may impact the student’s Phase II and III schedules and graduation timeline.

If the student does not pass the courses or requirements set forth by the PhD Program, the student will follow the policies set forth in PhD Program. Decisions within the PhD Program may affect the student’s status as a joint MD/PhD.

If an MD/PhD student is dismissed from the PhD Program, the student may petition the Academic Progress Committee to re-enter the MD program solely.  This entry into the MD program is not automatic and the decision for entry will be rendered by the Academic Progress Committee based on the student’s academic and professional behavior progress.

If an MD/PhD student chooses to withdraw from the MD/PhD program, the student may petition the Academic Progress Committee or the relevant graduate program committee to enter the MD or PhD program solely, respectively.

Once the student re-enters the MD Program Phase II/III, they will have up to four years from the time of entry to complete all requirements.

View the Policy for Promotion from the MD Program (Phase I) to the PhD Program and from the PhD Program to the MD Program (Phases II-III) in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Responsibilities and Expectations for the Three-Year Accelerated MD Pathway Program (3+ Track) Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine is committed to addressing the national issue of rising student debt. Accelerated pathways that facilitate a student’s achievement of the MD degree in three years can accomplish this goal.  Penn State College of Medicine has received LCME-approval for the 3+ accelerated track, a pathway designed for students who have chosen a specialty either by the time of admission to Penn State College of Medicine or shortly thereafter, which in 3 years, leads to an MD degree and entry in a Penn State Health residency.

Responsibilities and Expectation of the Student

  • Complete all Penn State College of Medicine graduation requirements in a time period consistent with the 3+ curriculum schedule to ensure on time graduation.
  • Complete all components of the specific accelerated pathway curriculum in which the student has matriculated, as developed by each department and approved by CUMED, in a time period consistent with the 3+ curriculum schedule.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic performance and professional behaviors.
  • Meet the expected milestones after each Phase of the curriculum.
  • Meet graduation competencies within the 3-year timeframe.
  • Undertake all actions necessary to enter the Penn State residency program associated with the pathway upon receipt of the Doctor of Medicine degree from the College of Medicine, and if matched, accept the offer and commence participation in the program.

Expectation of the Pathway (department and residency program)

  • Mentoring: Provide mentoring and guidance in support of students’ efforts for successful completion of the medical school graduation requirements in collaboration with the Office of Medical Education and Assistant Dean of Pathways Innovation.
  • Career Confirmation: Provide the appropriate opportunities to assist students to learn about the specialty and confirm he/she/they has selected the right career path.
  • Supportive environment: In collaboration with the Office of Medical Education and Office of Student Affairs, provide a supportive environment to ensure:
    • Students will be well prepared for residency
    • Students maintain wellness and are not experiencing undue stress or burnout
    • Students’ smooth transition in the UME-GME continuum

Deceleration

Opt-Out

  • In instances where a student no longer intends to pursue specialty training in the specialty associated with the pathway, the student may opt-out of the pathway.  The student will provide Penn State College of Medicine with a written notice of intent at least 30 days prior to terminating participation in the pathway.  If the student is in satisfactory academic standing, the student may return to the four-year Penn State College of Medicine medical school program.  If the student is not in satisfactory academic standing, the student’s continued enrollment in the College of Medicine will be determined by the procedures of the Academic Progress Committee (APC).  Upon opt-out by the student, any scholarship amounts awarded will convert to a loan.

Dismissal

  • Should a student have academic or professionalism difficulties or fail to meet academic or professionalism standards during participation in the pathway curriculum, student will be subject to the procedures of APC and the Penn State disciplinary system.  If a student is not in satisfactory academic standing, the student’s continued enrollment in the College of Medicine will be determined by the procedures of the APC.  Should the APC determine that the student may return to the four-year medical school curriculum, any scholarship amounts awarded will convert to a loan.  In the event that the APC recommends dismissal from the College of Medicine and the dean concurs, any scholarship amounts awarded will convert to a loan.

Maintain Satisfactory Academic Performance and/or Professional Behaviors: 

  • Students must achieve a passing grade in all courses.  In the first semester of medical school, students may remediate only one Does Not Meet (DNM) summative exam, including OSCEs. The student must remediate the failing score by taking a remediation exam at the earliest re-assessment time period as stated in the Grading and Remediation Policy. Failure to successfully remediate that exam within the prescribed time period will result in deceleration and transition to the four-year program.  In the remainder of Phase I, Phase II and Phase III, all 3+ students must pass all summative exams, including OSCEs, on the first attempt and pass all courses and clerkships.  Failure to do so will result in deceleration and transition to the four-year program.
  • USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK: All students must take Step 1 prior to entering Phase II and Step 2 CK by March 10 of their graduation year.  Students must pass on the first attempt. Failure of Step 1 or Step 2 CK will result in deceleration.
  • Professional behaviors: Any 3+ student who has displayed a professional behavior lapse will be reviewed by the Competency Progress Committee (CPC) with potential for referral to the Academic Progress Committee (APC). Repeated professional behavior lapses or a single egregious professional behavior lapse (such as cheating, plagiarism, lying) at any time during medical school will result in immediate referral to APC for deceleration or potential dismissal.
  • Competencies and milestones: All 3+ students must meet the expected milestones after each phase of the curriculum. Any milestones not achieved by the scheduled end date of each phase as described on the 3+ curriculum schedule template will be referred to the Academic Progress Committee (APC) where appropriate for consideration of deceleration.

Participate in and complete Penn State Health residency program.

  • In the event a student fails to accept the offer to enter the residency program or fails to complete the residency program for any reason, scholarship amounts awarded will convert to a loan.

Mentoring and Advising

In addition to academic advising done by the Assistant Dean for Pathways Innovation, students will be assigned a departmental career advisor.

Departmental advisor for career advising

  • Meet with student on a regular basis, and more frequently as needed.  Advisor is assigned at the time of matriculation.
  • Integrate student into the department, introducing the student to faculty and residents.
  • Provide opportunities for shadowing and research.
  • Provide supervision, guidance and support during the UME-GME education continuum.

3+ Advisor (Assistant Dean for Pathways Innovation)

  • Monitor and guide the student’s academic progress. Track student’s progress and support student efforts to meet academic standards and graduation requirements.
  • Ensure that the department identify the departmental specialty advisors.
  • Assist the student in navigating the accelerated curriculum and logistics unique to the 3+ pathway.
  • Provide guidance to the student in meeting important timelines such as registration for the residency application and for USMLE exams.
  • Monitor student wellness and the level of stress and refer the student for additional support and resources as needed.
  • Request curricular revisions when necessary.
  • Meet with the student 2-3 times annually and more frequently as needed.

Peer mentoring

To foster the creation of a 3+ community, accelerated students will meet as a group three times a year for peer support and mentoring.  The Assistant Dean for Pathways Innovation will participate, and Directors and faculty of all accelerated pathways are invited to attend these events.

Students of an individual accelerated pathway will meet quarterly with their peers, the Director and Faculty of the associated department of that pathway.

Monitoring Student Progress

The Competency Progress Committee (CPC) will monitor and track student progress, in conjunction with the Assistant Dean for Pathway Innovation.

View the Responsibilities and Expectations for the Three-Year Accelerated MD Pathway Program (3+ Track) in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Formative Assessment by Mid-Point Expand answer

Each medical student must be provided with formal formative feedback early enough during each required course or clerkship to facilitate students’ ability to measure their progress in learning, identify strengths, and address areas of weakness in order to meet and exceed our program competencies.

For Phase I courses that are 4 weeks or more in length, course directors must provide formative assessment by the midpoint of the course. Formative feedback in Phase I courses can be through formative quizzes, formative examinations, or other methods that provide students with feedback on his/her/their performance.

For Phases II-III clerkships and acting internships, course/clerkship directors must insure that formative feedback is provided to each student by the midpoint of the course/clerkship.

View the Formative Assessment by Mid-Point policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Grading and Remediation in the MD Curriculum Expand answer

Definitions Associated with Grading in Courses/Clerkships

Below are definitions associated with grading. See “Letter Grades” for the policy related to the final letter grades for transcript purposes.

  • Meets Expectations: Student meets all competencies within a course and course.
  • Does Not Meet (DNM) or Identified Deficiency (ID): Student does not meet requirements in one or more competencies within a course or clerkships. DNM is typically used for Phase I courses, and ID is typically used for Phase II and III courses. Any DNM or ID must be successfully remediated on the first attempt. See remediation policy below.
  • Borderline: Student met minimum requirements, usually in the area of Knowledge for Practice. This is not an official grade but a signal of a student’s potentially weaker fund of knowledge.
  • Deferred (DF): If a student is prevented (due to extreme circumstances beyond the student’s control) from completing one or more requirements on time in a course or clerkship, the student must request from the course or clerkship director to defer their grade. If approved, the student must work with the course or clerkship director to complete the outstanding requirements and within a timeline that is determined by the course or clerkship director in conjunction with the Office of Evaluation and Assessment, not to exceed 10 weeks following the end of the course or clerkship. A student must request the deferment before the requirement is due. In emergency situations where this is not possible, the student must request the deferment as soon as they are able. Once the requirement(s) is(are) completed, the appropriate grade will be indicated on the transcript. If the requirement(s) is(are) not completed within the timeline determined by the course or clerkship director and approved by the assessment office (unless a documented ongoing illness prevents the student from completing the requirements within this time-frame), the deferred grade will be automatically changed to a Fail (F). Students with a DF will not be allowed to move to the next Phase of their training (including graduation).
  • Withdrawal (W) = Student withdrew from the course/clerkship prior to the final exam/summative exam. See Penn State Senate Policy 56-30. Note – this is not a grade, but a designation. A withdrawal may have financial implications.
  • No Grade (NG): If an instructor does not submit a grade for a student by the grade-reporting deadline and a deferred grade was not requested and approved, the symbol NG (no grade) appears on the student’s transcript until a grade is submitted. See Penn State Senate Policy 48-50.
  • Never Attended (NA) = Student never attended and did not officially withdraw from the course. Note – this is not a final grade but a designation.

Grades and Grade Points

Below indicates the official grades in Phases I-III along with the grade-point equivalents for purposes of financial aid and the transcript.

Phase I: Grading is Pass/Fail.

  • Pass (P): Successful completion of all course requirements (Grade-point equivalent = 4.00)
  • Fail (F): Failure to meet all course requirements (Grade-point equivalent = 0.00)
  • In courses that include anatomy lab and anatomy teaching components, students must score a Pass with a combined total of 70% or more on the overall combined anatomy written/practical assessments. If they do not meet that standard, the same policies outlined below will remain in effect in reference to the remediation policy.

