Guide to Course Selection


Information for the specialty of:

Anesthesia

One of the main functions of the Anesthesiologist is to safely guide the patient through the intra-operative period with both pre-and post-operative management being equally as important.  The field demands a solid knowledge of physiology and pharmacology, as well as familiarity with surgical and medical principles.  Anesthesiologists also are involved outside the operating room in the Labor Suite, Intensive Care Unit, and pain management.  Both Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Management represent subspecialties of Anesthesiology with a high demand.  Training may also be completed in areas such as cardiac, neurologic, obstetric, pediatric, and regional anesthesia.

School Required Sub-I Category:
Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Medicine or Pediatrics with the inpatient experience of Family Medicine, Medicine, or Pediatrics recommended.

Department Required Courses:
ANE200
ANE300
Critical Care:  Surgical, Medical, or Neurological are acceptable

Highly Recommended:
Pain
Pediatric Anesthesia
Cardiology
Pulmonary Medicine
Neurology
Radiology
Palliative Care
Renal

Helpful:
Research in Anesthesia

Letters of Recommendation:
3-4

Student advisors for the residency application process:
Lee Fleisher MD
Emily Gordon MD, MSEd
Dimitry Baranov, MD
Jason Walls MD

To learn more about Penn's Department of Anesthesia, visit their website at: https://www.pennmedicine.org/departments-and-centers/anesthesiology-and-critical-care

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Dermatology

The field of Dermatology offers a wide range of career options, including general office-based practice, an academic appointment with basic science, clinical, or epidemiological research, dermatologic surgery/procedural dermatology, pediatric dermatology, and dermatopathology. Dermatologists care for patients of all ages with both acute and chronic skin diseases as well as for patients with dermatologic manifestations of systemic disease. A strong preparation in internal medicine is advised; some surgical experience may enhance the experience but is not required.

As with other specialties, strong letters of recommendation written by faculty members who know you well are important.Four letters of recommendation are required with submission of your application. One of the four should speak to your clinical acumen in other areas (such as a medicine sub-I, etc.) with at least 2, preferably three other letters from dermatology. If you are an MD PhD student, one of your four letters should be from your PhD. It is best to ask a mentor or faculty member who has worked with you clinically for an extended period (at least one week) or with whom you have completed a longitudinal research project. Being able to speak to your specific strengths in a letter of recommendation is highly beneficial.

School required sub-I:
Emergency medicine
Family Medicine
Internal Medicine
Pediatrics

Department required courses:
DER300

Highly recommended courses:
Infectious Disease
Hematology / Oncology
Rheumatology
Additional Dermatology electives:
Pediatric Dermatology
Dermatopathology
Dermatology Away Rotation
Dermatology research

Helpful courses:
Plastic surgery
ENT
Ophthalmology (if interested in procedural dermatology)
Allergy & Immunology
Medical Genetics
Pathology

Letters of recommendation:
4 letters of recommendation, including:

  • 1 letter that speaks to your clinical acumen, ideally from Medicine (or Peds) sub-I.
  • At least 2, ideally 3, letters from Dermatology.
  • For MD-PhD students, 1 letter of recommendation from your PhD thesis advisor

It is best to ask faculty members who have worked with you clinically for an extended period (i.e. at least 1-2 weeks) or with whom you have completed a longitudinal research project. A letter from someone who knows you well and can speak to your specific strengths in their letter of recommendation is highly beneficial.

Student advisors for the residency application process:
Katherine Steele, MD

Career Counselors in Dermatology (Assigned by OSA for 3rd year students interested in Derm)

Away electives
Optional, and only recommend in certain circumstances. 

Away electives are an opportunity for you to show your interest in and get to know another residency program in more depth than you can on a typical interview day. It is also an opportunity for the attendings and residents at another program to get to know you well over a month long period. I recommend that students consider an away elective if: 1) there is a particular program that you are very interested in, or 2) if there is a particular city or region of the country that you are hoping to end up, especially if you have not spent significant time there previously (e.g. hoping to match at a program on the west coast or in the midwest, but have spent your entire life on the east coast).

