News | Published July 11, 2012

State College native part of first class of Hershey Medical students

Thirteen students have begun their core clinical training in collaboration with local Penn State Hershey faculty, Mount Nittany Medical Center faculty and other medical providers in the community.

The Medical Center has been the site of clerkships and fellowships in the past, but this is the first year that a cohort of students from Penn State Hershey will be living in State College and doing all of their clinical rotations there for the entire third year of their medical education.

"When I found out about the new regional campus I was really excited because I've always liked the area and my family is here," said Sarah Smith, a student in the regional campus inaugural class. "I was actually born at Mount Nittany Medical Center, and look forward to having life come full circle by helping deliver babies there during my OB/GYN and pediatric clerkships."

Bringing medical students to State College from Hershey is part of the new University Park Regional Campus of Penn State College of Medicine's mission to create an educational environment for training the next generation of healthcare providers and improve access to patient-centered, high-quality, cost-effective health care for local residents. Primary care and rural-based medicine are part of this mission.

The Regional Campus will eventually train up to 48 College of Medicine students each year, up to 24 in each of the third- and fourth-year medical classes. Some of the students may select to enroll in dual-degree programs as well, through the Smeal College of Business and other programs.

Core clinical rotations include family medicine, primary care, surgery, OB/GYN, pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry and medicine.

A residency program in family medicine is also in development, along with various collaborative research initiatives between University Park and Hershey.

For more information about the University Park Regional Campus, visit