Phase II and III: Grading is Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail

  • Honors (H) = Performance in course or clerkship is outstanding, far exceeding all course or clerkship requirements (Grade point equivalent = 4.00)
  • High Pass (HP) = Performance in course or clerkship is substantially above expectations for clerkship or course requirements, but not qualifying for honors (Grade-point equivalent = 3.00)
  • Pass (P) = Performance in course or clerkship meets requirements (Grade-point equivalent = 2.00)
  • Fail (F) = Failure to meet all course or clerkship requirements (Grade-point equivalent = 0.00)

Remediation in Phase I

Hershey campus students:

I. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency: If a student earns a DNM in one course during a semester:

  1. The student must take a remediation exam at the earliest re-assessment time period
    1. For any year 1 (Phase I) course in which final grades are released before winter break: Immediately after Winter Break as determined by the Office of Evaluation and Assessment.
    2. For any year 1 (Phase I) course in which final grades are released after winter break During the summer as determined by the Office of Evaluation and Assessment.
    3. For any year 2 (Phase 1) course: At the end of the Fall II semester and before taking Step 1, as determined by the Office of Evaluation and Assessment.
  2. If the student successfully passes the remediation exam
    1. The student may continue into the next semester and the transcript will reflect a grade of Pass for the course.
  3. If the student does not successfully pass the remediation exam
    1. The student will earn a Fail for the course, which will be reflected on the transcript, and the student will be recommended to the APC for a pause in Phase I studies via a leave of absence (LOA) or elective coursework.
    2. Following the pause, the student can repeat the course the following year and if successful, continue their course work.
    3. Upon repeating the course, if the student earns a Meets and successfully meets all aspects of the course, the transcript will reflect a Fail for the first course and a Pass for the repeat course. The student may continue with the remaining courses.
    4. If the student earns a DNM and/or fails any aspect of the course on repeat, the student will be referred to the APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

For any Competency Domain other than Knowledge for Practice (PC, PBLI, ICS, PB, SPB, HH): If a student earns a DNM in any competency domain other than Knowledge for Practice in one course during a semester:

  1. Depending on the nature of the issue, the student may have the opportunity to remediate the DNM through successful completion of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) in the next course.
    1. If successful, the student may continue to progress and the transcript will reflect a grade of Pass for the course.
    2. If they do not successfully complete their PIP in the next course, the student will earn a Fail for the course, which will be reflected on the transcript, and the student will be recommended to the APC for a pause in Phase I studies via a leave of absence (LOA) or elective coursework.
    3. Following the pause, the student can repeat the course the following year and if successful, continue their course work.
  2. If the issue is egregious, the student will be recommended to APC for consideration of dismissal.

II. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency Domain: If a student earns a DNM in two or more courses during a semester:

  1. The student will be recommended to the APC for a pause in Phase I studies via a leave of absence (LOA) or elective coursework.
    1. During the pause period, the student must take and pass a remediation exam for each course they earned a DNM.
    2. All remediation exams for each course must be taken with 6 months following the start of the pause. The Office of Evaluation and Assessment will oversee the remediation process, including administration dates for remediation exams.
    3. If all exams are not taken within 6 months following the start of the pause, the student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.
  2. If the student successfully passes the remediation exam for each of the courses:
    1. The student will be encouraged (but not required) to audit each of the courses in which they initially earned a DNM when they re-enter Phase I after their pause. The student should check with the bursar for tuition and fees that may apply.
  3. If the student earns a DNM on one of the remedial exams, but is successful in other:
    1. The student will earn a Fail for that course which will be reflected on the transcript.
    2. The student will repeat the course in its entirety the following year. Concurrently, the student will be encouraged to audit each of the course for which the student initially earned a DNM. The student should check with the bursar for tuition and fees that may apply.
  4. If the student earns a DNM on repeat of a course:
    1. The student will be referred to the APC for consideration of dismissal.

For any Competency Domain other than Knowledge for Practice (PC, PBLI, ICS, PB, SPB, HH): If a student earns a DNM in any competency domain other than Knowledge for Practice in two or more courses during a semester:

  1. Depending on the nature of the issue, the student may have the opportunity to remediate both of the DNMs through successful completion of a PIP in the following courses.
    1. If successful for both, the student may continue to progress and the transcript will reflect a grade of Pass for both courses.
    2. If the student does not successfully complete their PIP for one of the courses, they will earn a grade of fail for the course, which will be reflected on the transcript, and the student will be recommended to the APC for a pause in Phase I studies via a leave of absence (LOA) or elective coursework.
    3. If the student does not successfully complete their PIP for both of the courses, they will earn a grade of Fail for both courses which will be reflected on the transcript and be referred to the APC for consideration of dismissal.
  2. If the issue(s) are egregious, the student will be recommended to APC for consideration of dismissal.

III. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency Domain: If a student earns a DNM in 3 or more courses during the entirety of Phase I:

  1. The student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

For any Competency Domain other than Knowledge for Practice (PC, PBLI, ICS, PB, SPB, HH): If a student earns a DNM in any competency domain other than Knowledge for Practice in three or more courses during the entirety of Phase I;

  1. The student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal

University Park campus students:

I. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency: If a student earns a DNM on one summative exam during a semester within PS 1, 2, or 4:

  1. The student must remediate the DNM by taking a remediation exam at the earliest re-assessment time period:
    1. For PS1: Immediately after Winter Break
    2. For PS2: During the summer as determined by the Office of Medical Education at University Park.
    3. For PS4: At the end of the semester and before taking Step 1, as determined by the Office of Medical Education at University Park.
  2. If the student successfully passes the remediation exam
      1. The student may continue into the next semester and the transcript will reflect a grade of Pass for the course.
  3. If the student does not successfully pass the remediation exam
    1. The student will earn a Fail for the course, which will be reflected on the transcript, and the student will be recommended to the APC for a pause in Phase I studies via a leave of absence (LOA) or elective coursework.
    2. Following the pause, the student can repeat the course the following year and if successful, continue to take the remaining courses.
  4. Upon repeating the course, if the student earns a meets and successfully passes all other aspects of the course, the transcript will reflect a Fail for the first course and a Pass for the repeat course. The student may continue with the remaining courses.
  5. If the student earns a DNM on the remediation exam, the student will earn a Fail for the course which will be reflected on the transcript and will be referred to the APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

For any Competency Domain other than Knowledge for Practice (PC, PBLI, ICS, PB, SPB, HH): If a student earns a DNM in any competency domain other than Knowledge for Practice in a course during a semester:

  1. Depending on the nature of the issue, the student may have the opportunity to remediate the DNM through successful completion of a PIP in the next course.
    1. If successful, the student may continue to progress and the transcript will reflect a grade of Pass for the course.
    2. If they do not successfully complete their PIP in the next course, the student will earn a Fail for the course, which will be reflected on the transcript, and the student will be recommended to the APC for a pause in Phase I studies via a leave of absence (LOA) or elective coursework.
    3. Following the pause, the student can repeat the course the following year and if successful, continue their course work.
  2. If the issue is egregious, the student will be recommended to APC for consideration of dismissal.

II. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency: If a student earns a DNM on two summative exams during a semester within PS 1, 2, or 4:

  1. The student will be recommended to the APC for a pause in Phase I studies via a leave of absence (LOA) or elective coursework.
    1. During the pause period, the student must take and pass a remediation exam for each summative exam they earned a DNM.
    2. All remediation exams for each course must be taken with 6 months following the start of the pause. The Office of Medical Education at University Park will oversee the remediation process, including administration dates for remediation exams.
    3. If all exams are not taken within 6 months following the start of the pause, the student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.
  2. If the student successfully passes both remediation exams:
      1. The transcript will reflect a pass for the course(s)
  3. If the student successfully passes one of the remedial exams, but earns a DNM on the other:
    1. The student will earn a Fail for the course(s), which will be reflected on their transcript.
    2. The student will repeat in the course in its entirety the following year.
  4. If the student earns a failing grade on repeat of a course:
    1. The student will be referred to the APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

For any Competency Domain other than Knowledge for Practice (PC, PBLI, ICS, PB, SPB, HH): If a student earns a DNM in any competency domain other than Knowledge for Practice in two or more courses during the entirety of Phase I (PS1, PS2, PS4);

  1. The student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal

III. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency: If a student earns a DNM on 3 summative exams across PS1, PS2, and PS4:

  1. The student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

Remediation in Phase II and III

Hershey and University Park students:

I. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency: If a student earns a failing score on a NBME shelf/customized exam on first attempt:

  1. The student must remediate the exam by taking a (one) remediation exam at a time specified by the clerkship director and/or the Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment. Following notification of an NBME shelf/customized exam failure, the student will complete the clerkship/course in which they are currently enrolled and then will be enrolled in the 4-week Intensive Review of Medical Knowledge Course or a non-credit required 4-week remediation period, during which a remediation NBME shelf/customized exam will be administered. The remediation exam must occur within 12 weeks of receiving the prior failing NBME shelf/customized exam score.
  2. If the student successfully passes the remediation exam:
    1. The student may continue their Phase II coursework.
    2. The transcript will reflect a Pass (their highest grade possible on remediation is a Pass).
  3. If the student does not successfully pass the remediation exam:
    1. The student will earn a Fail for the course, which will be reflected on the transcript.
    2. The student will be required to repeat the clerkship in full and earn at least a Pass grade.
    3. The student must pass all clerkships before they can be promoted to Phase III.

II. For any Competency Domain other than Knowledge for Practice (PC, PBLI, ICS, PB, SPB, HH): If a student earns an ID in any competency domain other than Knowledge for Practice:

  1. Depending on the egregiousness of the ID, the student may be allowed to remediate the ID through remediation activities as designated by the clerkship director, such as additional clinical rotations, etc.
  2. If the student successfully remediates the ID on first attempt, the remediation of the ID will be noted in the OASIS gradebook, indicating that the student remediated the ID. The ID will not be noted on the transcript.
  3. If a student earns an ID in 2 or more areas (including Knowledge for Practice) within a clerkship, the student will earn a Fail in the course/clerkship and be required to repeat it. This will be reported on the transcript.
  4. If a student earns an ID in more than one clerkship in a competency domain other than Knowledge for Practice, the student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

III. For the Knowledge for Practice Competency: If a student earns a failing score on 2 NBME shelf/customized exam on first attempt across clerkships or if a student earns a failing score on an NBME in a clerkship they are repeating:

  1. The student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

IV. For any Competency Domain (KP, PC, PBLI, ICS, PB, SPB, HH): If a student earns an ID in two or more areas other than Knowledge for Practice across clerkships:

  1. The student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

V. If the student earns a failing score on OSCE III on first attempt, the student must participate in remediation activities.

  1. If the student successfully passes the remediation OSCE III:
    1. The student may continue their Phase III coursework.
    2. The MSPE will reflect a passing grade for OSCE III.
  2. If the student does not successfully pass the OSCE III remediation exam:
    1. The student will earn a Fail for the OSCE III which will be reflected on the MSPE/transcript.
    2. The student will be referred to APC for consideration of dismissal from Penn State College of Medicine.

Dismissal from the College of Medicine

Below are some examples of potential reasons that a student may be considered for dismissal from the College of Medicine. This is listed by Phase of the curriculum. This is not an exhaustive list:

Phase I: A student will be considered for dismissal for any of the following (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Failing three summative or end of course exams in Phase I (in first or second year)
  • Earning a DNM for anything other than Knowledge for Practice in 3 courses on the first attempt of the courses in Phase I (in either first or second year for Hershey), or 2 courses for University Park.
  • Earning a failing grade in a course on second attempt of the course.
  • Not meeting competency in professional behaviors by committing ongoing or egregious professional behaviors.