To learn more about Penn's Department of Dermatology visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/dermatol/

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Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine (EM) is a diverse and rewarding medical specialty that focuses on the acute care of patients with all types of illnesses. Emergency physicians provide a wide range of services including coordination and supervision of pre-hospital care, and hands on care at the patient’s bedside in the emergency department.  In any one shift, an emergency physician may give advice to a paramedic in the field, direct a major trauma or medical resuscitation, deliver a baby, or splint a broken bone.  In addition to being skilled in a variety of procedures, emergency physicians must be able to recognize serious illness in the early, often benign-appearing stages.  Patients of all ages and with all medical conditions come to the ED and require diagnostics and stabilization and training in EM thus requires a broad based fund of knowledge and skills.  Residency training requires a broad-based training curriculum often including medical critical care, surgical critical care, pediatric critical care, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics, anesthesia, and surgical sub-specialties. EM is a relatively young field and continues to grow in scope.  Current fellowships (ACGME and non ACGME) include EMS, toxicology, pediatric EM, sports medicine, hyperbaric medicine, emergency ultrasound, and medical and surgical critical care.

School Required Sub-I Category: 
EM at HUP (EMR308A)

Department Required Courses:
EM at HUP (EMR308A)
 

Highly recommended:
Cardiology
Medical Critical Care        
Surgical Critical Care
Infectious Disease
Radiology
Trauma Surgery

Helpful:
Anesthesiology
Dermatology
Ophthalmology
Otorhinolaryngology
Orthopaedic

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Family Medicine

Family medicine is the medical specialty which provides continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family in the context of their communities. It is a specialty in breadth that integrates the biological, clinical, and behavioral sciences. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages, all genders, each organ system, and every disease entity. Family medicine emphasizes care in an out-patient primary care setting that is person-focused and follows people over their whole lifespan.  Family doctors practice in every community in the United States, and are often the only physicians in underserved and rural communities. Family medicine also is an excellent training for international medicine and global health. Opportunities to practice exist in urban communities, suburbia, multi-specialty group practices, and academic medical centers. Most family medicine doctors are primary care physicians in busy outpatient practices, including large physician group practices, academic settings, and private practices.

Additionally, some may perform surgery, care for hospitalized patients, deliver babies (including via C-section), teach students or residents, or staff the emergency room. Some family physicians develop areas of further expertise, often through fellowship training such as sports medicine, geriatrics, women's health, adolescent medicine, HIV medicine, preventive medicine, palliative medicine, integrative medicine, or research. Family medicine also provides extensive training in outpatient procedures which range from those in gynecology (i.e. intrauterine and implantable contraception, evaluation and treatment of cervical dysplasia, abortion care), to dermatology, to joint injections, and ultrasonography. Family physicians also carry out research in a range of topics that is as diverse as their clinical work though research in family medicine often looks at health care systems and delivery, issues of public health and health care policy. To train physicians for such a diverse career, family doctors complete a broad-based three-year residency with extensive outpatient, inpatient, and obstetric experiences.

School required sub-I:
Family Medicine or Internal Medicine

Highly recommended courses: FAM300 (Family Medicine Outpatient Externship) or FAM350 (Maternal Child Health) and any of FAM325 (Primary Care Sports Medicine), FAM326 (Community Medicine and Public Health), FAM327 (LGBTQ health) depending on personal interests.

Helpful courses: Cardiology, Dermatology, Radiology, Neurology (especially outpatient), Pain Management, Infectious disease, Gastroenterology, any outpatient Pediatric elective, emergency medicine (adult or pediatric), OB-GYN (especially outpatient)

Letters of recommendation: Need at least 1 and preferably 2 from Family Physicians

Additional information for applying: If you’re thinking of applying in Family Medicine, make sure to get in touch with any of Drs. Renee Betancourt, Mario DeMarco, or Lori Atkinson. We recommend taking advantage of your local and national resources. Join the PAFP (Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians), AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians), PSOM’s FMIG (Family Medicine Interest Group). The most highly recommended conference for students interested in Family Medicine is the AAFP National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students held annually in Kansas City, MO, referred to as the “Kansas City Conference” that usually takes place in July. Other fantastic conferences include: FMX, STFM (Society for Teachers in Family Medicine) Spring Conference, and FMEC (Family Medicine Education Consortium) Annual Conference.

