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Emergency Medicine Residency Program at UPMC Harrisburg FAQs

What benefits do you offer?

All  residents at UPMC Harrisburg receive a generous benefits package as well as access through the library to multiple free resources including Access Medicine, Epocrates, UpToDate, etc. Instead of spending your CME money for you, you are also provided a CME budget to use at your own discretion to supplement your educational needs--because you know your learning style better than anyone. The Department of Emergency Medicine also provides EM specific resources including a paid subscription to Rosh Review, an EM board review resource.

What is living in Central Pa like?

Central Pennsylvania is a beautiful area to live with something for everyone: food, culture, sports, wide open spaces, great schools, and good parks.

  • The hospital is located in the state capital Harrisburg, a great city filled with it's own unique culture to explore and beautifully situated right on the water. It is close to NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC there is plenty of urban appeal. Good food, good culture, good access.
  • Nestled in the countryside with plenty of wide open space nearby for hiking, cycling, kayaking, fishing, skiing, and roaming free.
  • Multiple local areas compete for the best farmers market, and Hershey PA, “the sweetest place on earth” is just down the road to fulfill your chocolate and theme park needs.
  • Hershey and Lancaster both have outlet shopping just around the corner
  • Sports fans can easily get their fill since Harrisburg is home to minor league baseball and soccer, Hershey is home to an American Hockey League team, and Lancaster hosts another minor league baseball team.
  • There are great school districts in each direction for those with families and affordable housing

Whether catching a show at a theatre, a concert at the stadium, a Senators game on City Island, kayaking down the river, wandering through the market, or skiing down nearby slopes--there is certainly something for everyone.

Will I see enough sick patients?

Definitely. We are home to a large, urban, community hospital with a high acuity population and multiple subspecialty services providing the full gamut of care. The diverse patient population you see at our home campuses will also be augmented by rotations at Shock Trauma in Maryland and pediatric exposure at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The culmination of these opportunities is unique.

What is your pediatric experience like?

You will see and treat pediatric patients all day and every day on each of our campuses at UPMC in central Pa. These experiences provide a thorough, longitudinal community pediatric experience. We also rotate through the Pediatric Emergency Department at Penn State Hershey to provide experiences in tertiary pediatric care on a longitudinal basis--ie spread throughout the year so you get exposure to all the seasonal illnesses too. In addition, residents will get to see the sickest of the sick through their PICU rotation, also at Penn State Hershey.

How about trauma?

As a large urban hospital we see both penetrating and blunt trauma. You will also rotate as a PGY2 and a PGY3 at UMD Shock Trauma, a large tertiary trauma referral center. The trauma experience at UPMC  in central Pa. is truly the best of both worlds, providing you a balanced education with both a community and tertiary care center perspective on trauma care, with a high level of exposure at both. No matter where you choose to practice when you graduate, you will be prepared.

But you are a new program?

We may be a new program but we certainly aren’t new to teaching! We accepted our inaugural class July 2019 and hit the ground running! We are excited to soon welcome our 3rd class of residents. We also had the pleasure of adopting 2 orphaned Hanehman residents last year, both of whom have graduated.

The UPMC  in central Pa. Emergency Department has been teaching students and residents for many years. We have had a formal medical student curriculum, complete with weekly didactics and monthly sim labs. Emergency Medicine residents from a nearby program rotate through our department during their second year and consistently rate their experiences very highly. In addition, we have off-service residents from UPMC Pinnacle who rotate through the department. We know how to educate, and this past year we simply expanded to our own program.

We are the perfect opportunity for trailblazers in Emergency Medicine. Our initial classes will help shape the future and feel of the program for years to come.

By training at UPMC  in central Pa. you will benefit from an experienced faculty who are excited to teach, as well as getting the benefit of a program with a personalized approach who will do things “right” from the start--instead of a program trying “to fix” or “change” deep rooted problems. We aim to graduate clinically excellent emergency physicians who can practice anywhere, and do anything.

What about didactics?

On shift learning is critical to your education, but so are weekly didactics. We provide 5 hours of conference every week to provide you with the knowledge base and skills you need to succeed on shift, no matter what comes through the door. Unlike most programs, we recognize that we are all adult learners and 5 hours of classic PowerPoint presentations per week is a great way to put people to sleep, not teach. We also believe that not all learners in a PGY 1-3 program are at the same level and so level specific didactics are important too. We expect you to know more on shift as a PGY3, why wouldn’t we expect more in conference too?

25% of our didactic education is through simulation and hands on procedure labs in either our high-tech, multidisciplinary simulation center or our surgical skills lab. Other didactic methods include small group formats, debates, CPC cases, lightning lectures, Top 5 DDx, faculty panel discussions, critical actions, current controversies, practice changing articles, faculty interviews, and EM pharmacology to name a few. We have monthly M&M led by our department QI chairs as well as monthly grand rounds. Journal Clubs will be held every month in the evening and away from the hospital, either at a local restaurant or a faculty members house, with food and drink provided! We also participate in joint conferences, not just with other training programs within our institution but also with nearby EM residency programs.

We utilize the Foundations of EM curriculum which is a year long flipped classroom curriculum that provides level-specific content to build a comprehensive framework for understanding cardinal presentations, “can’t miss” diagnoses, and essential management strategies within the EM Model of Clinical Practice. We will also offer structured oral boards prep, in-training exam review, EKG and imaging curricula, and formal US training.

We know there is a lot to learn in 3 short years, and we want to maximize both our clinical opportunities and our didactic time. Conference time is protected, and residents will be excused from clinical responsibilities in the ED at 11pm the night before so they are well rested and present for conference.

Will I be happy?

We sure think so! At UPMC in central Pa. we believe that the best way to provide good care is by having happy, well-balanced providers. We know that happy providers make for happy patients--and that makes for better care.

We are a physician group with low turnover and high interest. We are diverse in background, life phases, and lifestyles. We take care of our own and look out for each other. We have a very active, well received wellness committee with the full support of our administration. Residency is an extremely difficult time in any physician’s life and we believe that the culture of wellness that exists within our physician group should also extend to our residents.

Residency, by its very nature, means there will be long hours and hard work, but that shouldn’t mean misery. Our department is not dependent on residents to function, which means our residents are here for education first, not simply to “move the meat.” We believe didactics are important, and strive to make them as engaging and high yield as possible. Our benefits package aims to provide you with everything you need to be successful. Resident retreats help maintain balance, and opportunities for attendance at national EM conferences help expose you to the world of emergency medicine available to you. We want to graduate well prepared physicians who will not only be able to pass their boards with ease and provide high quality patient care, but who can also find and maintain balance in their life.

Where can I find your curriculum?

Here. In addition to core rotations at two of our campuses UPMC Harrisburg  and UPMC Community Osteopathic residents will also do 1 block of trauma during PGY2 and PGY3 years at UMD Shock trauma and Pediatric ED and PICU training at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

How do I get there?

We are conveniently located in Central Pennsylvania less than 2.5 hours from Philadelphia, 3 hrs from NYC, 1 hr from Baltimore and 2 hrs from Washington DC. Harrisburg is home to a convenient international airport and there is an Amtrak station just down the road from the hospital. In short it’s easy for you to drive, fly, or take the train here from anywhere!

Who are you looking for?

The future. We are looking for people we will want to work with as colleagues after three short years of training— hardworking, passionate, personable individuals with a demonstrated interest in learning how to provide good, quality, emergency care.

Are you accredited?

We received initial accreditation in April 2019 and welcomed our first intern class in July 2019.

What do I do next?

Apply for a rotation here.

Want to come for a visit?

We’d be happy to show you around, just let us know!

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