Phases II-III: A student will be considered for dismissal for any of the following (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Earning an ID and/or fail grade on two or more clerkships.
  • Earning a failing grade in a course/clerkship on second attempt of the course/clerkship
  • Earning an ID in more than one clerkship
  • Committing ongoing or egregious professional behaviors.
  • Failing two NBME exams on first attempt.

USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK: A student will be considered for dismissal for any of the following:

  • Failing Step 1 three times
  • Failing Step 2 CK three times

View the Grading and Remediation in the MD Curriculum policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Grade Mediation & Adjudication Expand answer

Based on the Penn State Faculty Senate Policy 47-20 on grades, as well as Penn State’s Academic Administrative Policies G-10.

As stated in Penn State University Senate Policy 47-20, the basis for grades is the course or clerkship director’s “professional judgment of scholastic achievement.”

On rare occasions, a disagreement may arise in the assignment of a grade for an individual item or a final grade between the student and the course/clerkship director. If there is such disagreement, it is expected that the course/clerkship director and the student will try to work out any disagreements. The following guidelines govern the grade appeals process:

  • Within five business days after posting of the final course grade, the student must submit written communication, via pennstatehealth email account, to the course/clerkship director, indicating 1) The reason(s) for the grade appeal, 2) A request to meet to review the disputed grade
  • During the meeting, the course requirements and grading policies and the student’s performance will be reviewed.
  • Within 5 business days of the meeting, the course/clerkship director will inform the student of the decision. The decision may be to maintain the original grade or to change the grade.

If the above fails to resolve the dispute, the student should request a grade mediation from the Vice Dean of Educational Affairs (or his/her designee) who will review and take appropriate action. As per Penn State University policy G-10 (Grade Mediation and Adjudication), “Some examples for a legitimate disagreement leading to mediation could include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. The instructor did not inform the student of the basis for calculation of grades as required in 47-20.
  2. The instructor did not calculate the student’s grade for an assignment or in the course in accordance with the instructor’s stated policy for calculating grades.
  3. There is an error in the computation of the grade that was not corrected.
  4. The student, through no fault of their own, was not provided with the same opportunity to complete the requirements for the course in terms, for example, of time, access to course or lab materials, or access to the instructor as the other students.”

As per Penn State policy G-10 (Grade Mediation and Adjudication), “It is important that grade mediation cannot be used to overturn the instructor’s professional judgement (i.e., believing that a piece of work deserves a better grade is not, in itself, sufficient grounds for an adjudication request.).”

Any student wishing to appeal their grade to the Vice Dean of Educational Affairs must fill out a Grade Adjudication Petition Form (PDF download via undergrad.psu.edu). The Vice Dean will follow Penn State University Policy G-10 (Grade Mediation and Adjudication) including that the petition can be submitted any time during the semester but no later than ten weeks following the submission of the final grade in the course. and that the petition must provide clear evidence that the assignment of the grade was based upon factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor.

The decision of the Vice Dean for Educational Affairs will be final.

See the policy for grade mediation and adjudication in the policy portal here. (ePass login required).

Grade Timelines Expand answer

All final course and clerkship grades must be submitted and available to the students within 6 weeks after completion of the course or clerkship.

See grade timelines information in the policy portal here. (ePass login required).

Extended Directed Study Program Expand answer

The MD degree course of study for all students at Penn State 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
      1. the Director of Finance in the Office of Medical Education who will manage the tuition process;
      2. the registrar who will ensure that the student is on active status and coursework included on the transcript;
      3. the Associate Dean for Medical Education and
      4. 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 adviser 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 adviser, 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
      1. the Director of Finance in the Office of Medical Education who will manage the tuition process;
      2. the registrar who will ensure that the student is on active status and coursework included on the transcript;
      3. the Director for Medical Student Research;
      4. the Associate Dean for Medical Education and
      5. 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.

Fees

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:

  • Directed 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 Extended Directed Study Program policy and the Extended Directed Study form in the policy portal here (ePass login required)

USMLE Student Requirements Expand answer

All medical students in the College of Medicine must take and pass Step 1 and Step 2—Clinical Knowledge (CK) of the USMLE in order to graduate.

Informational materials and applications for the USMLE can be found at their website. The site contains application materials, the USMLE Bulletin of Information and sample test materials.

The following applies to all medical students except as indicated:

  • Students in the Penn State College of Medicine program are eligible to take USMLE Step I exam after the successful completion of Phase I coursework.
  • Students in the Hershey curriculum must take USMLE Step 1 exam prior to Phase II coursework, except for Transition to Clerkships and the Phase II Intensive Review of Medical Knowledge elective course, which may be taken prior to completing USMLE Step 1. Hershey curriculum students from the class of 2024 and the class of 2025 will take USMLE Step 1 after completion of Phase II course work. Students in the University Park curriculum must take USMLE Step 1 after completion of all Phase I and Phase II coursework and must take USMLE Step 1 prior to Phase III coursework, with the exception of Translating Health Systems Science to the Clinical Setting course, which may be taken prior to completing USMLE Step 1.
  • Students are provided a study period of up to eight weeks for USMLE-1. By the end of the eight-week study period, students must take USMLE-1. Students whose practice scores are not within passing range as determined by review of performance on practice exams by the Director of the Cognitive Skills Program, or have other compelling, extenuating circumstances to delay at the end of this period, may request up to a four-week extension for study through the Associate Dean for Medical Education at Hershey or University Park respectively. A committee will determine whether an extension should be granted. Their decision is final. Students who require additional study time beyond this extension must take a leave of absence until USMLE Step 1 is passed with a timeline not to exceed 6 weeks. Students who do not take USMLE-1 within these timelines will be referred to Academic Progress Committee who may grant an extension for compelling extenuating circumstance or may consider the student for dismissal. Students in the 3+ track who do not take and pass USMLE-1 within an 8-week time-frame following Phase I will be referred to Academic Progress Committee and considered for deceleration to the 4-year program.  Graduation timeline may be impacted for the student requiring a leave of absence.
  • For students in the class of 2025 and thereafter, USMLE Step 2 CK must be taken no later than August 15th of their graduation yea However, students who are enrolled in the 3+ early entry to residency track must take the exam no later than March 10th of their graduation year.  Students who have extenuating circumstances may request an extension for USMLE-2CK study through the Associate Dean for Medical Education at Hershey or University Park respectively. A committee will determine whether an extension should be granted. Their decision is final.
  • Students who are unsuccessful in their attempt to pass USMLE-1 or USMLE-2CK, must go on a leave of absence, not to exceed two months for each attempt. Students who do not take USMLE-1 or USMLE-2 within these timelines will be referred to Academic Progress Committee who may grant an extension for compelling extenuating circumstances or consider the student for dismissal.
  • Students must pass USMLE-1 within three attempts and USMLE-2CK within three attempts or they are referred to the Academic Progress Committee and considered for dismissal from the College of Medicine.

The student’s schedule may be altered if a student has failed any step of the USMLE in consultation with the respective Associate Dean for Medical Education.

View the USMLE Student Requirements in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Narrative Assessment of Medical School Performance Expand answer

Narrative assessment, according to the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), is defined as “written comments from faculty that assess student performance and achievement in meeting specific objectives of a course or clerkship, such as professionalism, clinical reasoning.” Narrative assessment must be provided in all required courses and clerkships of 4 weeks or longer in which students work in faculty facilitated, small groups of 12 or less for a substantive period of the course or clerkship.

View the narrative description information in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Phase I

Required Courses (Phase I) Expand answer
Attendance (Phase I) (Hershey and University Park) Expand answer

Introduction

At Penn State College of Medicine, students are considered junior colleagues. Preparation, participation, attendance, and timeliness are fundamental professional behaviors and curricular responsibilities that are expected of all students. On-time attendance and full participation is required in all instances where students collaborate with other students in the learning experience or in which students actively participate with patients.

Four types of absences are recognized:

  • General Absences
  • Military Absences
  • Religious Absences
  • Absences related to official quarantine and isolation for communicable respiratory illness

Out of respect for others engaged in the learning experience, the student must discuss the absence with all faculty and students involved (e.g., PBL group (Hershey campus), IQ group (UP campus), course director). The student should ask the other students/facilitator how they can help with the group’s work before or following the absence. Please note that neither the faculty nor other students can excuse a student from attendance. See information regarding requesting an absence below.

General Absences: We expect you to be at all required learning sessions. For important life events (see below), students are permitted to take up to two (2) absences each semester of Phase I (2 in the first semester of MS1, 2 in the second semester of MS1, and 2 in the first semester of MS2). General absence days must be requested seven (7) business days in advance. An absence due  to personal/family illness, emergency doctor’s appointment for yourself or your family, or a family emergency such as serious illness or death of a family member, must be submitted the the day of the absence, or as soon as safely possible.

All absences must be requested using the Absence Request Form .If you are experiencing a serious illness or death of a family member, please also contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Failure to report an unexpected absence within 24 hours will be marked as an Unexcused Absence. Per policy, campus security must be informed about any student who is unaccounted for more than 24 hours so that a search can be initiated to confirm that the student is safe.

Students with unplanned absences for health-related issues are not expected to participate in course experiences when they are ill and should not report to their courses if they are symptomatic with a communicable respiratory illness. Additional sick days in excess of the two general absences per semester will require a doctor’s note for approval by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

Military Absence: An absence due to military service must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting an Absence Request Form and receiving approval.

Religious Absence: An absence due to a religious holiday must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting an Absence Request Form and receiving approval.

Other Absences: For absences related to official quarantine and isolation for communicable illness, the Office of Student Health informs Student Affairs of any absences due to official quarantine and/or isolation due to communicable illness. Students are asked to submit an absence request form to ensure that Student Affairs is alerted.

For absences regarding conference attendance, students must use discretionary days to attend conferences.  A student will be granted an exception to a black out only if they will be performing a podium presentation, or panel presentation, or need to be present in a working committee

General Absences

Please note there are important limitations to requesting general absence days:

  1. General absence days must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting an Absence Request Form.
  2. Students may not extend a holiday or vacation immediately before or after the holiday or vacation.  However, certain compelling situations may require extending a holiday break, and these will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for Hershey based students or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, University Park, for University Park based students. Students must appropriately plan their travel to allow for travel delays (e.g. air travel) in order to arrive on time for learning sessions.
  3. A “Black Out” day is defined as an educational activity whose learning outcomes cannot be recreated. Such sessions will not be excused unless there are extenuating circumstances. These sessions include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Hershey Campus
      • OSCEs
      • Simulation Center Sessions
      • Interprofessional education events
      • In-person Exams
      • Neurology and Psychiatry Day
      • Transition to Clerkship Sessions
      • Group presentation days
    • University Park Campus
      • Standardized patient sessions
      • Anatomy sessions
      • In-person Exams

Weather-related Absences

The College of Medicine is open unless there is an official announcement of closure from the Dean. Unless the College of Medicine has a weather-related closure, students are expected to attend all required learning sessions. Students’ safety is of paramount importance. Students who cannot travel safely to or from their learning sessions due to inclement weather must follow the procedures for a general absence and the request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. These absences might not be considered part of the general absences, depending on the situation.

Consequences of Unexcused Absences or Repeated Tardiness

Unexcused absences or patterns of consistent tardiness will be considered as lapses in professional behavior. Students who have unapproved absences or tardiness for a given activity will earn a final course grade of “Does Not Meet Expectations.” Given the activity, students must contact the course director and determine how to remediate the DNM.