Student advisors for the residency application process: Current senior leaders of FMIG are Julia Carney and Hannah Bogen

To learn more about Penn’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health residency problem visit the website at: https://www.med.upenn.edu/fmch/residents and https://www.pennmedicine.org/departments-and-centers/family-medicine-and-community-health/education-and-training/residency

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Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases in adult patients. Internal Medicine physicians are skilled in the management of patients who have complicated or multi-system disease processes, and they can care for hospitalized and/or ambulatory patients. They can specialize in a field (e.g. Cardiology) or pursue a career in General Internal Medicine (Hospital Medicine or Primary Care). Internal Medicine is a diverse, dynamic, and exciting field that allows physicians to become leaders in clinical medicine, research, education, public health, administration, health policy, and healthcare innovation. The Department of Medicine Leadership is looking forward to helping you plan for a meaningful career in Internal Medicine.

The Internal Medicine Residency Application Process is an exciting and fun time that typically begins with a general information session in September of your third year. There is also a spring meeting that reviews more detail of the application process. During the summer of your fourth year, you will have a formal meeting with a Department of Medicine Application Advisor to help you with your Personal Statement, Curriculum Vitae, and List of Programs. The Department of Medicine also holds a mock interview workshop in the fall of your fourth year to provide tips and useful advice for the interview process.

School required sub-internship: Internal Medicine

Department required courses: All students must complete a Sub-Internship in Internal Medicine and at least one other elective in Internal Medicine.

Highly recommended courses: Students who receive a High Pass or less in the Internal Medicine Clerkship or the Internal Medicine Sub-Internship should strongly consider taking an Intensive Care Unit elective in Internal Medicine prior to September of the application year. Students interested in primary care should strongly consider taking the Outpatient Externship in Internal Medicine prior to September of the application year. All students applying in Internal Medicine are encouraged to take the Internal Medicine Intern Preparation Course (Internal Medicine Bootcamp) in the spring of their fourth year.

Helpful courses: Students should take electives to explore the diversity of opportunities within Internal Medicine. All students who apply in Internal Medicine are strongly encouraged to take an Intensive Care Unit rotation and an Outpatient rotation prior to starting intern year, but not necessarily prior to submitting their application (see special situations above). If you are returning to clinical rotations after a hiatus, including PhD work, it is recommended that you take several busy clinical rotations prior to taking a Sub-Internship in Internal Medicine. If you have had any struggles in prior Internal Medicine courses contact Keith Hamilton (keith.hamilton@pennmedicine.upenn.edu) prior to registering for your Sub-Internship so that you can plan your year to optimize success.

Letters of recommendation: Three to four letters of recommendation are required. A Department of Medicine letter is also required and counts as one of those letters. A letter of recommendation from the sub-internship in Internal Medicine is strongly encouraged. Remaining letters can come from elective attendings and/or research mentors. If you are applying to Physician Scientist Programs, you may be asked to provide several letters from people who are familiar with your research after submitting your ERAS application.

Additional information for applying: Finding at least one Career or Research Mentor in Internal Medicine is useful to provide advice for career planning and for identifying research opportunities. If you are interested in finding a Mentor, contact Ann Marie Hunt (hunta@pennmedicine.upenn.edu). You will also be assigned a Department of Medicine Application Advisor if you are applying in Internal Medicine. If you have any questions, please contact Keith Hamilton or Ann Marie Hunt.

Student advisors for the residency application process: William Pepper Society Student Coordinators can serve as outstanding resources for students interested in Internal Medicine.

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Neurology

Neurology is a field of medicine that encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders, ranging from cortical dysfunction through spinal cord disease to peripheral nerve and neuro-muscular conditions. Although imaging provides important information regarding may neurological conditions, it will generally remain an adjunct to skillful physical examinations and thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. The practice of Neurology involves a significant amount of patient care. Settings include solo and group practice, general hospitals, and academic centers. A significant proportion of neurologic practice involves consultation and coordination of care with other services. Involvement in rehabilitation and working with patients and families coping with debilitating illnesses are important and often rewarding aspects of this field. In keeping with the trend towards ambulatory medicine, an increasing proportion of Neurology patients are seen as outpatients.

