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Program overview

Aims and program values

The Lewistown Family Medicine Residency provides a creative, supportive, collaborative learning environment. You'll flourish here if you share our passion for rural family medicine. After your training, you will be a competent, confident and compassionate physician who’s prepared to practice full-spectrum family medicine in rural or underserved areas. And you’ll be able to see yourself as a leader in your community, taking pride in meeting the challenges inherent to practicing in areas with limited resources.


  • Offer educational experiences across the spectrum of age, gender, health and disease state
  • Appreciation for the individual, family and community
  • Learn to use available resources to provide high-quality care
  • Understand financial aspects, quality indices, workflow and functionality of each team member across all settings
  • Knowledge and experience in the care of complex patients with limited access to care
  • Competency in procedures both common and unique to family medicine
  • Focus on your well-being as a resident, with emphasis on self-care and awareness of limitations
  • Warm, friendly and supportive learning environment that encourages self-directed learning and creativity
  • Collaborative, team-based approach to didactics
  • Strong relationship between residents and patients in continuity clinic

Program values

  • Integrity: Be an honest, professional leader
  • Passion: Care about your work, be proactive and hard-working
  • Compassion: Be caring, patient-centered and respectful
  • Teamwork: Be patient, supportive and flexible
  • Well-being: Create a positive work environment, be mindful and engaged


Your three-year residency is based at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital with select rotations at Geisinger Healthplex State College, Geisinger Scenery Park and Geisinger Medical Center. The curriculum meets the American Board of Family Medicine requirements, and the program is accredited through Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Continuity outpatient clinic occurs at one of two sites: Family Practice Center – Mifflintown and Geisinger Mifflintown. Your continuity site remains the same throughout your training. The curriculum takes place over a 13-block academic year.

PGY1 rotations

Your first year emphasizes acute inpatient and outpatient care with both children and adults. You will spend one half-day per week in the outpatient continuity clinic. Rotations include:

  • Community medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • General surgery/wound care
  • Gynecology
  • ICU/pulmonology
  • Inpatient cardiology
  • Inpatient family medicine
  • Inpatient psychiatry
  • Obstetrics
  • Outpatient pediatrics 
  • Outpatient psychiatry 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Population health 
PGY2 rotations

Your second year expands upon the skills learned in the first year and introduces longitudinal nursing home and additional elective time to create a tailored learning experience based on future career goals. You will spend, on average, two full days per week in the outpatient continuity clinic. Rotations include:

  • Electives 
  • Emergency medicine 
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics
  • Inpatient family medicine
  • Inpatient pediatrics
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics 
  • Orthopaedics
  • Outpatient cardiology
  • Outpatient pediatrics
  • Urology
PGY3 rotations

Your third year gives you ample time to explore aspects of family medicine you feel you need in anticipation of your graduation and transition to independent practice. You’ll spend, on average, two full days per week in your outpatient continuity clinic. Rotations include:

  • Community medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Electives
  • Endocrinology
  • ENT
  • Geriatrics
  • Hem/Onc
  • Inpatient family medicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Outpatient pediatrics
  • Pain management 
  • Practice management
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
  • Sports medicine
*Curriculum is subject to change as the program continues to grow and develop new opportunities.

Educational conferences

At the Lewistown Rural Family Medicine Residency, residents participate in various educational sessions throughout each academic year. We’ve designed the educational content to provide thorough coverage of common family medicine topics, hands-on procedural practice, patient safety, workplace diversity, well-being and quality improvement topics. By scheduling resident-led presentations, we encourage the development of resident teaching and leadership abilities as well as scholarly activity in areas of research, practice management and quality improvement topic discussions.

The program offers a monthly noon series and weekly afternoon didactic blocks. These sessions are designed to enhance your ability to search and interpret medical literature for up-to-date information. They also help determine how new and emerging information may impact your current practice, with a focus on evidence-based medicine. You’ll also participate in half-day educational activities such as dermatology grand rounds and addiction medicine workshops, when available.

Monthly noon lecture series

Scheduled one week per month from noon to 1 p.m., this series is facilitated by a member of our core faculty team with a focus on hospital cardiology, EKG interpretation and common cardiac patient presentations.
Weekly didactic block

Scheduled on Thursday afternoons from noon to 5 p.m., these focused lectures and hands-on procedural workshops focus on pertinent family medicine topics for inpatient and outpatient settings. Areas of discussion include behavioral health, Balint, wellness, pharmacology, internal and family medicine, as well as specialty topics such as pulmonary/critical care, emergency medicine and palliative medicine. Simulation-based procedural training will help you learn side by side with family medicine through in-simulation-based procedure workshops in areas such as point-of-care ultrasound, central line placement, suturing and airway management.
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Osteopathic recognition

The program is dedicated to providing a comprehensive, well-rounded education for residents like you, including curriculum focusing on the principles and practice of osteopathic medicine. As part of that commitment, in September 2021, the program received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for Osteopathic Recognition. If you are an osteopathic and allopathic resident with sufficient background and/or instruction in osteopathic philosophy and techniques in manipulative medicine, you are eligible to participate. Designated osteopathic residents will participate in a dedicated osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) clinic as well as osteopathic-focused grand rounds, journal clubs and didactics.