Contacts

For any questions about absence requests, please contact:

See attendance information on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Phase I Scheduled Time Guidelines Expand answer

Scheduled required class activities, averaged over the course of the academic year, should not exceed 28 hours per week.

Students in the HC3+ parallel track may spend an additional six hours of required parallel track coursework per week.

Additional activities may be assigned to be completed outside of class time. The total time of all required in class and out of class activities should not exceed 34 hours per week averaged over the course of the academic year.

View the Phase I Scheduled Time guidelines on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Phases II and III

Accelerated Track Acting Internship and Phase III Course Policy Expand answer

Students may progress to Phase III courses including Acting Internships according to the planned curriculum of the Accelerated Program. The requirement to complete Phase II prior to taking Phase III courses will be waived. The student’s readiness to enter advanced courses will be assessed and their performance monitored.

View the Accelerated Track AI and Phase III Course Policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Alternative Educational or Clinical Site Assignment Expand answer

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 of site due to compelling circumstances should make a request in writing to the Assistant Dean for Clinical Learning Environment (Hershey students) or the Associate Dean for Medical Education at University Park (University Park students). The respective 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 Courses (Acting Internships, Electives and Humanities Selectives)

Phase III provides flexibility in course choices and students may make changes in courses 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. All course changes are reviewed and signed off by the student’s Society Advisor Coach. Students who require a change within that 4-week time window due to unforeseen circumstances or need to fulfill an educational requirement should make a request in writing to the Director of UME-GME Transition (Hershey students) or the Associate Dean for Medical Education at University Park (University Park students). The respective Dean will weigh the circumstances of the student against available resources and potential impact on other students. The resolution might be a change in the course or no change.

View the full alternate educational site or clinical assignment policy in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Approval of Away Electives Expand answer

Purpose

To provide guidance regarding students taking an elective under the auspices of another medical school, institution or organization.

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

  1. 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 Registrar’s Office at least one month prior to the beginning of the rotation.
  2. Established electives at affiliate institutions of the Penn State College of Medicine will be automatically approved.
  3. For non-LCME electives at any other site, students must complete the “Away Elective Form” and submit to the Registrar’s Office at least one month prior to the beginning of the rotation. Students must submit the following:
    • Course Description. A detailed description of the elective educational experience, including a statement detailing the number of hours the student will spend weekly in clinical work. Electives must include a minimum of 40 hours of work per week.
    • Course goals and objectives.
    • Description of assessments used to determine grade.
    • Documentation of the course director or faculty responsible for educational experiences and evaluation at that site.
    • A letter from the course director or supervisor attesting that he/she has reviewed the required documentation as representative of the requested elective. It is the responsibility of the student to gather the required documentation. The course description, goals and objectives should come from the organizers of the elective.

For the non-LCME rotations, all materials must be reviewed by the Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment (Hershey campus) or the Associate Dean for Medical Education (University Park campus) prior to approval.

Assessment

The registrar of Penn State College of Medicine tracks receipt of performance assessments of the student from outside away electives. If the performance assessment is not received within a 4-week time frame, the registrar communicates with the outside institution and the College of Medicine’s Assistant Dean for the Clinical Learning Environment is contacted. All grades must be assigned within a six-week time frame.

Evaluation

Students complete an away elective evaluation through the College of Medicine course evaluation system. The Office of Evaluation and Evaluation (OEA) tracks evaluations of away rotations.

Applicability

This policy applies to students taking an elective under the auspices of another medical school, institution or organization.

View the full away elective approval document in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Attendance (Clinical Phase) (Hershey and University Park) Expand answer

All requests for absences should be initiated by submitting a request through the absence request form. The form can be found in the Phase II or III Events and Resources Canvas pages and the link below.

View the absence request form here

Planned Absences for issues not related to health, religious observances or residency interviews

Students with requests for approval of planned absences are expected to make requests to the clerkship/course director at least four weeks prior to the proposed absence date, so that schedules may be adjusted appropriately whenever possible.

Approval of absences is at the discretion of the clerkship/course director(s). If a student has compelling circumstances and an absence is not approved, they may request an exception by the Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment or respective Associate Deans for Medical Education.

  • Students will receive no more than one day of excused absence from any two-week elective, two days of excused absence from any four-week clerkship, and 3 days of excused absence from any 6-week clerkship. Students enrolled in any of the longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) options will receive no more than two days of excused absence from any one of the clerkships within the LIC.
  • Excused absences may include attending the wedding of an immediate family member (parents or siblings) or those in which the student is an integral part of the wedding party (attending weddings under other circumstances must be discussed with, and approved by, the clerkship director and/or the Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment or respective Associate Deans for Medical Education). Excused absences may be requested to attend scientific conferences for which the student is orally presenting at the conference (including an oral presentation of a poster) or receiving an award, or to complete required military service. All such excused absences (including any associated travel time) are subject to the excused absence limits as described in Section 2a.
  • In the event of inclement weather, all students should make every attempt to continue their responsibilities if the hospital or clinic site is open. If the student is unable to travel because of hazardous conditions, they must complete the absence request form AND notify their team members as well as the clerkship director.
  • The College of Medicine recognizes that additional time may be required for residency interviews during the fourth year. Up to five days may be excused from a Phase III four-week elective course for this purpose. If the number of absences exceeds 5 days, the student will need to work with the course director to make up additional time absent beyond 5 days or to reschedule the elective. Acting Internships, by virtue of their intensity and rigor, are not included in this interview-related absence policy, with an excused absence maximum of 2 days. The structure of Humanities selectives necessitates attendance in the weekly/biweekly sessions. Students must discuss interview plans and seek approval for absences with all associated course directors as early as feasible but at least one week prior to the interview date.   If a student is offered an unexpected interview opportunity after this deadline, the request for an excused absence must be discussed immediately with the course director. Students should plan interview time accordingly, and should not expect that multiple excused absences for residency interviews will be allowed during Phase III required courses. The student is expected to complete all assignments, shifts, clinical encounters and assessments in the respective course/clerkship and meet course objectives in order to pass the course.
  • Students with excused absences in excess of the amounts stated above will work with the course/clerkship director to determine additional clinical responsibilities needed for successful completion of the course/clerkship in order to receive a final grade. All unexcused absences require remediation prior to distribution of grades for the course and may result in an incomplete or failure for the rotation, as well as submission of a professionalism citation.

Absences for health-related issues

  • There may be times when, unexpectedly, students become ill and are unable to participate in the course experiences for some period of time. Students must inform the clerkship director, the faculty attending and team resident, as relevant, as soon as possible. Students who are ill are not expected to participate in course experiences while they are ill; however, because of the importance of the 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/course director as soon as possible after the absence.
  • There may be times when a student needs to access health services, and knows in advance when this will happen.  Such needs for health services are considered approved absences. Absences should be for the minimum time practicable; for example, when possible, the student should attend a scheduled medical appointment and return thereafter, rather than taking off the entire day. Students with planned absences for health related issues must inform the clerkship or course director, in advance, and as soon as possible.  Students are not required to divulge the health issue that requires an absence. Requests for absences because of the need to access health services during clinical duty hours will be approved, but such requests must be submitted to course/clerkship director.  These will be recorded as excused absences.
  • In certain circumstances, a student may need a more prolonged absence than one day of excused absence for health reasons. In such cases, the student should meet with the course/clerkship director, the Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment, or respective Associate Deans for Medical Education to develop a plan to meet course requirements.
  • A student may also need time to care for an ill or hospitalized family member, or to attend the funeral of a family member. In such cases, the student must inform the clerkship director and the clinical team of the absence. Particular situations may require approval from the Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment or respective Associate Deans for Medical Education. In these circumstances, it is very important to discuss the make-up requirements with the clerkship/acting internship director as soon as possible before or after the absence.

Planned absences for religious observance

Requests for absences in order to observe Penn State College of Medicine recognized religious holidays will be approved. Absence will be approved for the religious observance itself and not for associated travel.  In such cases, the absence will not be counted toward the allowable number of absences in a clerkship/course.  Students should discuss such plans with the course/clerkship director as far in advance as possible and no less than four weeks in advance.  The student is expected to complete all assignments, shifts, clinical encounters and assessments in the respective course/clerkship and meet course objectives in order to pass the course.  Therefore, students who anticipate using several days for religious observance within a period of time coinciding with a block course/clerkship should choose rotations that allow completion of all requirements within that period of time and/or meet with the Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment or respective Associate Deans for Medical Education for schedule planning.

Absence reporting

Completing the absence request form will automatically notify the Office of Medical Education, and for Hershey campus students, the course/clerkship director and coordinator. Absentee requests for clinical rotations at the University Park campus and Kaiser Permanente Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship will be processed at those sites.  Once an absence is approved, a student is required to notify their preceptor and team.  If the absence is an emergency or unexpected, the student should complete the absence request form and contact their preceptor and team. Absence requests and absence approvals will be tracked by the Office of Medical Education.

Required sessions

Certain sessions in each clerkship are mandatory; excused absences should not be planned during these sessions and will not be excused. Students should consult the clerkship schedule on OASIS and/or contact the clerkship director to ensure that absences do not occur during these sessions. If there is an unanticipated event or compelling circumstance that requires absence from a session, the student must discuss with the clerkship director and design a plan to make-up the work. Students are expected to report on time to all orientation and examination sessions.

Required sessions may include, but are not limited to:

  •  Onboarding and course orientation activities
  • Offboarding assessments and activities including exams
  • Required formative or summative assessments, such as OSCE or EKG sessions
  • Patients and Sciences III (Marsh Rounds) for University Park students

In addition to mandatory course sessions, all students are required to attend mandatory courses and events as prescribed by the Office of Medical Education.

Examples include:

  • Transition to Internship course
  • Translating Health Systems course

All students will be responsible for any session material missed during an absence.

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 on time to all clinical assignments, whether in clinic, hospital wards, operating suites or lecture rooms. Students who are repeatedly late or absent from assigned conferences or clinical activities may receive an incomplete or failing grade for the rotation, and/or a professionalism citation.

View the full Clinical Phase attendance policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Clinical Supervision of Medical Students Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine recognizes and supports the importance of developmental responsibility in medical student education and the need for appropriate medical student supervision in order to protect the safety of patients and students. The level of responsibility delegated to the student must be congruent with the level of training and experience of the student and should increase as the student’s knowledge, skills and overall competence builds. This policy outlines the requirements to meet these needs.

Responsibility

It is the shared responsibility of the supervising physician, the clerkship/course director or site director as well as the respective chair of the department to ensure this policy is followed. Faculty, residents and students must adhere to this policy.

Supervisors of Medical Students in the Clinical Setting

  • Supervisors for medical students in hospitals and clinics may be physicians, residents and other health care providers appropriately certified and working within the scope of their professions.
  • Supervisors in clerkships should either have a faculty appointment or be guided by a physician with a faculty appointment at the College of Medicine.
  • Supervisors for Phase III medical students must be credentialed by their corresponding hospital in the procedures/skills that they are supervising.