School Required Sub-I Category: 
Medicine Sub-I

Department Required Courses:
NEU300

Highly recommended:
Another upper level Neurology elective
Neuro-radiology
Ophthalmology
Psychiatry
Rehabilitation Medicine

Helpful:
Pediatric externship
Cardiology
Infectious Disease
Emergency Medicine
Endocrinology
Neurosurgery
Pulmonary Medicine
Renal Disease

To learn more about Penn's Department of Neurology visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/neuro/index.html

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Neurosurgery

Neurological surgery encompasses treatment of adult and pediatric patients with disorders of the nervous system including: disorders of the brain, meninges, skull, and their blood supply, including the extracranial carotid and vertebral arteries; disorders of the pituitary gland; disorders of the spinal cord, meninges, and vertebral column; and disorders of the cranial and spinal nerves throughout their distribution. Disorders of the nervous system arise from congenital, degenerative, traumatic, oncologic, infectious, and atherosclerotic conditions. Neurosurgery requires a firm foundation in anatomy, pathology, neurology and radiology in combination with the acquisition of a broad range of surgical and patient management skills.

School required sub-I:
Any sub-I is fine

Department required courses:
Surgery 200

Highly recommended:
Neurocritical Care

Helfpful courses:
Neuoradiology
Neuropathology

Letters of recommendation: Typically 3 (Penn chairman, away sub-internship chairman, research mentor)

Additional information for applying:
Dr. Sean Grady (Chairman)
Dr. James Schuster (Residency Program Director)

Student advisors for residency application process: Dr. Isaac Chen (Langfitt Neurosurgical Society faculty advisor)


To learn more about Penn's Department of Neurosurgery visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/neurosurgery

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Obstetrics & Gynecology

Obstetrics and Gynecology is a highly rewarding specialty for physicians dedicated to women's reproductive health.  Careers in Obstetrics and Gynecology range from outpatient preventive care to inpatient critical care, and include provision of counseling, medical management, and surgical intervention across the lifespan.  While many physicians practice both Obstetrics and Gynecology after residency, fellowship opportunities are numerous for those who choose to pursue additional subspecialty training.  Fellowships include:  Maternal Fetal Medicine (High-Risk Obstetrics), Gynecologic Oncology, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Family Planning, Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, and Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.  Our field is collaborative and research opportunities exist in fields of endocrinology, immunology, infectious disease, psychiatry, and global health.  

School required sub-internship:
Emergency medicine
Family Medicine
Internal Medicine
Pediatrics

Department required courses: Upper level OBGYN elective at HUP or PAH 

Highly recommended courses: Additional OBGYN elective (time permitting), MS4 OBGYN residency preparatory course 

Helpful courses:
Emergency Medicine
Cardiology
Radiology
SICU
Infectious disease

Letters of recommendation: Chair of OBGYN, Internal Medicine or Surgery, additional faculty letter in OBGYN

Additional information for applying:  APGO/CREOG website (https://www.apgo.org/students/)

Advisors for the residency application process:

  • Dr. Divya Shah (UME Director)

https://www.pennmedicine.org/departments-and-centers/obstetrics-and-gynecology/education-and-training/residency-programs/obgyn-residency-program-hup

https://www.pennmedicine.org/departments-and-centers/obstetrics-and-gynecology/education-and-training/residency-programs/obgyn-residency-program-pah

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Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology is the ideal career choice for students who are interested in, pursuing a specialty that includes a broad scope of practice including medicine and surgery, treatment of pediatric and adult patients, and primary care as well as highly specialized treatment. Ophthalmologists are historically amongst the most professionally satisfied physicians because of these opportunities to provide many different types of care and to pursue a wide range of research opportunities. Ophthalmology also offers the possibility for diagnostic and therapeutic precision that are unavailable in many other medical and surgical specialties. Most ophthalmologists practice a mixture of medicine and surgery ranging from the evaluation of patients with blurred vision and the standard medical treatment of conditions such as glaucoma all the way to the most delicate and precise surgical manipulations including laser surgery and intraocular surgery. At the same time, ophthalmologists are developing long term relationships with their patients and providing emergent care in many different critical situations such as trauma and sudden vision loss. Most ophthalmologists spend the majority of their time in the office seeing medical patients and one day a week in the operating room performing any number of different procedures depending on subspecialty interests. Ophthalmic manifestations of systemic disease are commonly encountered in practice and ophthalmologists often interact with physicians in many other fields. Ophthalmology has undergone a considerable degree of subspecialization with additional training available to pursue careers in cornea and external disease, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, pediatric ophthalmology, medical and surgical retina, ocular pathology and ocular oncology. Opportunities for careers in academic ophthalmology (combined basic or clinical research with clinical practice) are numerous and readily available to physicians who prepare themselves appropriately. Ophthalmology is currently set up for an early match. Students are matched with residencies approximately 18 months before their starting date with the match completed in January of the senior year. The early match necessitates the application process to occur over the summer between third and fourth year with interviews generally occurring in November and December. One non-ophthalmology letter is preferred to use in the ophthalmology match.

