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About the Internal Medicine Residency Program at UPMC in South Central Pa.

Our residency program offers a highly structured educational experience, located within a diverse community environment. We aim to combine dedicated educators with up to date facilities in a supportive setting to allow our residents to achieve distinction and proficiency in internal medicine. This program is based in a highly desirable location in the heart of Central Pennsylvania, in the beautiful Susquehanna Valley. Harrisburg is also the capital of the state, providing an interesting mix of urban and rural living. Additionally, our residents interact and work with trainees from other programs located within UPMC Pinnacle.

We emphasize individual growth and believe in teaching those skills necessary for lifelong scholarship in an environment conducive to learning. Our goal is to ensure that our residents have the superior training required to become certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and/or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine (AOBIM). Our program is in compliance with and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We are currently approved for fourteen positions per year in the allopathic track, and six positions per year in the osteopathic track.

Osteopathic Recognition Track

The osteopathic recognition (OR) track offers a longitudinal curriculum to all doctors of osteopathy, in addition to any doctors of medicine who have completed certain training in osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT) and osteopathic principles and practice (OPP).

Our program track offers the best of both worlds. OR track residents receive the same didactic and clinical education as the allopathic track residents; additionally, they continue to use the unique skills indoctrinated into the osteopathic physician. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, UPMC Pinnacle was granted ACGME initial accreditation for the OR track. We sought this recognition because we believe the osteopathic principle of holistic medicine is one that will benefit our patients at UPMC Pinnacle.

In addition to the program requirements mandated by the ACGME, OR track residents are obligated to meet milestones as defined by the ACGME. Residents successfully completing at least thirty months in the OR track will be eligible to sit for the certification examinations offered through the ABIM and/or the AOBIM.

Faculty and Affiliations

Our esteemed teaching faculty consists of nine full-time and one part-time members in the allopathic program. We have several faculty members that precept our OR Track residents in the COH campus and private physician's office. The faculty bring a strong diversity in training and experience, which is imparted to our residents in daily interactions. We have vast numbers of volunteer faculty members from the community in both private and health system practices, providing additional instruction to enhance the learning experience.

UPMC Pinnacle also has major university affiliations with Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. These academic affiliations place emphasis on our senior residents to function as learners/educators in the core rotations. We typically accommodate a dozen or more medical students per month, assigned to various inpatient and outpatient settings with our residents.

Experiences and Curriculum

Our program offers a unique combination of ambulatory and hospital-based medicine. As part of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, you will have the opportunity to learn in a number of clinical settings, including:

  • Inpatient rotations at UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg Hospital and UPMC Pinnacle Community Osteopathic Hospital
  • Outpatient continuity/acute care at the Kline Health Center and Londonderry Medical Associates of Family Practice Center (FPC)
  • Subspecialty ambulatory experiences at various private practice and UPMC Pinnacle offices
  • Away elective rotation for up to two months, with approval from the Program Director

Our highly structured teaching curriculum has been developed with an emphasis on providing residents with broad-based experience and knowledge in clinical medicine and research. Our program offers several innovative teaching models, including:

  • Traditional lecture series, including morning and noon conferences
  • Specialized medical lecture series – morbidity and mortality, senior, and clinical pathology conferences
  • Specialized non-medical lecture series – business, leadership, career and financial lectures
  • Interactive learning sessions led by an attending physician
  • Practical clinical skills course occurring during internship
  • Mock code sessions, including simulation- and hospital-based
  • Didactic and clinical education in point of care ultrasonography
  • Resident wellness program
  • Multiple board review programs, including MKSAP and NEJM

The allopathic residents provide continuity care to patients at Kline Healthcare Center. For OR track residents, this occurs at FPC (including OMT one day per week). While the residents are performing clinic duty, any additional patient care will be assigned to non-clinic residents for coverage. The faculty physicians provide supervision for the residents during their assigned clinic duties.

During the core inpatient rotations, the residents meet with the faculty physicians to conduct designated teaching rounds daily. Residents participate in the interdisciplinary team, honing skills on system based practice and improving teamwork and leadership.