Supervision

  • Supervisors of medical students must be aware of their students’ level of training and the learning objectives of the course or clerkship. Students may only participate in procedures when they are judged to be ready and prepared by their supervisor.
  • While obtaining a patient history or conducting a physical examination, a supervisor must be either physically present with the medical student or readily available.
  • Medical students may enter findings and notes in the patient’s medical record adhering to regulation per training of placement of student notes. The supervising health care professional will review medical student documentation and provide feedback for educational purposes.
  • Clinical decisions and orders are never enacted by medical students without a supervisor’s approval.
  • A supervising health care professional is required to directly supervise, through direct presence or availability, all procedures in which a medical student is involved. The degree of supervision (direct supervision with supervising health professional present or available) will take into account the complexity of the procedure, potential for adverse effects, and the demonstrated competence, maturity and responsibility of each student in order to ensure the safety and comfort of the patient. The supervising health professional must be credentialed in the procedure being supervised.
  • The principles and practice of informed consent must be followed at all times. Patients should provide consent to have medical students participate in their care.

Monitoring

  • The course/clerkship director, site director, supervising faculty and respective chair of the department share responsibility to ensure this policy is followed.
  • Students with concerns about the adequacy and availability of supervision should contact their course/clerkship director or the Assistant Dean for Clinical Medicine.
  • Penn State College of Medicine faculty scope of practice is reviewed every two years in the credentialing process. Verification of faculty’s training and competence in procedural skills is verified and signed off by the chair of the respective department.

Distribution

This policy will be distributed annually to all health professionals who supervise medical students in the clinical setting in any Penn State College of Medicine rotations; the educational leadership at affiliate sites; and all medical students.

View the supervision of medical students in clinical settings policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Communication via Email to Phase II and III Students Expand answer

All announcements regarding all Phase II-III (clinical) courses will be distributed via email utilizing 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 and may result in submission of a professional behavior concern.

View the email communication document on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Direct Observation of Clinical Skills, Phase II Expand answer

Clerkship students must be observed, by faculty or clinician-educators, performing essential components of history and physical exams in each clerkship. These observations will be monitored centrally by the College of Medicine. Students and faculty will be provided with clear expectations of the essential components of a history and physical exam. Shared responsibility between student and faculty in seeking out the experiences early in the rotation is expected and required.

View the direct observation of clinical skills document on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Duty Hours (Monitoring Student Time: Phases II and III) Expand answer

Students should report duty hour violations during Phase II and III rotations to the Clerkship/Course Director or the Assistant Dean for Clinical Medicine and log in OASIS where applicable.

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 Assistant Dean for 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 continuous work hours with an additional 4-hour window for on-site educational activities, sign-out and handoffs

Medical students in Phase III

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 Assistant Dean for the Clinical Learning Environment 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; and 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 III rotations to the Clerkship/Course Director or the Assistant Dean for the Clinical Learning Environment and log in OASIS where applicable.

View the duty hours on our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Electives Choice Expand answer

LCME Standard: 6.5. Elective Opportunities

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes elective opportunities that supplement required learning experiences and that permit medical students to gain exposure to and expand their understanding of medical specialties, and to pursue their individual academic interests.

LCME Standard: 11.2. Career Advising

A medical school has an effective career advising system in place that integrates the efforts of faculty members, clerkship directors, and student affairs staff to assist medical students in choosing elective courses, evaluating career options, and applying to residency programs.

Policy and Procedure Statement
In order to effectively guide medical students in the design of their academic course of study and comply with LCME standards, students must meet with their Faculty Advisor to discuss their choices for elective and acting internship courses. Students are encouraged to select electives to enhance their learning and preparation for internship. Graduation Requirements including types of elective requirements are included in Policy CA-05 Graduation Requirements and CA-32 Elective Requirements in Phase II-III.

The Faculty Advisor must document that the advising meeting has occurred and that the Advisor approves the choice of courses. The documentation 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 with documentation that the choice of courses has been discussed with and approved by the advisor.

Students are encouraged to meet with their Faculty Advisor and/or other faculty members for additional advice and guidance, but these meetings are supplemental to the meeting with the Faculty Advisor described above. Information about the Career Advising Program (CAP) is available from the Office of Student Affairs.

View the elective choice policy in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Elective Requirements in Phases II and III Expand answer
  1. To meet graduation requirements, students in Penn State College of Medicine must successfully complete
    1. All Phase II elective requirements in their track:
      • Students must complete the equivalent of 4 weeks of electives.
      • For students participating in the Hershey Curriculum 3+ Track, the requirement for Phase II electives is waived.
    2. A minimum of 24 weeks of Phase III elective rotations
      • Students will complete two 4-week clinical courses with active patient care (this includes appropriate clinical electives, Acting Internships, or Critical Care courses) within five months prior to graduation.
      • Students participating in the Hershey Curriculum 3+ Track must complete the Phase I Clinical Confirmation elective and the equivalent of 8 additional weeks of electives. The remainder of the 24-week elective requirement is waived. Based on extenuating circumstances, students may apply for a waiver of 4 weeks of the 8 weeks of electives through the Associate Dean for Student Affairs which will then be reviewed for approval by the Academic Progress Committee. Certain Phase III electives may be offered in an accelerated fashion as developmentally appropriate in Phase I.
      • A maximum of 8 weeks of Phase III research electives will count towards the graduation requirement.
  2. Any listed pre-requisites must have been successfully completed prior to beginning the elective.
  3. Changes for Phase II-III elective rotations are not permitted within four (4) weeks prior to the start date of the rotation without approval of the Associate Dean for Medical Education or Assistant Dean for Education in the Clinical Learning Environment.

View elective requirements in our policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Hershey Clerkship Director/Coordinator Contact Information Expand answer
Overview of Discovery and Residency Prep (Phase III) Expand answer
Required Courses (Phase II) Expand answer
Required Courses (Phase III) Expand answer
Residents as Educators Expand answer

It is required that all residents attend Resident as Educator (RaE) sessions in order to appropriately participate in the education of learners and develop skills as effective educators.

The goal of the Residents as Educators (RaE) sessions is to instruct all Penn State Health residents in evidence-based basic teaching skills to prepare them for working with all learners.

The content for the RaE sessions will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Recognize ways to promote a positive learning climate
  • Discuss competencies and ways to locate rotation-specific learning objectives
  • Examine the teaching evaluation tool components
  • Commit to reviewing and collaborating learning goals with their learners

Procedures

  1. All residents will complete/attend the scheduled GME orientation. Participation will be recorded and tracked by the Office of Graduate Medical Education.
  2. Residents are expected to complete/attend scheduled core GME development sessions. Participation will be recorded and tracked by the Office of GME.
  3. Residents will be encouraged to complete an evaluation after each GME RaE development session. These evaluations will be used to improve future offerings.
  4. Program directors who choose to embed parts of RaE into their existing curriculum are required to submit materials for review and approval by the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education each academic year. This will be tracked by the Office of GME in collaboration with the Woodward Center to ensure program comparability.

View the residents as educators policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

University Park Clerkship Director/Coordinator Contact Information Expand answer

Security/IT

Active Shooter/Extreme Violence Incident Management Policy Expand answer
Crisis Response Telephone Numbers Expand answer

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)

Documentation in Electronic Health Records - Medical Students Expand answer

The policy was written to state the Penn State College of Medicine’s position on a medical student writing notes in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (HMC). The policy seeks to

  • Protect the educational value of student note writing
  • Adhere to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) guidelines
  • Be feasible and practical
  1. Medical students shall only access the records of individuals for whom they are providing direct patient care.
  2. Students shall follow the privacy regulations set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at all times.
  3. Students are expected to document medical care in the EHR during clinical rotations at the HMC.
  4. Teaching physicians are responsible to provide proper documentation for billing purposes.
  5. Teaching physicians may attest a resident’s note, but must personally document their service if only a student note is available. As per CMS guidelines, physicians of record as well as residents and fellows may only refer to the medical student note for documentation of the Review of Systems, Past Medical History, Family History, or Social History. Teaching physicians must personally document all other components of a History & Physical, including the Chief Complaint, History of Present Illness, Physical Examination, Assessment and Plan in a separate electronic note in order to meet CMS guidelines and to ensure accurate billing and coding.
  6. Teaching physicians or their resident designee shall review the student note for accuracy in order to ensure appropriate content, accuracy, and professionalism and to provide feedback and teaching to the student. At the discretion of each departmental chair, the final signer of the note may be a faculty member, fellow, or resident.
  7. Students may not serve as scribes. Teaching physicians may not refer to or rely on a student’s documentation of physical exam findings, medical decision making, or history of present illness in their personal notes.
  8. Students may participate in the development of Discharge Instructions and Discharge Summary as permitted by the course director and patient care team.
  9. Students rotating outside of the HMC system shall follow the policies and procedures for medical student documentation of the host facility.

Procedure Steps and Rules

  1. The EHR system shall clearly list the title of a medical student entered note as “Medical Student Note”. Currently the system allows notes by “Service”, “Venue”, and “Note Type”. The committee suggests that by listing “Service” as “Medical Student Note”, medical students would have their own set of documents that they could author. These notes shall include History & Physical, Progress Note, Consult, Clinic Note, and Phone Note. In this way, medical student authors would be clearly identified, which would assist with coding/billing and accountability.
  2. The medical student notes shall be organized within the current note framework of the system.
  3. While there would be a separate note type for medical students, the note shall be intermeshed with notes written by other authors organized by “Venue” and “Note Type”. For instance, a “Medical Student In-Patient Note” would appear within In-Patient Notes; a “Medical Student H&P” would appear within H&P’s.
  4. Final signature of the student note may be the attending, fellow, or resident, as determined by the respective chair in each corresponding department.
  5. Publishing Status. Medical student notes shall be viewable to all after completion by the student and before final signing.
  6. If possible, all medical student-type notes should not allow importing of the billing template to serve as added measure to avoid billing error.

View the Documentation in Electronic Health Records policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Student Laptop Requirement Expand answer

Student Computing at Penn State College of Medicine

Medical students in the College of Medicine are required to have their own personal laptop computer. The information provided on this page should be used as a guide. Use it to determine if the laptop you own today is suitable for your use in medical school or for information to purchase a new laptop.