School required sub-I:
A sub-I in medicine or emergency medicine is required.

Department required course:
OPH300

Other ophthalmology courses:
Pediatric Ophthalmology
Adult Oculoplastics
Pediatric  Oculoplastics
Neuro-ophthalmology

Other suggested courses:
Infectious Disease
Medicine Sub-I
Rheumatology
Neuro-radiology
Otorhinolaryngology
Plastic Surgery

Helpful:
Allergy and Immunology
Endocrinology

Letters of Recommendation:
One ophthalmology letter
One non ophthalmology clinical letter
One other letter (ophthalmology, clinical non ophthalmology, research)

Contact Person:
Prithvi Sankar, MD

To learn more about Penn's Department of Ophthalmology visit their website at https://www.pennmedicine.org/departments-and-centers/ophthalmology/education-and-training/residency-training.

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Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery is an exciting, evolving field and offers both clinical, teaching and research opportunities in an extremely diverse patient population. Surgical interventions are an important part of what we do clinically but a significant portion of our time is also dedicated towards office hours and non-operative treatments. An Orthopedic Surgeon is exposed to a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions and develops significant relationships with patients. The various sub-specialties (which are typically pursued via a one-year fellowship program) include foot & ankle, hand, adult arthroplasty, pediatrics, shoulder, sports, spine, tumor, and trauma. Surgical procedures involve tissues including the integument, vessels, nerves, muscle, tendon, ligaments, cartilage, bone as well as work with various materials including plastics, metals and composites. Active areas of research in Orthopedic Surgery include education, epidemiology, clinical decision making and outcomes, bioengineering, biomechanics, genetic/molecular/cell/tissue biology of normal/injured/cancerous musculoskeletal tissues. In general, Orthopedic Surgery appeals mostly to future doctors who wish to use physical and biologic principles, problem-solving skills, and operative techniques in order to have a significant positive impact on a mostly healthy yet broken patient population.

Two Penn Orthopedic 300 level courses (any two are fine; feel free to discuss choices with Dr Ahn if questions about specific rotations) and two away courses are essentially required. EM, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, Musculoskeletal Radiology, Sports Medicine are electives which can be considered if an elective before a primarily surgical ortho month is desired.

School Required Sub-I Category:

EM sub-I is most helpful but all choices (EM, Medicine, Pediatrics) are acceptable

Department Required Courses:

Orthopaedic electives (any two 300 level)

Highly Recommended:

Surgery sub-I
Orthopaedic preceptorship (Peds, Hand, or Tumor)

Helpful (in no particular order):

Surgical ICU
Trauma Infectious Disease
Nephrology
Endocrinology
Rheumatology
Emergency Medicine
Hematology/Oncology
Rehab medicine
Radiology

To learn more about Penn's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ortho/

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Otorhinolaryngology

The field of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (also known as "ENT") is a diverse, innovative and exciting specialty which combines the medical and surgical treatment of head and neck pathology. Sub-specialties within Otorhinolaryngology are broad and diverse, including head and neck oncology, skull base surgery, otology, sinus surgery, facial plastic surgery, microvascular reconstruction, pediatric otorhinolaryngology, and laryngology. The appeal of Otorhinolaryngology includes the combination of medicine and surgery, the variety within the field, the intricate and complex anatomy, and to some a better lifestyle than other surgical specialties. However, as with any other field, lifestyle varies according to the chosen sub-specialty. Sub-specialty fellowships in Otorhinolaryngology are mostly one year long and incorporate both clinical duties and research. Overall, Otorhinolaryngology is a highly regarded, very academic specialty, and the competition for residency positions is intense.

