Lifestyle and Benefits

Life in central Pennsylvania

Life in Central Pennsylvania

Training to become a physician is a rigorous process. A successful career as a physician requires a healthy balance of dedication to patient care as well as attention to life outside of work. Central Pennsylvania is a beautiful setting that provided an excellent quality of life, easy access to recreation, and a surprising amount and diversity of cultural offerings.  This is truly a wonderful place to live, play, and learn.

High Quality Lifestyle

The reasonable cost of living in our area means your salary will allow you to live comfortably in the community. Ample apartments and homes in all settings and for all tastes can be found.

We know that in order for residents to be happy, the important people in their lives need to be happy too. With consistently low unemployment rates, the area offers diverse employment options for residents' partners. Major employers in Hershey include the Hershey Medical Center, Hershey Company, Hershey Entertainment and Resort, and Hershey Foods. In neighboring Harrisburg, less than fifteen minutes away, many state government employment opportunities are available.

Partners in Medicine is a group comprised of spouses/significant others of residents, interns, and fellows of all specialties at the Medical Center. Although they come from various backgrounds and perspectives, members of this group share a common bond: the residency journey. Partners in Medicine is dedicated to introducing residents and spouses to one another and offering an outlet for networking, social activities, and facilitating friendships.

The local school systems are excellent and include both public and private options. The nearby Penn State Harrisburg Commonwealth Campus in Middletown provides educational opportunities for dependents of residents with a generous 75% discount on tuition. A local National Public Radio station and diverse religious organizations knit the community together.

Many single residents choose to spend their free time with fellow residents or mingle with other locals. A popular Friday and Saturday night destination is downtown Harrisburg's nightclub-lined "Second Street," where the local music and dance scene is a short drive to the state's capital city. Great restaurants, live music, stand-up comics, and resident and visiting DJ's create a vibrant, exciting atmosphere.

Benefit Highlights

  • 75% tuition reduction for resident and dependents while attending any Penn State campus
  • Competitive salary that goes far in this area with low cost of living
  • Health, vision, dental, disability, life, and malpractice insurance
  • 15-20 days annually of vacation and CME
  • Free access to an academic medical center library's educational resources: UpToDate, DynaMed, MedLine, and many others
  • Access to on-site fitness center and on-site daycare center at discounted employee rates
  • Click here to learn more about our benefits


Penn State Family Medicine residency program recognizes the challenges faced by primary care clinicians in our changing health care system. We strive to prepare our residents for a lifetime of effective management of stress and adversity to optimize health, wellbeing, and success at work and at home.

  • Our program has an annual retreat with residents, faculty, and staff.
  • Our Wellness Leadership Group consisting of a dedicated group of faculty and residents work together to organize 10 hours of didactic time in our weekly afternoon conferences. This time has included a “mini-retreat” with team-building and relaxation exercises.
  • We also organize extracurricular outings to help reduce stress and foster connectedness among residents and faculty. Together, these efforts help create a stable foundation for lifelong growth and resilience in a challenging career.

Hershey: A Town Built on Chocolate

When Milton Hershey established the town of Hershey he intended it to be an attractive community for the employees of his chocolate factory to live, work, and play. One hundred years later, the town of Hershey continues to be welcoming and vibrant. 

Milton Hershey's mark on the community is evident as streets are lined with "chocolate kisses," and the smell of chocolate permeates the air from The Hershey Company's chocolate factory. Hershey Entertainment & Resorts also attracts millions of visitors from around the world. Local residents join in the fun at Hersheypark, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, and the Hershey Gardens. The American Hockey League Championship-winning Hershey Bears team shares the Giant Center with national and world-renowned performers that rival the lineup of any major city. Musicians, comedians, Disney on Ice, and even political rallies are a small sampling of the diverse entertainment options. More intimate gatherings at the Star Pavilion and the Hershey Theater bring the Blue Man Group, Ben Folds, James Taylor, and Broadway shows like Saturday Night Fever to Hershey.

Upscale accommodations and spa experiences are available at The Hotel Hershey and The Spa at the Hotel Hershey, while fine dining is enjoyed at Devon Seafood Grill, Harvest restaurant, and the Hotel Hershey's Circular Dining Room among others. Hershey also boasts a collection of coffee shops and casual dining options. The chef in the house will appreciate the fresh produce available at several farmer's markets nearby and even right next to the hospital campus. Shop at the Tanger Outlets of Hershey or channel your competitive streak by hitting the links at four local golf courses. 

Within Driving Distance

Many local residents enjoy summer weekends on the beaches of New Jersey and Maryland. Others prefer to get away to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, all of which are well within a day trip of home. Getting there is even easier with the local Amtrak stations.