Laptop feature requirements and recommendations

  • All personal devices are only permitted to connect to the ATTWIFI campus network
  • Students can use either a Mac or Windows laptop. Equivalent services are available to students using either a PC or a Mac computer.
  • Windows laptops should have a processor from the Intel CORE i Series family (Core i5, i7, or i9 recommended) or AMD A Series or Ryzen family. Mac devices should use a CORE i series processor or Apple M1/M2 chip.
  • A laptop should have a processor from the Intel CORE i Series family (Core i5, i7, or i9 recommended) or AMD A Series or Ryzen family. All new Macs run Intel CORE i Series processors. (Note: All new Macs are running the Apple M1/M2 processors.)
  • If you are running a 32-bit Windows operating system (OS), a minimum of 4GB of RAM is recommended. If you are running a 64-bit Windows or Mac operating system, a minimum of 8GB of RAM is recommended.
  • Windows laptops must run Windows 10 or Windows 11. Windows 10 and 11 in S mode are not supported by all of our systems. Laptops should be updated to the latest version of Windows 10 or 11 for security and compatibility purposes.
  • Mac laptops must run at least Mac OS 10.15 (Catalina) to connect to the ATTWIFI network. (Note: Mac OS 10.15 Catalina is past end-of-life support. Mac OS 12 (Monterey) or newer is preferred.)
  • Linux, UNIX and other similar operating systems are not supported on the network.
  • Webcam: Built-in camera or external USB camera supported by your operating system
  • Microphone: Built-in microphone or external USB microphone supported by your operating system
  • We recommend a video monitor size of at least 13 inches diagonal with a video card of 256K video RAM or more. A display with either a standard aspect ratio (4:3) or a wide screen format (16:9) is acceptable.
  • Laptops must have the ability to connect to a data network using a wired Ethernet cable and/ or a built-in wireless network card. A laptop having a wireless network card that supports 802.11 a/g/n or better is required. Laptops with a wireless network card that does not support the “n” standard may experience difficulties connecting to our wireless network, especially in areas with a high density of wireless users (Lecture rooms, etc.).
  • Students are responsible for the maintenance of their laptops. We provide instructions and assistance for connecting your laptop to our wireless network. We do not provide software or hardware support for student owned laptops. There are several repair centers in the local Hershey area for PC support/repair. The nearest authorized Apple Store for repair of Macintosh laptops is in Lancaster, which is about 45 minutes from Hershey by car. You will be provided with a list of these repair centers.
  • Microsoft 365, which includes online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, is available to students at no charge. Training classes are available for these software programs. Other “office productivity suites” (e.g., Open Office, Google Apps) may be of use, but they are not supported. Your educational material will be provided in Microsoft Word, Power Point or Excel format.
  • Students are expected to run antivirus and anti-malware/anti-spyware software on their laptop.
    • Mac: See the Software at Penn State site for download links to free antivirus programs.
    • Windows: Ensure that the built-in Windows Defender is enabled
  • We recommend you purchase support services for your laptop through the manufacturer of the laptop. Often, these vendors have available on-site support plans that are more convenient and expedient than standard “over the phone” support plans.  Temporary loaner laptops may be available from the Office of Medical Education for short-term borrowing. Please note that the supply is limited and is provided on a first-come first-serve basis. We do provide access to public computers on a 24/7 basis in the George Harrell Library.
  • Our email system is Microsoft Outlook. Student access to their email and calendar will be available through the Outlook webmail client. Students are required to read email sent to them through the campus Outlook system.
  • We recommend downloading the Zoom desktop app and keeping the app up to date. Many learning sessions will be streamed live on Zoom. All meeting participants must be on the supported version or higher, or they will not be able to see or participate in an advanced poll or quiz. If unable to update to the minimum version, you will also have the option to join meetings using your internet browser.

Computer recommendations

Note: These laptop options are recommendations only and are not required. Any device that meets the above requirements may be used, including a device you already own or a different PC or Mac laptop.

This section will provide a few device recommendations from our students and faculty. These devices are tested and confirmed to meet the requirements listed above.

Our staff and students have found that the following brands have worked well in their work: Dell Latitude and Apple MacBook Pro. We will also provide some specific recommendations below.

Dell Latitude 5421
Image of a Dell Latitude 5421 laptop

  • Intel Core i5 Processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB Solid State Drive
  • 14” display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • Camera/microphone included
  • Ports:
    • Thunderbolt
    • 3 USB
    • 1 HDMI
    • 1 RJ-45 (Ethernet)

Dell Latitude 3420
Image of a Dell Latitude 3420 laptop

  • Intel Core i5 Processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB Solid State Drive
  • 14” display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • Camera/microphone included
  • Ports:
    • 4 USB
    • 1 HDMI
    • 1 RJ-45 (Ethernet)

Dell Inspiron 15 3000
Dell Inspiron 15 3000
Note: Some of the below specifications may be customizable for this model.

  • Intel Core i5 Processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB Solid State Drive
  • 15.6” display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • Camera/microphone included
  • Ports:
    • 3USB
    • 1 HDMI

MacBook Air
Image of a MacBook Air
Note: Some of the below specifications may be customizable for this model.

  • Apple M1 Chip Processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB Solid State Drive
  • 13” display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • Camera/microphone included
  • Ports:
    • 4 USB-C

Additional information

  • iPads
    • An iPad can only connect to our ATTWIFI wireless network, but other campus systems needed for your educational program may not be available on an iPad. An iPad (or Chromebook or similar) cannot substitute as a replacement for the laptop requirement.
  • Smartphone Requirements
    • Smart devices need to meet the following:
      • Apple devices must be running iOS 15+
      • Android devices must be running Android OS 12+.
      • Duo Security Enrollment is required. More information can be found at https://duoenroll.pennstatehershey.net.
      • Microsoft Authenticator Enrollment is required for Penn State University application sign-in. More information at https://accounts.psu.edu.

Software availability

You will receive an email to activate your Penn State Access Account user ID and password. This account will grant you access to Penn State’s website, Software at Penn State, for software Purchases.  The account will also give students access to the Penn State Information Technology Services website for free software downloads (antivirus, etc.).

Data Storage

We strongly recommend students either use an external storage device to backup files on their laptop or use the online storage facilities provided by Penn State. Loss of data can be very disruptive to your educational program. Each student is also provided with 5TB of free storage through Microsoft OneDrive.

Printers

Some students find it convenient to own a personal printer. The Harrell Health Sciences Library, however, provides black-and-white and color printing services on a “Pay to Print” basis. Through the campus data network, you can print to these printers from any location on campus after loading the printer driver(s) on your laptop.

Financial Aid

The Higher Education Act, as amended in 1998, recognizes computers as an educational expense. Students may request the inclusion of the cost of a computer in their Cost of Attendance. This is a one-time increase during medical school. All adjustments will be for Fall/Spring. The maximum increase is $2,200 for a laptop computer. The date of purchase must be between May 1, 2024, and April 30, 2025, for first time students and between August 1, 2024, and April 30, 2025 for returning students. Students in their last semester of medical school cannot request a cost of attendance increase for a computer. Students must submit an Increase Cost of Attendance Evaluation Form and either a receipt in their name with the date of purchase or a copy of an estimated invoice in their name form a vendor. A detailed listing of all components and software for purchase must be included on the receipt or invoice.

View the student laptop requirement on the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

Student Health

Student Health Services Expand answer

Health Records

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.

University Park

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 University Park (UP), health care is available locally for University Park Program students at University Health Services (UHS) located at Penn State, 438 Student Health Center, University Park, PA 16802.

Health care for UP Curriculum students is also available at Penn State Health Medical Group-Fishburn Rd. Specialties, located at 845 Fishburn Road, Hershey, PA 17033; telephone number 717-531-8181 or wherever it is most convenient for them. Penn State Health offers in-person and on-demand/virtual visits that include, though are not limited to, acute and chronic care for medical issues; preventative care, including gynecological exams; family planning; and well-child visits.

Hershey

Services

Student Health provides the following services to all medical, graduate, physician assistant and nursing students enrolled at Penn State College of Medicine:

  • COVID exposure and symptoms
  • N95 mask fit testing
  • Away rotation medical form completion
  • OHSP & Biosafety Protocol Clearances
  • Invasive incidents/exposures (needle stick, bloodborne pathogen, etc.)
  • Pre-matriculation requirements and forms
  • Contact Information

    Phone: 717-531-5998

    Email: Student_Health@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

    Office hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

    Location

    University Fitness Center
    South Entrance Across from University Manor West
    20 Conference Drive
    Hershey, PA 17033

    The Penn State Health on Demand Shuttle provides transportation to local PSH sites in Hershey. Students may book a ride with the shuttle by calling 717-599-6376 or scheduling via ondemand.transloc.com/ride (registration required). The shuttle runs Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Blood Borne Pathogen Infection Policy Expand answer
    Care of Students in the College of Medicine by the faculty in the Offices for Professional Mental Health Expand answer

    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 ensuring the following:

    There are designated non-faculty student health providers at Hershey in the Offices for Professional Mental Health, and at University Park in the University Health Services, who can provide health and/or psychiatric/psychological services to students. These designated student health providers have no involvement in the academic assessment of or decisions about the promotion of medical students. If a faculty member provides health and/or psychiatric/psychological services to medical students they will subsequently have no current or future involvement in the academic assessment of, or in decisions about the promotion of the students receiving those services.

    Faculty members who serve on medical student admission or promotion committees must recuse themselves from any academic assessment or promotion decisions about students for whom they have provided health services and/or psychiatric/psychological services. Similarly, course directors must recuse themselves from any academic assessment or promotion decisions about students for whom they have provided health and/or psychiatric/psychological services.

    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 subsequent involvement in the academic assessment of or promotion decisions for that student.

    When students are on away rotations and need health care services, a preceptor should refer a student to a designated student health service if available. If not, the preceptor should refer the student to another member of the practice or physician in the community who can competently care for the student and who has no involvement in the academic assessment of or promotion decisions for that student.

    Students, faculty members and staff members will be informed of this policy on a yearly basis.

    View the faculty members and care of medical students policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Disability Insurance Requirement Expand answer

    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 at www.amainsure.com/groupltd; enter ID number 644220.

    The Disability Insurance premium is charged directly to the student account by the Bursar in the Office of the Bursar of the College of Medicine.

    The student is responsible for paying this charge the same as any other charge on their account.

    Late fees will accrue on this fee if not paid by the due date of the statement when the charge is reflected.

    A hold will be placed on the account for any past due balance.

    View the disability insurance requirement in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Immunization Requirement Expand answer
      1. 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.
      2. Scheduled meeting with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
      3. Documentation of the College of Medicine’s professionalism report form.
      4. Inability to register for a new semester of classes
      5. 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 LionPath and/or CANVAS 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 717-531-5998.

    View the immunization requirements in the policy management tool. (ePass login requirement)

    Infectious Disease Prevention Program Expand answer

    All medical and physician assistant students will participate in the infectious disease prevention program.

    Tuberculosis Prevention

    • Prior to matriculation, an IGRA (T-SPOT or QuantiFERON Gold) or a two-step PPD is required. A two-step PPD is performed by placing a second PPD one to three weeks after an initial negative PPD. An IGRA TB blood test is recommended for those with a history of BCG vaccination or anyone who is immunocompromised. TB testing result is required within 8 weeks prior to matriculation.
    • Students with a history of a past positive PPD skin test or positive IGRA (T-SPOT or QuantiFERON Gold) TB blood test, treated or not treated prophylactically, must obtain a chest x-ray and submit the result 8 weeks prior to matriculation. Annually thereafter, these students are required to complete an annual TB symptom questionnaire.

    Latent Tuberculosis (PPD +)

    • Treated PPD positive students should provide physician documentation of completed prophylactic therapy to Student Health.
    • Students with a positive PPD (treated or untreated) will continue to be followed annually during medical school with the TB symptom questionnaire. If symptoms are present a chest x-ray will be repeated and submitted to Student Health, where the student will be counseled and given appropriate therapy if an active case is found.

    Tuberculosis Exposure

    • If a student with a previous negative TB test result is exposed to TB, an IGRA (T-SPOT) TB blood test will be performed immediately and repeated 8-10 weeks after the last known exposure. Students are also expected to monitor for signs or symptoms of TB: a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs), weakness or fatigue, weight loss, decreased appetite, chills, fever, sweating at night; and must notify Student Health immediately if they experience any of these symptoms.
    • Students converting during medical school to a positive tuberculin test will be treated with the necessary medications, blood work monitoring and studies. Outstanding medical bills for TB exposure after insurance payment should be emailed to Student_Health@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for forwarding to the Bursar’s Office for payment.