School required sub-I: All choices (EM, Family Medicine, Medicine, Pediatrics) are possible options with some suggesting that medicine might be most helpful.

Department Required Course: OTO300A (HUP). The VA and Pennsylvania Hospital are good choice for students looking for additional general ENT experience or who wish to broaden their knowledge base but who do not have a career interest on OTO. CHOP is a good choice for students whose primary career interest is pediatrics.

Highly recommended:
Surgical externship
Medicine Sub-I
Plastic Surgery or Neurosurgery

Helpful:
Anesthesiology
Neuroradiology
Radiation oncology
SICU
Pathology

Letters of recommendation: A minimum of 3 letters from ENT faculty are required, one of which is a departmental letter from chair and program director.

Away rotations: Typically not required for Penn applicants, but recommended if looking to match in specific geographic region or program.

Student advisors for the residency application process: ENT Medical Student Interest Group

To learn more about Penn's Department of Otorhinolaryngology visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/pennorl/welcome.htm

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Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Pathology is an ideal specialty choice for students interested in combining clinical and investigative work in their careers. Pathology is comprised of anatomic and clinical pathology. Anatomic pathology includes surgical pathology, autopsy, and cytopathology. Clinical pathology, also known as laboratory medicine, includes the sub-specialties of transfusion medicine/blood banking, clinical chemistry, toxicology, endocrinology, immunology, immunogenetics (HLA), microbiology and coagulation.  Subspecialties that bridge laboratory medicine and anatomic pathology include hematopathology, molecular pathology and genomics (including cytogenetics).

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine attracts a large number of MD/PhD students given its close connection to investigative work.  Pathology research spans many different disciplines, ranging from experimental research to informatics to translational research. Because modern investigation of disease processes frequently calls for development of sophisticated laboratory procedures which depend upon a basic understanding of cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology, a strengthening of the student's grasp of these areas of basic science is highly desirable. Projects involving basic techniques may be arranged with faculty members in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine or other basic science departments within the School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Pathology and Lab Medicine Course offerings for medical students (clinical years):

  • Frontiers course for lab medicine (Don Siegel)
  • Electives in Clinical Pathology (Irv Nachamkin)
  • Surgical Pathology (Emma E. Furth)
  • Medical Pathology (Carolyn Cambor)
  • Clinical Connections (for Penn MD-PhD students)
  • 1-year post-sophomore fellowship in Pathology and Lab Medicine

For students contemplating Pathology Residency required courses include:

Advanced-level clinical medical courses
One-month Autopsy pathology, surgical pathology or laboratory medicine

Highly recommended courses:

Medicine Sub-I
Endocrinology
Gastroenterology
Hematology/Oncology
Infectious Disease
Medical ICU
Pulmonary Medicine
Radiology
Renal Disease
Surgical Oncology

To learn more about Penn's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/path/

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Pediatrics

Pediatrics offers an exciting career that combines intellectual rigor with the unpredictability and humor intrinsic to children.   A few of the many diverse career opportunities available to pediatricians include:

  • Primary care- develop longitudinal relationships with children and families from newborn through adolescence
  • Subspecialty provider- work with both inpatients and outpatients in a specific field and perform multiple procedures a week...or never perform procedures
  • Hospitalist- work with inpatients in an academic or community environment
  • Emergency or urgent care provider- work in an acute care setting with a large variety of patient conditions
  • Intensivist- stabilize critically ill neonates and children
  • Advocacy- focus on health policy and public health or global health
  • Research - perform basic science, translational, or clinical research
  • Leadership roles in medical education, patient safety, quality improvement, bioinformatics, hospital operations and more

School required sub-I:
Pediatrics

Highly recommended courses:
NICU
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Helpful courses:
PICU, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Dermatology, any Pediatric subspecialty that piques your interest and could provide exposure to a field with inpatient, outpatient, consult, and procedural (if interested) responsibilities.

Letters of recommendation: Usually three in addition to a Department of Pediatrics letter.

