Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there an orientation program for incoming residents?
    Incoming residents are provided with both a general institutional and department specific orientation program. The Institutional orientation provides an overview of the graduate medical education office, employment requirements, HR benefits, and integrated hospital systems (IT, Imaging). 

    The departmental orientation comprises 2-3 days. Topics include residency structure, curriculum requirements, professional billing, and documentation.  Simulation with pelvic exams, vaginal delivery, suturing, fetal monitor strips are done.  Tours of the inpatient and outpatient settings are included.  You will also spend time learning am and pm rounds and sign outs.  

    All interns also participate in the ALSO Course (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics).  This is done in conjunction with our Family and Community Medicine program and occurs in the early days of June. 

  2. Is there a formal didactic curriculum and what is its structure?
    A formal didactic curriculum, administered by departmental faculty exists both for the PGY-1 residents and for the residency as a whole. The Basic Obstetrics & Gynecology (BOG) lecture series is designed for the PGY-1 residents, and is held in the first two months of residency. These lectures occur three times per week. Selected topics provide fundamental training in common Ob/Gyn issues. The Wednesday Education Series is a repeating 2 year curriculum which covers all of the CREOG educational objectives.  Please see details in #3 below. 
  3. What programs exist for resident education (e.g. lectures, journal clubs, grand rounds, board review courses)?
    With a few exceptions, the resident educational program is concentrated into a weekly Wednesday afternoon session that spans from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The conferences held during this time period include:

    1. Chairman's Rounds
    2. Chapter Review
    3. Journal Club
    4. Faculty Lecture Series
    5. Grand Rounds
    6. Simulation Labs, approximately 4 per year
    7. Residency Meetings
    8. CREOG and Board Review Lectures

    In addition to the Wednesday afternoon education, residents have the opportunity to participate in:
    Oncology - Pathology reviews
    Perinatal - NICU Friday Conference
    MFM fellow education topics
    Monthly GME sponsored lectures
  4. Is there a feedback structure that allows for the resident to evaluate the program's curriculum?
    Residents provide feedback at monthly resident meetings and during the course of rotations. Formal reviews of the curriculum and program occur yearly. The residents give evaluations of each rotation at their completion. They also anonymously evaluate the faculty they work directly with during these rotations. Residents complete an evaluation of the Wednesday Education Curriculum each year. They also evaluate the program each year. A comprehensive review of the curriculum occurs each year with the above information and input from each of the Division Chiefs, the Department Chair, and the Assistant and Program Directors.
  5. Is attendance at regional and national conferences encouraged? Is it funded, and if so, to what degree?
    Attendance at regional and national conferences is strongly encouraged. The Department provides funding for travel and lodging if the resident will be making an oral presentation of research findings. Although Department funding is not provided for CME courses and non-oral academic presentations, funds from the individual resident's educational disbursement may be used.
  6. What are the required rotations for the first year? Subsequent years?
    The Residency curriculum is designed to provide exposure to both general and subspecialty fields within Ob/Gyn, in addition to critical and primary care. 

    Required rotations for each PG year are listed below:

    PGY-1 PGY-2 PGY-3 PGY-4
    Obstetrics REI MIGS Gynecology


    Harrisburg Outpatient FPMRS
    Office Practice Gynecology MFM Oncology
    Night Float MFM Harrisburg Obstetrics
    Oncology Research Night Float Night Float
    Harrisburg Night Float Elective Outpatient

    Descriptions of each rotation and its associated knowledge and technical objectives can be found in the Obstetrics & Gynecology Resident Manual - Appendix A.
  7. Are there opportunities to do "away" rotations?
    Elective rotations, both within the institution and at non-affiliated institutions are built into the second half of the PGY3 year. Electives are decided by each resident and approved by the faculty and GME Office. Electives regarding any area of women's health are appropriate.
  8. Is there a formal mentoring program for new residents, and do faculty serve as mentors?
    All residents are provided with the opportunity to select a formal faculty mentor, although it is not required. Most mentorship relationships develop informally through the resident's involvement in research activities. If a resident is identified as being someone who may benefit from structured mentoring at anytime during residency, a faculty mentor is often selected with the aid of the Program Director.