     

    University Park Track:

    • University Park medical students that require a PPD for an away rotation, elective, or residency, may receive a two- step PPD free of charge at Student Health, Hershey. Students may incur a fee if they seek a two- step PPD at other clinic locations (to include Penn State Health Park Avenue Clinic, University Health Services or another clinic site) and would be financially responsible for any such fees.

    Hepatitis B Prevention

    Prior to matriculation, documentation of childhood Hepatitis B immunization with a complete series of three doses AND a positive quantitative (numeric value) Hepatitis B surface antibody titer is required.

    If a student has never received a Hep B vaccine, a 2- or 3-dose series must be completed. Heplisav (2-dose) is the preferred series when available. A titer is completed in one to two months after the last dose.

    • Positive – No further testing required.
    • Negative – Meet with Student Health for testing of active Hep B infection

    If a student has documentation of childhood Hep B immunization and no documentation of a titer, a titer is required.

    Choose ONE option:

    • Option 1 – Obtain a titer
      • Positive – No further testing required.
      • Negative – Choose Option 2 or 3
    • Option 2 – Receive one dose of either Heplisav (preferred) or Engerix. A titer is required one to two months after the last dose.
      • Positive – no further testing required
      • Negative – Complete the second Hep B series. For example, if Heplisav was given in one dose, one more Heplisav is required. If one dose of Engerix was given, two more Engerix are required.  A titer is required one to two months after the last dose. If negative, the student should meet with a Student Health provider and be tested for active Hepatitis B infection.
    • Option 3 – Complete a second Hep B vaccine series of Heplisav (preferred) or Engerix. A titer is required one to two months after the last dose.
      • Positive – No further testing necessary
      • Negative – If the titer is negative after a second vaccine series, the student should meet with a Student Health provider and be tested for active Hepatitis B infection.

    Students who test negative for active Hepatitis B should be considered non-responders and counseled about their status. Non-responders will be given information about receiving Hepatitis B immunoglobin in the event of an invasive exposure.

    Varicella Prevention

    • 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. 1st dose administered on or after 12 months of age, 2nd dose administered at least 4 weeks after 1st
    • If the student has a history of the disease and a negative titer, but not documentation of immunizations, a series of 2 Varicella injections must be given.
    • If a student has further concerns about a negative titer, they will be referred to an Infectious Disease provider.

    Polio

    • Documentation of completed primary polio series is required prior to matriculation.
    • If no documentation is available, the student must obtain 3 polio vaccines, the second given 1-2 months after the first and the third given 6-12 months after the first.

    Measles, Mumps and Rubella

    • Prior to matriculation, medical students are required to have 2 doses of vaccine MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): 1st dose administered on or after 12 months of age, 2nd dose administered AT LEAST 4 weeks after 1st If the first dose was administered prior to 12 months of age, 1 additional MMR vaccine is required.

    Meningitis

    • One dose of MCV4-Meningococcal conjugate serogroups ACWY immunization on or after a 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

    • Students should obtain their annual influenza vaccine at a local pharmacy or flu clinic and submit proof of vaccination to Student Health.
    • Students who do not obtain an influenza vaccine must wear a mask when in patient areas throughout flu season.

    Tetanus/Diphtheria/Acellular Pertussis

    • DTaP History: If no documentation of prior tetanus vaccination, you must receive a complete 3-dose primary series (dose #1 of Tdap, followed by dose #2 of Td 4 to 8 weeks later, and dose #3 of Td 6–12 months after dose #2).
    • This is the recommended vaccine as of 10/26/2005 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.

    Invasive Incidents

    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.

    Travel Immunizations

    • Student Health does not provide pre- travel visits and immunizations. Travel vaccines are available at specific travel clinic locations in Camp Hill and Lancaster. We highly encourage you to contact the respective clinic for vaccine stock and scheduling information. Click here for travel immunization locations.

    Occupational exposure

    During clinical skills week prior to the clinical clerkship years, students will be educated in the method of prevention of air borne and blood borne pathogens and procedures to follow should exposure occur. Medical students are required to complete Power Air Purifying Respirator training, part of the annual infection prevention requirement. Student Health provides mask fit training as necessary.

    • The medical school will assume 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)

    Injuries in Anatomy Lab Expand answer

    Prevention

    Wear all required protective gear for every session, during class hours or after hours.

    Small Lacerations

    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

    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. If surgery is needed a student may go to an urgent care clinic or the Emergency Department.

    Serious Injuries and Wounds

    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)

    International Student & Dependent Waiver Standards for Student Health Insurance Plan Expand answer
    Medical Students Experiencing Health Needs at Affiliate Institutions Expand answer

    Penn State College of Medicine students should not be treated by health care providers who are responsible for their education and academic evaluation. An ill student could be treated by a colleague who is not involved in the student’s academic evaluation. An urgent care clinic or 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 should be allowed time away from their clerkship to seek appropriate medical care. Make up of time missed is based on Penn State College of Medicine individual department clerkship requirements.

    Medical students experiencing mental health issues while at PSCOM or its affiliate institutions should be referred to the Office for Professional Mental Health at Penn State College of Medicine. It is an LCME standard that:

    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:

    This policy will be reviewed with students prior to going into the clinical years. It will also be distributed annually to affiliate institutions.

    View Medical Students Experiencing Health Needs at Affiliate Institutions in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Medical Student Inpatient Psychiatric Admission Procedure Expand answer

    Every effort will be made to care for a medical student’s inpatient psychiatric needs in a way that will avoid potential compromise the individual’s right to confidentiality. Medical students are preferentially admitted to inpatient psychiatric services at facilities other than our affiliate teaching hospital, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI). If no alternative facility is available, admission to PPI will be pursued.

    In order to ensure adherence to this procedure, several steps have been taken:

    • The Clinical Social Work staff within Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Emergency Department have been informed of the procedure. They will not refer medical students for admission to PPI unless no alternative is available. Contact: Annette Ashe, Clinical Social Work Manager, Care Transitions Department, 717-531-5658
    • Dauphin County Crisis has been informed about the procedure. During their assessment and referral for placement, they ask about employment and education; therefore, Penn State medical students should be identifiable. They will not suggest admission to PPI unless no alternative is available. Contact: Lauren Davis, Dauphin County Crisis Supervisor, 717-780-7050
    • If a student chooses to have inpatient psychiatric care at PPI because of lack of available beds at other institutions, the Director of Student Mental Health and Counseling will contact and work with the Chief Medical Officer and/or the Adult Service Line Director of PPI to develop a treatment plan that will create minimal impact to student confidentiality.Contact: PPI Admissions, 717-782-4693 (Yu-Fei Duan, Adult Service Line Director, or Elisabeth Kunkel, Chief Medical Officer of PPI, 717-782-4796
    • A trainee-provider response grid has been created. This grid indicates who can provide psychiatric care for a student within PPI. This serves as a suggestion to best protect student confidentiality. Patient care is held at the highest priority.
    • Contact with the Chief Medical Officer of PPI, Dauphin County Crisis and Clinical Social Work staff in Hershey Medical Center’s emergency department will be made at least on a yearly basis to ensure that the procedure is still acknowledged and supported.

    To address administrative concerns, the following procedures have been put in place:

    • Given the University’s policy on missing student notification, students will be urged to contact the appropriate Dean to inform them that they are having a medical emergency that will prohibit them from attending class. If they are unable to provide this information, the director of the Office for Professional Mental Health will inform the appropriate Dean.
    • The Director of the Office for Professional Mental Health will address any additional administrative concerns until the student is able to return to their educational program.

    View medical student inpatient psychiatric admission information in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Sharps Injury/Blood and Body Fluid Exposure - Penn State Health Expand answer

    Purpose

    To provide a procedure for any sharps injury or blood body fluid exposure.

    Policy Reference

    All COM faculty, staff, and students

    Procedure Steps

    1. Wash needle sticks and cuts with soap and water.
    2. Flush splashes to the nose, mouth or skin with soap and water.
    3. Irrigate eyes with clean water.
    4. Report injury/exposure to the Supervising/Attending. They are responsible for source testing.
    5. Complete the Intake of Sharps Injury or Blood/Body Fluid Splash Questionnaire through the website https://infonet.pennstatehealth.net/sharps or use the QR Code below to obtain a confidential case number for lab work.
    6. The instructions and case number will be provided to you via a PDF at the end of the report and in a separate email. The Supervisor/Attending will receive an email with instructions on how to obtain consent from the source and have bloodwork performed.
    7. SEEK IMMEDIATE TREATMENT for sharps injuries or bodily fluid exposures
      • Students at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center or nearby will be directed to the HMC or nearest Emergency Department.
      • Students at our distance Affiliate training institutions (York, Kaiser-Permanente, Summit Health), Penn State Health-St. Joseph, or other institutions should follow the institution/hospital’s established policy for exposure (Generally, this is to report to the institution’s Emergency Room for treatment).
      • Students at University Park should follow the Sharps Injury and Body Fluid Exposure at University Park policy.
    8. Follow up with Student Health at 717-531-5998 on the next business day. Follow- up lab testing will be done through Student Health.

    Financial coverage for students involved in invasive incidents: Any remaining balance after insurance payment is applied will be covered by Penn State College of Medicine.

    Applicability

    Applies to all medical students

    Person(s) Responsible for Review of Policy

    Director of Student Health

    View sharps injury/blood and body fluid exposure information in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Sharps Injury/Blood and Body Fluid Exposure at University Park Expand answer

    Purpose

    To provide procedure for invasive incidents when they occur at the University Park Campus.

    Scope

    Faculty and students at the University Park Campus location.

    Policy and Procedure Statements

    In the event that a student is involved in an invasive incident with a needle or scalpel containing another person’s blood or body fluid, the following procedure should be followed.

    • 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
    • Notify your Supervisor/Attending
    • Seek follow up care according to the policy below

    Report your sharps injury/fluid splash questionnaire for all incidents here.

    Mount Nittany Medical Center

    If a needle stick or other invasive incident occurs while at Mount Nittany Medical Center (MNMC), then MNMC will have the initial evaluation and baseline testing completed through their usual process for all invasive incidents, such as needle sticks. Medical students must report incidents to the provider they are working with, followed by the Employee Health Service Department, who can direct them to the Emergency Department and process testing for the source patient. When seen at the Emergency Department, the student will need to provide their medical insurance information so that charges can be processed.

    Students will need to complete an electronic MNMC non-employee event report by typing “event report” in the search bar located on the connect home page. This form can be printed and completed or completed electronically.

    The completed form must be turned into the Director of Risk Management (Herb Wilson). For questions please contact the Employee Health Service Department at 814-234-6731.

    Source patient testing will be conducted through MNMC Employee Health. Serial testing will be completed initially and at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months, as per the College of Medicine’s protocol. MNMC will correspond in writing and by telephone with student regarding baseline testing results.

    Any balance remaining after the student’s medical insurance payment is processed will be paid by Penn State College of Medicine. Please submit these bills to the Office of Medical Education, Suite 304.

