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Program Description

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Our ACGME accredited program offers 12 residency positions per post-graduate year of training and two preliminary positions for a total of 38 residents.

The teaching faculty consists of nine full-time and 2 part-time faculty members. Approximately 100 volunteer faculty members from the community enhance the learning experience. The culturally diverse program is currently operating under a 5 year accreditation cycle.

House staff training is based at Harrisburg Hospital, which is the main site for inpatient ward rotations. Outpatient continuity clinic experiences are provided at the Kline Health Center. In addition, private physician offices provide subspecialty ambulatory experiences in a real-life practice setting.

We provide a highly structured teaching curriculum in a community environment. Our program has several innovative teaching models in place, such as business skills and leadership workshops, a practical clinical skills course during internship and ongoing “Mock Code” sessions.

Our program has major university affiliations with Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Drexel University. These academic affiliations place emphasis on our senior residents as “teachers” in core rotations to approximately 6 - 8 medical students per month.

Program Philosophy

The philosophy of our program is to provide excellent teachers and facilities along with the necessary tools for young physicians to gain superior clinical competence and teach the skills necessary for lifelong scholarship in all areas of internal medicine. We achieve this goal by emphasizing individual growth and providing an environment conducive for learning.

Program Goals

Our first and foremost goal is to provide superior training in the ever expanding discipline of internal medicine thereby ensuring our residents meet the requirements for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.


Interfacing ambulatory and hospital-based medicine is the most outstanding feature unique to our training program. Our highly structured curriculum balances traditional lecture series and interactive learning sessions. The curriculum has been developed with emphasis on providing residents with broad-based experience and knowledge in clinical medicine and research.

All residents care for their own assigned patients in the Adult Ambulatory Care Clinic one day per week. Vast resources have been devoted to create an office-like environment. Resident clinic time is protected; other clinical responsibilities are cross-covered by another Internal Medicine resident. Attending physicians precept residents during their assigned clinic.

During core inpatient services, residents meet with attending physicians daily and conduct designated teaching rounds every day.

The first-year of residency is spent almost entirely on services that allow direct patient care responsibility. All interns are directly responsible to the second and third year residents, who in turn, are responsible to the attending physicians. The second and third years of residency allow increasing patient care responsibility and provide a supervisory role to the first-year residents and medical students. The residents become involved in teaching, as well as medical consultations under the supervision of attending physicians.

Clinical Research

One of the goals of the program is to instill the importance of lifelong scholarship in our residents. Clinical research is a required component of the internal medicine residency program.

Research projects are undertaken with staff physician guidance and presented at the annual Medical Education Day. All residents are required to submit at least one research project during the three-year training period to fulfill graduation requirements.

Opportunity exists for residents to publish research in peer-reviewed journals. Many residents actively participate in national and international clinical trials undertaken by the Department of Medicine. We strongly encourage our residents to submit papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

A quality improvement project is a required component of the ambulatory rotation. Failure to complete the project results in failure of the rotation.

Resident/Faculty Evaluation

Resident evaluation of performance and timely feedback is critical to education and growth as a physician. Residents will be evaluated through daily observations and interactions with teaching faculty, peers and ancillary staff via written and verbal reports at the conclusion of each monthly rotation. In turn, residents will be asked to evaluate faculty attendings and peers with whom they are assigned while completing monthly rotations.

Specifically, residents are evaluated in accordance with the American Board of Internal Medicine in the following areas of clinical competence:

a. Patient care
b. Medical knowledge
c. Practice-based learning improvement
d. Interpersonal and communication skills
e. Professionalism
f. System based learning

A summary evaluation of the above clinical components is furnished to the American Board of Internal Medicine annually.

Resident Performance

Residents will meet with the Program Director at least semi-annually to discuss and document their performance and progress to date. In the event that a resident is not progressing in a satisfactory manner, the Program Director may meet with the individual monthly or bimonthly, at the Director’s discretion.

Each year, residents sit for the In-Training Examination administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners. A resident’s performance on this exam will not be used in the promotion process, but rather utilized as an essential tool in determining individual resident’s areas of weakness in order to offer appropriate mentoring.

Advancement and Graduation Criteria

In addition to a resident’s overall clinical competence in internal medicine (refer to section G) being evaluated as satisfactory, the following specific criteria MUST be met in order for residents to be promoted to the next level of training and subsequently graduate successfully from the residency program:

1. All PGY-1 residents must attend and pass the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course during resident orientation. All residents must maintain current BLS and ACLS certification throughout their entire residency.

2. All PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents must register and sit for USMLE Step 3. In the event that a resident does not pass the exam during their PGY-1 year, they may still be promoted to the PGY-2 level of training at the discretion of the Program Director. However, Failure to pass the USMLE Step 3 before beginning the PGY3 year will result in non-renewal of the resident’s contract.

3. All residents must submit at least one research project during the three-year residency training period in order to graduate from the program.

4. Throughout the residency training period, all residents must attend at least 60% of all educational conferences in order to be promoted and subsequently graduate
5. All residents must have performed specific procedures and be certified in each to be eligible for graduation. These procedures are mandated by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

6. Residents must perform at least in the satisfactory level in all areas of the competencies in order to be promoted to the next level of training and meet graduation requirements.

Program Policies

Upon entering the program, all residents will be furnished a copy of the Internal Medicine Residency Program Policy and Procedure Manual. During resident orientation this booklet will be reviewed fully so residents have a complete and working knowledge of all policies and guidelines within the residency program and throughout the PinnacleHealth System.

Residents not practicing these policies and procedures as outlined in the manual will be subject to disciplinary action per the Program Director’s discretion. In addition, all policies are posted on our internal web page for reference at any time.