Lewistown Family Medicine Residency
Skye Altaire, DO

Our residency is dedicated to the expansion of osteopathic knowledge. We have established an OMT clinic that cares for patients of all ages and body types. Our clinic has Amish patients who are seeking a different way of medicine. We have teenagers recovering from sports and older patients with multiple chronic medical problems that are exacerbated by their musculoskeletal pain. Since the patient population in Mifflintown is so diverse, our clinic is a point of stability in our medical community for providers to refer patients who perhaps have tried physical therapy or medications with no relief. Our core faculty includes Dr. Kenneth Erdman Jr., who has practiced OMT for 30 years and is delighted to teach and learn with family physicians interested in practicing it. We also have two more DO faculty members who exemplify osteopathic medicine in our continuity clinic. Apply to our residency if you are interested in a career in family medicine with the desire to practice OMT in our beautiful rural setting."

Scholarly activity

We’re here to support your scholarly activity endeavors and research interests. Program administration and faculty will guide you through the IRB process with the goal of publication and presentation by the conclusion of residency.

Each year, residents have the opportunity to attend the Clinical Research training course intended to provide an introduction to clinical research methods. The course is organized to cover basic concepts in epidemiology and biostatistics to more advanced topics. Mentoring and consultation support is also included and is designed to allow attendees to develop a research project.

The Geisinger Education Department sponsors an Annual Scholarship Day to allow residents and fellows to showcase their considerable efforts in research. Residents with scholarly activities are encouraged to participate.
Program achievements

  • Dr. Anne Ivie, Class of 2021
    • Collaborated with the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), to conduct a study to improve obstetrics curriculums in family medicine.
  • Dr. Lionel Varela, Class of 2021
    • Presented his case report on Emerging role of Aprepitant in cannabis hyperemesis syndrome at the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) conference in Hershey, PA. He received a first-place honor for this presentation.
  • Drs. Sai Swapnika Guttikonda and Intekhab Askari Syed, Class of 2022 
    • Presented their poster on Streptococcus anginosus bacteremia causing septic shock with hepatic abscess at the national CHEST conference in October 2020.
  • Drs. Skye Altaire and Wael Tasabehji, Class of 2023
    • Presented their poster Implementing a Daily Multi-disciplinary Team Meeting (“Huddle”) and its Effect on Health Care Quality and Team Cohesion at the 2022 Geisinger’s Research Days in Danville, PA 
  • Drs. Kenya Psalms, Class of 2023
    • Presented with Dr. Benjamin Silverman on their poster Chronic Bronchitis Induced by Immunosuppression from Betalacept at the 2022 American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Francisco
  • Dr. Oliver Ruiz, Class of 2023
    • Presented his poster Improving the Quality of Preoperative Assessment in a Family Medicine Residency Outpatient Clinic at the 2022 PAFP Annual Research Day in Lancaster, PA
  • Dr. Mandy Maneval, Program Director
    • Presented with Dr. Anne Ivie on Evaluation of Obstetric Training in Family Medicine Residency Programs at the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) conference in Hershey, PA
    • Publications:
      • Maneval ML. We Are All the Same. JAMA. 201922; 321 (3) : 249-250.
      • Parvataneni, Swetha; Varela, Lionel; Vemuri-Reddy, Sireesha; Maneval, Mandy. Emerging Role of Aprepitant in Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome. Cureus. Available at: Published06/06/2019.
      • Evidence based medicine review - Vemuri-Reddy, Sireesha, Maneval, Mandy. Is Riboflavin supplementation effective for migraine prevention in children? Family Physician Inquiries Network. Published April 2020.


At Geisinger, you’ll find an inclusive environment that’s respectful to all patients, staff, learners and colleagues. You’re encouraged to engage in healthy and productive conversations around diversity, including topics such as gender, race, ethnicity, cultural beliefs, religion, sexual orientation, age, size, socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability, and diversity of thought. Here, we value and embrace diversity. We urge our patients, members and employees to bring their most authentic selves into the clinic or workplace.

Geisinger, Graduate Medical Education and our program offer diversity, equity and inclusion training. We are committed to: 

  • Ensuring respect and inclusion are foundational to our policies, operations and services
  • Promoting diversity in the workplace and leadership
  • Offering cross-cultural training to eliminate health disparities and provide the best care for every patient, every time

We are proud to announce that seven Geisinger hospitals earned designations in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2019 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Index. Two locations, including Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., received the “Leader” designation, the highest possible, with five others receiving “Top Performer” honors.

As part of the Geisinger family, you can join one or more employee resource groups (ERGs) for networking and support. These groups are part of Geisinger’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. ERGs form around common identities and are open to all employees. They’ll help you build internal and external networks and further develop professionally. Learn about our employee resource groups.