The first year of residency is mostly comprised of rotations that require direct patient care responsibility. All interns are the responsibility of senior residents, who themselves, are the responsibility of the faculty physician.

During the second and third years of residency, our residents have the added responsibility of serving as educator/supervisor to first-year residents and medical students. The senior residents receive increasing patient and non-patient care duties, to prepare them for post-graduate life.

Scholarly Activity

To achieve our goal of instilling the importance of lifelong scholarship in our residents, clinical research is a required component of the Internal Medicine Residency Program as well as the OR residents.

Our residents conduct research projects with faculty and other physician guidance and present their work at the annual UPMC Pinnacle Medical Education Day. We encourage our residents to submit scholarly activity to national conferences and for publication review. The residents are required to submit at least one scholarly activity during residency to fulfill graduation requirements. A quality improvement project is also a required component of the ambulatory medicine rotation.

Resident Performance and Evaluation

We are committed to our residents’ success, and believe that thorough and timely evaluations and accompanying feedback is critical to improvement towards proficiency. As a result, the residents are evaluated through routine observations and interactions with faculty, peers and ancillary staff via written and verbal reports during and at the conclusion of each rotation. Residents also have the opportunity to evaluate faculty physicians, and other staff and peer residents, with whom they are assigned during rotations. The evaluation system is based upon the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) format, supported by ACGME. Specifically, residents are evaluated in accordance with the requirements of ABIM, AOBIM and ACGME in areas of clinical competence, including:

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice-based learning improvement
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • System-based learning
  • Milestones evaluation is submitted every 6 months to the ACGME
  • OMT / OPP
  • A summary evaluation of these clinical components is furnished annually to the ABIM and the AOBIM

Resident performance will be evaluated by the clinical competency committee, which convenes at least twice yearly. In addition to reviewing their evaluations, residents also receive feedback from their selected mentors as well as the Program Director, with meetings throughout the year.

During residency each year, the residents sit for the In-Training Examination (ITE) administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NMBE) or the AOBIM. Performance on this examination will be used as a tool to determine the resident’s areas of strength and weakness, to assist in proper mentor support and to improve self-directed study.

Advancement and Graduation Policy

In addition to receiving a satisfactory evaluation of your overall clinical competence in internal medicine, residents must meet specific criteria in order to be promoted to the next level of training and graduate successfully from the program. This includes:

  • PGY-1 resident: Resident must attend and pass the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course which is offered during orientation. Also, residents must maintain certification in basic life support (BLS) and ACLS throughout residency.
  • PGY-1 or PGY-2 resident: Resident must register and sit for USMLE Step 3 or COMLEX 3. If this examination is not completed during PGY-1, the resident may be promoted to PGY-2 at the discretion of the Program Director. However, failure to pass USMLE Step 3 or COMLEX 3 before beginning PGY-3 will result in nonrenewal of the resident contract.
  • As noted above, each resident must submit at least one research project, case report, or case presentation during the three years of residency in order to graduate from the program.
  • Throughout training, the resident must attend at least 80 percent of all educational conferences during each year in order to be promoted, and subsequently graduate.
  • There are specific procedures that residents need to perform, and demonstrate certification to be eligible for graduation. These procedures are mandated by the ABIM and/or AOBIM. For OR residents, competency in OMT procedures are mandated.
  • Residents must perform at least in the satisfactory level in all areas of the EPA/milestone, to be promoted each year and to meet graduation requirements.

Program Policy

Upon entering the program, each resident receives a copy of the UPMC Pinnacle Internal Medicine Residency Program Policy and Procedure Manual. During resident orientation, this booklet will be reviewed in full to provide a thorough working knowledge of all policies and guidelines within the residency program and throughout the UPMC Pinnacle System.

Contact Us

Kelly Murphy
Program Coordinator
Phone: 717-231-8532
Fax: 717-231-8535
murphykm3@upmc.edu

Taylor Spangler
Program Coordinator
Phone: 717-231-8532
Fax: 717-231-8535
spanglertp@upmc.edu

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