    Mount Nittany Physician Group Outpatient Clinics

    If a needle stick or other invasive incident occurs while at a MNMC Outpatient Clinic, students will contact and visit Mount Nittany Physician Group (MNPG) Occupational Health. MNPG Occupational Health is located at 1850 E. Park Avenue, Suite 302 State College, PA 16803, telephone number 814-231-7094. This is separate from Penn State University Occupational Health, which is located in the same building.
    Students will need to complete an initial visit when the incident occurs, and subsequent visits and testing at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months. Students are required to be seen by a physician at each visit.
    Any balance remaining after the insurance payment will be paid by Penn State College of Medicine. Submit these bills to the Office of Medical Education, Suite 304.

    Penn State Health (State College) Outpatient Clinics

    If a needle stick or other invasive incident occurs while at a Penn State Health Outpatient Clinic, students will visit University Health Services located at Penn State University, 438 Student Health Ctr, University Park, PA 16802, telephone number 814-863-0774.

    Students will need to complete an initial visit when the incident occurs and subsequent visits and testing at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months. Students are required to be seen by a physician at each visit.

    Any balance remaining after the insurance payment will be paid by Penn State College of Medicine. Submit these bills to the Office of Medical Education, Suite 304.

    HMC or Penn State Health, PSHMG Sites in Hershey

    You must use your smartphone or a clinical work station to access the “Intake of Sharps Injury or Blood/Body Fluid Splash Questionnaire” at https://infonet.pennstatehealth.net/sharps.

    After submitting the questionnaire, you’ll receive instructions, and a confidential case number to use for lab work. The instructions and case number will be provided via a PDF at the end of the report and in a separate email.

    The supervisor you listed in the questionnaire will also receive an email with instructions on how to obtain consent from the source of the exposure, which is usually a patient, and how to have bloodwork performed.

    Sharps Injury is defined as exposure to blood or body fluids caused by laceration or puncture of the skin. Sharps include needles, scalpels or any item that punctures the skin.

    Splash Incident is when blood or body fluids come into contact with the eyes, mouth, broken skin or mucous membranes, which can expose you to bloodborne pathogens.

    At Unaffiliated Clinics, Hospitals or Other Institutions

    • Report injury/exposure to the supervising physician. They are responsible for source testing.
    • Follow the institution/hospital’s established policy for exposure.
    • Report to the Nearest Emergency Department with your medical insurance card.
    • Follow up with Student Health at 717-531-5998 on the next business day.

    Student Health will provide instruction on how to obtain follow up testing and, what to do if you receive a bill for your care and testing.

    After-Hours Care

    If a needle stick occurs after business hours or on weekends at any University Park site, students will go to the Emergency Department at Mount Nittany Medical Center for initial testing.

    Students will need to provide their medical insurance information so that charges can be processed.

    Follow-Up Care

    Follow-up testing will take place at the appropriate corresponding location, depending on where the initial invasive event took place:

    • MNMC: MNMC Employee Health
    • MNMC Outpatient Clinics: MNPG Occupational Health
    • Penn State Outpatient Clinics in State College: University Health Services
    • HMC/Penn State Clinics in Hershey: Student Health Services

    Students will need to complete an initial visit to the appropriate office when the incident occurs and subsequent visits and testing at six weeks, three months and six months.

    Any balance remaining after the insurance payment will be paid by Penn State College of Medicine. Submit these bills to the Office of Medical Education, Suite C1704 at Hershey, and Suite 308 at University Park.

    If you have any questions, call Student Health at 717-531-5998.

    View the sharps injury/blood and body fluid exposure in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Student Health Insurance Policy Expand answer

    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 in 2 parts. Once in Fall and again in Spring around the same time as Fall/Spring tuition bills are generated. At the beginning of each academic year, all students will be charged for the PSCOM 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 (which can be found at the provider’s website).

    Students have the option of enrolling in the PSCOM-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 by first Risk advisors.

    An acceptable health insurance plan will:

    1. Include coverage for both accidents and sicknesses. Insurance that covers only emergencies will not be acceptable.
    2. Include coverage for all pre-existing conditions: (ACA)
    3. Have a deductible not in excess of $3,000 per individual per year.
    4. 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.)
    5. Have an unlimited maximum benefit per incident: (ACA)
    6. Have inpatient and outpatients, mental and nervous disorder benefits
    7. 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.

    Enrollment Procedure: New Students

    • During the orientation period students must complete a PSCOM Insurance Enrollment Form via LionPATH
      Or
    • Complete a Waiver of Health Insurance Form and provide proof of appropriate insurance coverage via LionPATH.

    Enrollment Procedure: Continuing Students

    At the beginning of each academic year, continuing students will need to complete either an Insurance Enrollment Form for the PSCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan or complete a waiver if opting not to purchase the PSCOM insurance plan via LionPATH.

    Students requesting not to participate in the PSCOM-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 PSCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan. If no waiver is received by the deadline, students are responsible for the insurance charges and can only be removed from the University’s Insurance Plan within the Open Enrollment period designated by First Risk Advisors. 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

    If you plan on enrolling in the plan, there is nothing you need to do. You will be automatically enrolled. If you do not plan on enrolling, the deadline for submitting the Waiver Form via LionPATH is listed on the Health insurance website each year. Ideally forms should be received by the due date listed to ensure coverage is in place for the year (Medical and PA Students).

    An enrollment or waiver form must be submitted online via LionPATH under “My Information – Health Insurance” by the established deadline date to avoid being charged for the PSCOM-Administered Health Insurance Plan. Please contact First Risk Advisors directly with questions (customerservice@firstriskadvisors.com or 267-880-2300).

    Premiums Payment Schedule

    Student premiums will be charged to the student account each semester to coordinate with Fall (coverage period Aug. 13 to Dec. 31) and Spring (Jan. 1 to Aug. 12) tuition and fee charges.

    Dependent Coverage

    Students enrolled for coverage in the PSCOM-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. Contact First Risk Advisors directly to enroll dependents (customerservice@firstriskadvisors.com or 267-880-2300).

    View the student health insurance policy in the policy tool. (ePass login required)

    Tuberculosis Policy Expand answer

    Tuberculosis Prevention

    • Prior to matriculation, an IGRA (T-SPOT or QuantiFERON Gold) or a two-step PPD is required. A two-step PPD is performed by placing a second PPD one to three weeks after an initial negative PPD. An IGRA TB blood test is recommended for those with a history of BCG vaccination or anyone who is immunocompromised. TB testing result is required within 8 weeks prior to matriculation.
    • Students with a history of a past positive PPD skin test or positive IGRA (T-SPOT or QuantiFERON Gold) TB blood test, treated or not treated prophylactically, must obtain a chest x-ray and submit the result 8 weeks prior to matriculation. Annually thereafter these students are required to complete an annual TB symptom questionnaire.

    Latent Tuberculosis (PPD +)

    • Treated PPD positive students should provide physician documentation of completed prophylactic therapy to Student Health.
    • Students with a positive PPD (treated or untreated) will continue to be followed annually during medical school with the TB symptom questionnaire. If symptoms are present a chest x-ray will be repeated and submitted to Student Health where the student will be counseled and given appropriate therapy if an active case is found.

    Tuberculosis Exposure

    • If a student with a previous negative TB test result is exposed to TB, an IGRA (T-SPOT) TB blood test will be performed immediately and repeated 8-10 weeks after the last known exposure. Students are also expected to monitor for signs or symptoms of TB: a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs), weakness or fatigue, weight loss, decreased appetite, chills, fever, sweating at night; and must notify Student Health immediately if they experience any of these symptoms.
    • Students converting during medical school to a positive tuberculin test will be treated with the necessary medications, blood work monitoring and studies. Outstanding medical bills for TB exposure after insurance payment should be emailed to Student_Health@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for forwarding to the Bursar’s Office for payment.

    University Park Track:

    • University Park medical students that require a PPD for an away rotation, elective, or residency may receive a two- step PPD free of charge at Student Health, Hershey. Students may incur a fee if they seek a two- step PPD at other clinic locations (to include Penn State Health Park Avenue Clinic, University Health Services or another clinic site) and would be financially responsible for any such fees.

    View the tuberculosis policy in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Student Services

    Clinical Rotation Transportation Expand answer

    All students must secure their own transportation for their clinical rotations and experiences. There is minimal public transportation in the Hershey area and most clinical sites beyond Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are not accessible via public transportation. Therefore, maintaining use of a personal vehicle is highly recommended.

    Clinical rotation and clerkship sites are made via a lottery process. Schedule changes of clinical rotation sites will not be made for transportation issues.

    View Clinical Rotation Transportation in the policy management tool. (ePass login required)

    Housing Expand answer

    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.

    See more information on student housing here.

    Professional Mental Health Expand answer

    The Office for Professional Mental Health (PMH) is designed to meet the mental health
    support services of Penn State College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
    students, medical residents and fellows, physicians and faculty with compassion, honesty, and
    confidentiality. All issues are taken seriously – no problem is “too small” to talk about.

    The PMH provides individual counseling, couples counseling, psychiatric services,
    consultation, crisis counseling, and outreach programing. All Penn State College of
    Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center students, medical residents and fellows,
    physicians and faculty are eligible for services within the PMH.

    See information on student mental health and counseling here.

    Parking and Transportation Expand answer
    • 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 their 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 parkingservices@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or 717-531-3713 with questions.

    Penn State College of Medicine University Park offices and classrooms are located on the third floor of the Centre Medical Sciences Building, 1850 E. Park Ave., State College, PA 16803. Students and residents are asked to reserve parking spaces closest to the building for patients. Parking permits are not required to park in the Centre Medical Services Building lot.

    Mount Nittany Medical Center is located at 1800 E. Park Ave., 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 physicians’ lot. Permits are not required to park in the Mount Nittany Medical Center lots.

    Parking at Penn State University Park is permitted in several locations with a Student Commuter Parking Pass. Students must obey all Penn State parking policies. The Penn State Parking page has more.

    Local public transportation is provided through CATARIDE. See CATARIDE schedule, RIDEpass application and additional information here.

    The shuttle service between University Park and Hershey runs Monday through Friday weekdays all year round. Each trip takes approximately two hours.

    You can find more information at the University Park-Hershey Shuttle page.

    Recreation and Fitness Expand answer

    The University Fitness Center offers a friendly atmosphere with support to help you achieve your personal fitness goals.

    Membership is free for students defined as full-time Penn State University students that are enrolled in one of the following Penn State College of Medicine programs:

    • Medical school
    • Graduate school
    • Physician Assistant program
    • College of Nursing
    • Student spouses or significant others, dependent children of students, non-campus affiliated Penn State students, and visiting students are eligible for membership for a fee.
    • Penn State College of Medicine or Graduate School alumni, including those who have completed residency at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

    Click here for more information about the University Fitness Center

    Penn State College of Medicine University Park students have the ability to access three recreation facilities on campus at Penn State University Park.

    The student Campus Recreation membership will allow access to all three fitness centers (White Building, IM Building and Hepper Fitness Center), most fitness classes, and open recreation areas (indoor track, basketball, racquetball, squash, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, etc.) in the IM and White buildings.

    Patrons of any of the campus recreation facilities will be required to swipe into the building using a valid Penn State ID card or membership card with an active Campus Recreation membership.

    See more about the recreational facilities here.

    See more health and wellness options in University Park here.