HRSA Grant

In 2020, the program was fortunate to receive a five-year HRSA Grant to enhance and expand rural family medicine residency.  The primary goals and objectives for the grant include:

  • Increase recruitment and retention of family medicine physicians in rural and underserved areas by:
    • Increasing the residency compliment from 4 residents per year to 6 residents per year.
    • Adding a second continuity clinic site at Geisinger Juniata.
    • Collaborating with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) to establish a 3+3 program for medical students.
    • Increasing resident recruitment from GCSOM and HRSA-funded regional schools by:
      • Developing a mentoring program for Geisinger Primary Care Scholars
      • Establishing a Summer Rural Health Program for medical and college students
      • Supporting student involvement in scholarly projects
      • Recruiting graduates to Geisinger and rural areas
  • Increase preparedness of family medicine residents to practice in rural and underserved areas by:
    • Establishing curriculum in pain management, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
    • Enhancing curriculum in primary care assessment and management of mental health issues
    • Improving skills in interprofessional team care in underserved communities
    • Establishing curriculum and consultation program in telehealth
    • Establishing curriculum in community and population health and health care leadership
    • Establishing curriculum in common primary care procedures and improving healthcare communication
  • Increase access to care in residency training sites by:
    • Initiating and sustaining faculty practice of SUD treatment and MAT at training sites
    • Establishing and expanding telehealth at resident training sites with resident participation
    • Increasing availability of primary care physicians and visits through expansion of the residency program to a second clinic site 


The Lewistown Rural Family Medicine Residency provides extensive and diverse educational opportunities that align with our mission of training competent, caring and compassionate physicians who are well-rounded. The program works to make sure well-being needs remain at the forefront of our training. We have developed curricula to ensure a healthy work-life balance can be achieved, as spending time with a strong support system — including family and friends — is the key to success. Ensuring residents have ample time to spend with those who matter most to them is important to us. This close-knit residency family aspires to welcome and support all residents, faculty, staff and their support systems through their career and life journeys.

The following are some activities and resources to help support our residents’ well-being:

  • Two hours/month resident-driven well-being activities – Examples include bowling, yoga, movie night and painting. These will be scheduled outside of regular duty hours and are optional.  
  • One full-day/quarter team-building and professional development retreats – These activities are designed to improve professional knowledge, competence, skill, team effectiveness, team motivation and overall teamwork. Examples include wilderness medicine hiking and escape room. These will be scheduled within regular duty hours and are mandatory.   
  • Well-being didactics series – Includes topics such as EMR efficiency and financial well-being.  
  • Well-being & social champions – Resident and faculty volunteers help determine and coordinate the monthly resident-driven activities, additional social outings and help provide input for the team-building and professional development retreats. 
  • Faculty & resident advisors – Residents are assigned a faculty advisor and an upper-year peer advisor. Residents meet with advisors once per quarter to discuss residency progress, career goals and individualized learning plans. 
  • Inter-class houses – Residents are assigned to one of three houses. Each house consists of at least one faculty head of house and two residents from each class to allow residents to form longitudinal relationships with faculty and residents outside the clinical setting. 
  • Encourage gratitude – Kudos boards are used to regularly encourage expressing gratitude to team members. 
  • Celebrate accomplishments – Recognition of individual and group accomplishments in newsletters and program/department meetings. 
  • Flexible time-off for appointments – We work with residents to make time in their schedules to allow for appointments.
  • Free snacks/beverages – Residents are provided GEM pay for on-call meals as well as free snacks/beverages stocked in the physician lounge. 
  • Support groups – Monthly sessions provided by our behavioral health specialist. 
  • Balint groups – At least quarterly groups provided by our behavioral health specialist. 
  • 1:1 well-being check-ins – At least quarterly check-ins, with more frequent check-ins available, with our behavioral health specialist. 
  • Monthly chief resident and/or resident meetings – To promote regular communication, address issues/concerns and discuss ways to continually grow and improve the program. 

Geisinger well-being resources
Geisinger Graduate Medical Education (GME) seeks to create and sustain a culture of well-being for all learners by identifying factors that contribute to learner well-being through research. A dedicated Well-being Subcommittee manages well-being resources and implements well-being strategies across the institution’s GME programs. 

As an institution, Geisinger provides employees with resources and guidance to become stronger and more resilient by making health and well-being more accessible than ever before. From the Employee Assistance Program to MyHealth Rewards, Geisinger is committed to helping all members of the family to maintain and enhance their well-being.

  • Employee Assistance Program – Free, confidential support available 24/7.  
  • Geisinger Resident Auxiliary – A group designed to provide socialization for resident spouses and families.
  • House Staff Association – Holds social events for residents throughout the year. 
  • Spiritual care – Geisinger Lewistown campus has a chapel open to every faith for prayer or meditation. Spiritual care is also on call for critical incidence stress debriefing, spiritual well-being and ethical dilemmas.
  • Fitness – At Geisinger Lewistown, the Cardio Pulmonary Rehab Department has equipment available for employees to use after regular patient service hours. Residents can also submit for gym membership reimbursements through Geisinger Health Plan. 
  • Yoga – There are yoga classes on the first Thursday of each month from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.