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Better Know An Associated Campus: Penn State College of Medicine

There are 24 campuses in the Penn State system. The one that gets the most attention is University Park, but what about the other 23? That’s where we come in with our newest 23 part series, Better Know a Branch Campus, inspired by Stephen Colbert’s Better Know a District. Next up: Penn State College of Medicine.

Name: The Penn State College of Medicine, The Fightin’ Meds!

Dean: Dr. Harold L. Paz, M.D., M.S. This dude has an incredibly impressive bio. You should read it.

Enrollment: The school currently has 565 clinical residents and fellows. Also, 1 in 67 applicants for U.S. medical schools apply to the College of Medicine.

Location: The “campus” isn’t really a campus, per say. It is located in the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The medical center is located approximately 96 miles from Philadelphia, 100 miles from State College, and 214 miles from Pittsburgh.

Sports: I’m sure there’s a basketball court nearby where residents can shoot hoops, but as for any real teams, nope.

Fun Fact: The college doesn’t just accept prospective doctors. The College of Medicine also has a program for nursing students. Also, Penn State Hershey is supported by more than $100 million in awards from federal, state, and private agencies, businesses, and individuals.

History: The M.S. Hershey Foundation offered Penn State $50 million for a medical school and teaching hospital. Between that and a $21.3 million grant from the U.S. Public Health Service, the Milton S. Hershey opened in 1967 and admitted its first patients in 1970. The College of Medicine has granted 3,907 medical degrees and 1,300 graduate degrees, and has admitted nearly 27,000 patients.

Right Now: The College of Medicine has 10 degree programs: anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, bioengineering, cell and molecular biology, genetics, integrative biosciences, microbiology and immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and physiology. The total staff of the medical center and the college eclipses 9,000 people.

Story Time: Got one story. Here it is, in list form!

  1. Hershey is a very small town with practically no night life. When I started here in 2012 there were about three bars, then one lost its liquor license and one went out of business. Students end up going to Harrisburg to get a night out, which requires either booking taxis or finding a friend willing to DD. A lot of students (like 50%) live in the on-campus apartments so apartment parties are easy and popular, but they tend to get broken up by campus security early.
  2. THON is surprisingly not well known. Even though the Children’s Hospital benefits greatly from THON’s efforts, students who didn’t go to PSU for undergrad have no clue that it even exists let alone how much it raises. Some of the interest groups participate in THON (the Student Pediatric Society in particular), but there are no school-wide efforts.
  3. Public transportation is basically nonexistent. You need a car here.
  4. The air really does smell like chocolate :)

Next Time: There is no next time. This series is over. Make sure to tip your waitress on your way out, y’all. Peace.

Previous Better Know a Branch Campus Features: AbingtonAltoonaBeaverBerksBrandywineDuBoisErieFayetteGreater AlleghenyHarrisburgHazletonLehigh ValleyMont AltoNew KensingtonSchuylkillShenangoWilkes-BarreWorthington ScrantonYorkPenn TechWorld Campus, Great Valley.

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