  1. Are research opportunities provided to residents? Is this a required experience?
    Research is a valued and important part of resident education. Completion of a formal research project is required for graduation from the program. Research projects are either resident or faculty initiated. Residents must devise and propose to the IRB his/her research during the PGY-2 year and conduct enrollment during the PGY-3 year. Each PGY3 presents at our department research day held on the Friday before our Chief Resident Graduation.  Residents are encouraged to publish this presentation.  Residents also have opportunities for other projects.  See number 2 below.
  2. Is there a possibility of "protected" time for research?
    Our PGY2 residents spend 10 weeks on a research rotation.  This includes exposure to bench research, research concepts, quality improvement, and start your mandatory research project.  
  3. How are fellowships handled?
    Residents who desire to pursue a fellowship after residency often receive mentorship from faculty in that particular subspecialty. Most fellowship applications occur at the end of the PGY-3 year with interviews occurring at the beginning of the PGY-4 year. There is time built into the PGY-4 year for interviewing. Residents in the past have done rotations at particular institutions where they are interested in applying. Our residency has placed residents in GynOnc, MFM and MIGS fellowships.

  1. What teaching responsibilities for medical students are expected of residents?
    All residents are expected to help in the development of our medical students. At any one time, most services will have from 1-3 students with them. Teaching usually is on a one-to-one basis during rounds or at the patient bedside. Each resident on an individual basis can develop more formal "lectures". Fourth year electives or sub-internships are also available though our department.
  2. If residents have teaching responsibilities, how much time per week is spent with students? Is it "protected" time?
    It's hard to quantify how much time per week is spent with the students. They accompany the residents throughout the daily team activities with the exception of their noon lecture series. There is no "protected" time for student teaching built into the schedule.
  3. Is there any formal training for residents on how to teach students and other learners effectively, and how to provide feedback?
    Lectures and examples of student teaching are given to the residents. In the PGY3 year, the residents are offered to attend a CREOG Teaching Seminar. One of our simulation days is focused on "Residents as Teachers".  Excellence in resident teaching is recognized with an annual teaching award presented by the medical school.

  1. How often are residents evaluated?
    Residents are evaluated very frequently during their whole course of the program.  This includes daily to weekly review of procedures and patient care and end of rotation summary evaluations.  Periodic 360 degree evaluations are done from the inpatient and outpatient venues. 
  2. What is the structure of the evaluation (forms, face-to-face, etc)?
    Each resident reviews their portfolio twice yearly with the Program Director.  During this interaction, milestone evaluation progress and end of rotation evaluations are reviewed.

    The review of procedures and patient care evaluations are done real time at the end of encounters so directed feedback can be elicited.  A form is then generated to complete milestone assessments.
  3. What other forms of feedback does the resident receive (in-training exam, etc)?
    The CREOG in-service exam is taken yearly by all resident's in January. The scores on this exam are used to help structure an education program and highlight strengths and weaknesses, not as a measure for advancement.  Each resident meets with the chairman after CREOGs to discuss their score and on what areas to work.  Finally, a significant amount of feedback comes directly from faculty during specific rotations.
  4. What support structures are in place for residents in academic need?
    Residents who need a more formal, structured educational program are paired with a mentor who guides him/her in this endeavor. The mentor then devises a program in conjunction with the resident and program director. 

  1. What are the basic resident benefits?
    Details of benefits offered to residents can be found in the Penn State Health Residency Programs Benefits Guide.
  2. Is parking a concern for residents at your program?
    There is a large, well-light, gated lot directly in front of the hospital where staff park at night. Most of the time, there is ample space in this lot. During the day, a lot to the side of the Hospital in easy walking distance is utilized. The lot is safe and patrolled by security. Crime is very low in Hershey and safety in the lot is rarely an issue. There is no cost for parking.
  3. Are meals paid for when on call?
    A meal stipend is placed on the resident ID card and renewed quarterly.
  4. What is your family leave policy?
    Residents participate in FMLA through Human Resources. Non-education related absences are subject to approval from the Administrative Chief and the Program Director. To be able to sit for ABOG Written Boards, the cumulative sum of all absences/paid time off may not exceed 8 weeks in sum of any given academic year for PGY 1-3 residents, and 6 weeks for PGY 4 residents with a total of 20 weeks maximum.
  5. Is there reimbursement for educational supplies and books?
    Each resident has an educational disbursement fund, which he/she may use for books and supplies. 
  6. How are residents represented at the institution level? How is the resident member of Graduate Medical Education Committee selected?
    Residents are represented through a Resident Council. The council is run through the office of Graduate Medical Education. Representatives from each specialty meet monthly to discuss institutional Graduate Medical Education issues. The representative for our department is selected on a volunteer basis.
  7. Is there a union? Is membership mandatory? Are there dues?
    There is no resident union at the Medical Center.
  8. Is there a House Officers Association?
    See Above.