There’s a space in medicine where encyclopedic scientific knowledge and finely tuned clinical skills can’t reach. It’s the space where a physician connects with patients – beyond their collection of signs and symptoms – on a human level where true communication occurs. As medicine’s technological complexity increases, so does the need for practitioners who effortlessly inhabit this infinitely more fundamental space. At Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine we call that space caring and, along with mastery of medical knowledge and clinical skills, it forms the basis of our MD curriculum.
“Geisinger Commonwealth really is grounded in community. During Experiential Learning in the Community, students get to see this. We work in area agencies – I worked in a center for the intellectually disabled and a women’s shelter – and we see the resources available. It helped me to feel compassion. It felt good helping – the experience re-ignited my desire to give back.”
– Stephanie Amendola, MD Class of 2020
Regionally engaged, nationally relevant
Geisinger Commonwealth is unique among academic health centers. While all have well developed research capabilities and carefully crafted educational programs, at Geisinger Commonwealth, patient care is a robust third pillar. Our distributed campus model – with regional campuses in Atlantic City, Danville, Sayre, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre – and our tremendous community clinical faculty – numbering more than 1,200 – thrust patient care to the forefront of everything our students learn. That commitment to patient care is one great strength of a Geisinger Commonwealth medical education.
Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum (LIC): Our third-year program curriculum is an innovative hybrid of inpatient block experiences and an outpatient longitudinal integrated curriculum. During one half-year, students will complete the LIC, working simultaneously in in six different core disciplines (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, OB/GYN and general surgery). The other half of the year is dedicated to more traditional blocks rotations primarily in hospital settings, selectives and electives.
“With the LIC, students get to understand patient care over time. It’s good for the students because the patients get to know you and trust you. My patients got very comfortable with me and allowed me to see how they navigate the health system.”
– Jessica Briscoe, MD Class of 2020
Research opportunitiesMedical research today is much like physics – focusing on things both galactically enormous and so small we can only infer their existence. On the “macro” side, medical researchers believe population health is the key to subduing modern-day scourges like high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as the growing problems of addiction and suicide. Yet even as medicine zooms out to consider the health of entire populations, it is also going “micro” with the advent of precision medicine through genomics. At Geisinger Commonwealth, researchers are on the cutting edge of these disciplines and everything in between.
“What I love about Geisinger Commonwealth is that no one I approached about research was put off by having to teach me. It’s just not a big thing here – all of the professors wanted to help me. The faculty puts their time into the students to help us. I’ve learned so much and I am really grateful.”
– Nishant Modi, MD Class of 2020
An abundance of resources is brought to bear to ensure Geisinger Commonwealth students make the best residency match possible. Geisinger Commonwealth’s collaborative advising model is intensive and effective. In fact, the school’s student affairs team presented on their approach at a meeting of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Students receive strategic direction in regard to application submission and peer mentoring is provided by alumni as needed.
“I had a leg up on figuring out how to be a professional. One of the most valuable lessons I learned at Geisinger Commonwealth was that I’d spend a long time training – during all the young years of my life – and that I couldn’t look at it as a pause. It’s not a pause. This is real life and you have to keep living it.”
– Sarah Bashaw, MD ’15, matched into general surgery residency at Geisinger Medical Center