Skip to main content
Physician speaking with patient in bed

Doctor of Medicine (MD) program

Medical students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine are a part of the community and clinical curriculum is delivered regionally. Geisinger Commonwealth covers counties in northeastern and central Pennsylvania with four regional campuses headquartered in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Danville and Sayre. Each of these campuses is an integral part of the school’s distributive model of medical education and provides students with early clinical experiences in diverse settings.

During the first two years of their medical education, students take part in Experiential Learning in the Community (ELIC) and work with a Family-centered Experience (FCE) program family, standardized patients and a physician mentor. In addition to this early clinical education, students participate in Longitudinal Community Health Intervention Projects (L-CHIPs) to gain more research experience, investigate and/or solve a community health issue, make an immediate impact on their regional campus community and enhance the health of the regional citizens.

Geisinger Commonwealth is among the first medical schools in the U.S. to adopt the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) model as the standard clinical experience for the entire medical school class in the third year. For Geisinger Comonwealth students, third year is an innovative hybrid of inpatient block experiences and a six-month LIC. The LIC model allows students to follow a panel of patients as they train with clinical preceptors in six different core disciplines (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, OB-GYN and surgery). We are focused on developing a diverse community of physicians who are skilled in evidence-based medicine, the latest technology and working within an interprofessional medical team. Students also participate in further research experience during their Quality Improvement Community Collaboratives (QuICCs).

Each student completes a minimum of 100 volunteer hours in the community, and many volunteer well beyond the minimum requirement. Service can address myriad important community challenges, such as expanding access to high-quality care, improving the education of our children, addressing the needs of the disadvantaged and supporting efforts to prevent domestic violence and child abuse.

Communication and technology

Geisinger Commonwealth places a strong emphasis on the development of effective communication skills that span the continuum of patient care through interprofessional collaboration. Each student is equipped with a mobile technology package which connects them with each other, with their professors and clinical preceptors, with group meetings and course material and with the library from any location.

Geisinger Commonwealth’s academic and research programs are housed within the Medical Sciences Building in Scranton, Pa., and community-based learning is experienced within our regional campuses.

The learning environment

Geisinger Commonwealth offers an MD program, distinctive for its personal education style and its community service component that grounds students in medical education, research issues and healthcare needs of the community.

The school functions with a distributive model of medical education with regional campuses – North (Scranton), South (Wilkes-Barre), Central (Danville) and Guthrie (Sayre) – providing students with experiences in diverse clinical settings. Life-long learning, communication and collaboration are the foundation of Geisinger Commonwealth. With both basic science and clinical faculty, we focus on giving life to these educational values through commitment to student-centered learning and personal professional development. The strong research component of the MD program builds a solid foundation for collaborative relationships with allied health professionals and greater real world experience.

MD program educational objectives

  1. Medical knowledge: The competent graduate will have the necessary body of knowledge within the basic, clinical and cognate sciences (e.g. epidemiological and social behavioral) to be prepared for successful transition into graduate medical education training. Moreover, the graduate will have the skills that will enable the continual assimilation and utilization of the concepts and knowledge discovered throughout the years following medical school to optimize patient care.
  2. Practice-based learning and improvement: The competent graduate will be self-aware and understand his/her learning needs to continually optimize their professional performance and patient care. The graduate should be able to investigate, reflect, and evaluate his/her patient-care practices and to critically filter, appraise and assimilate evolving scientific evidence.
  3. Interpersonal skills and communication: The competent graduate will have essential verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills, as well as compassionate and culturally sensitive interpersonal skills that promote effective information exchange and collaboration with patients, patients’ families and professional associates.
  4. Professionalism: The competent graduate will have professional integrity with awareness of and commitment to the principles and responsibilities of the medical profession and a profound respect and unconditional regard for human dignity.
  5. Patient care: The competent graduate must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health. The graduate will be required to construct appropriate, fundamental management strategies (diagnostic and therapeutic) for patients with common health problems that may be emergent, acute or chronic, across the spectrum of disciplines, while considering costs for the patient and others. The graduate must be able to combine knowledge of basic biomedical, clinical and cognate sciences to accomplish the above.
  6. Systems-based practice: The competent graduate will have an awareness of the larger context and systems of healthcare and will aptly strive to contribute to system improvement. The graduate will have sensitivity and responsiveness to the interrelationships of the individual, their communities and the healthcare system.

Community-based, patient-centered, innovative education