Skip to main content

Sean Gilhooley was certain of two things when he entered Wilkes University as a biology major: He wanted to be a doctor and, more specifically, he wanted to be a primary care doctor.

“My dad is a primary care doc in Scranton, so I was introduced to medicine early. I learned from him what goes into medicine as a career,” he said. “But it was shadowing doctors when I was a student at Wilkes that convinced me to choose primary care. Every doctor I shadowed was in primary care and I enjoyed seeing the relationships they had with their patients — they had known most of their patients for years and could easily talk about their families. They knew the person, not the symptoms on a paper.”

From Wilkes, Sean entered Geisinger Commonwealth as a Master of Biomedical Sciences student. That’s when he and his classmates first heard of the Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program and began to discuss it among themselves. “We talked about what your debt really is to go to medical school. It’s staggering. And I knew I wanted primary care and I knew I wanted to stay in this region to serve my own community. It’s what really drew me in.”

Now a first-year student, Sean said he couldn’t be happier about his decision to apply to the Scholars program. He particularly likes the way Scholars are prioritized for experiences at sites that offer an up-close look at Geisinger’s signature innovations, such as 65 Forward health centers and the Fresh Food Farmacy. He also appreciates the special seminars Scholars attend. “My favorite this year was the second session, when we met with residency program directors and residents. We learned what is expected from each program. What impressed me most was the specialized advice we got regarding our individual career paths. That’s where I decided to focus on an internal medicine path.”

Sean Gilhooley, MD Class of 2024

Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program

Geisinger wants its smart, hardworking medical students to be free to practice medicine the way every future doctor imagines it — through meaningful, long-term relationships with people who become more like family. And we all want our family members to stay healthy and strong so they can live their best lives, unburdened by disease. That’s why we created the Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program.

Here’s how it works:

  • Selected students graduate without tuition debt and receive a $2,000 per month stipend.
  • Upon completion of residency training, program participants become Geisinger-employed physicians. Specialties include family medicine, internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics and psychiatry.
  • 1 year of service equals 1 year of support, with a 2-year minimum.