Additional information for applying:  There is an informational session held in May.

Student advisors for the residency application process:
- Erin Pete Devon: petedevone@email.chop.edu
- Stacey Rose: roses@email.chop.edu
- Amanda Van Pelt: vanpeltal@email.chop.edu

To learn more about the Pediatric residency program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, visit the website:https://www.chop.edu/pediatric-residency-program

Pediatrics Residency Program I Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

www.chop.edu

The Pediatrics Residency Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is a three-year program, accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, leading to certification in General Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.

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Psychiatry

Modern Psychiatry incorporates advances in genetics, molecular biology, neurobiology, pharmacology and psychology. As a result, Psychiatrists now have a variety of therapeutic modalities available to them in addition to psychopharmacology: individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, cognitive and behavioral therapy, and non-invasive neuromodulation techniques (ECT and TMS). Advances in all of these fields have led to better treatment for both acute and chronic psychiatric illnesses. Psychiatrists work in a variety of environments, including community-based ambulatory settings, general or psychiatric inpatient settings, and research-oriented academic centers. In the public sector, psychiatrists often become team leader for all mental health professionals. Nevertheless, private practice remains a viable option for many psychiatrists.

School Required Sub-I Category:

Medicine Sub-I or Family Medicine Sub-Ior Pediatrics Sub-I

Required:

Psychiatry externship

Highly Recommended:

Addiction/Alcoholism OR

Child/Adolescent Psychiatry OR

Consult-liaison Psychiatry
 

To learn more about Penn's Department of Psychiatry visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/psych/

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Radiology

Radiologists use a detailed knowledge of anatomy, pathology, and patho-physiology to perform minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. The field requires a vast fund of knowledge but is also among the few specialties that provide the opportunity to teach and perform research at the same time. Diagnostic Radiology is divided into numerous sub-specialty areas including chest, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, pediatric, MRI, neuro, musculoskeletal, mammography, untrasonography, and nuclear medicine. Depending on the practice setting (private, community, or academic), radiologists may be responsible for multiple types of diagnostic procedures or may limit their practice to a sub-specialty. In any case, the field features regular, defined hours and some patient contact (depending on the procedure and the modality). One big concern among students considering Radiology as a field is that there is minimal patient contact and that most of its practitioners spend their time in isolated, dark rooms. Most radiologists have ample contact with referring physicians, acting as consultants for a wide array of clinicians. For those who prefer direct patient contact or are more interested in invasive procedures they should consider the exciting and rapidly advancing field of Interventional Radiology (IR). IR employs sophisticated imaging and invasive techniques to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that in the past could only be accomplished via surgery.

Required:

RA300
Another upper level Radiology elective

Highly recommended:

Sub-I in one of the following:
Medicine
Pediatrics
Obstetrics/Gynecology
Surgery

Helpful:

Cardiology
Infectious Disease
Orthopaedic Surgery
Rheumatology
Gastroenterology
Otorhinolaryngology
Hematology/Oncology
Pulmonary Medicine
Surgical Pathology
Surgery externship
Other Surgical sub-specialty clerkships

To learn more about Penn's Department of Radiology visit their website at: http://www.rad.upenn.edu.

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Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology is an integral component of multi-disciplinary oncology care, and the field is rapidly evolving to both keep pace with and transform oncologic paradigms.  Radiation Oncologists are physicians who must integrate a wide range of knowledge, clinical expertise, and technical skills. First and foremost, Radiation Oncologists must be compassionate oncologists. A detailed knowledge of anatomy, surgical oncology, medical oncology, cancer biology including immunology, and palliative and supportive care are all critical. Many patients see their Radiation Oncologists as their primary physicians both during treatment and in long-term follow up, and therefore mastery of general internal medicine is also important. As such, students interested in this field should acquire a broad clinical background.

Radiation Oncology incorporates:

  • Learning the general principles of oncology, including the basic science of cancer biology, diagnostic work-up and staging of cancer, participating in tumor boards and formulating multidisciplinary treatment plans that incorporate radiation, surgery, and systemic therapy, and the supportive care of the cancer patient throughout their journey.
  • Understanding the role of radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer, both in the definitive and palliative settings.
  • An introduction to the specialized procedures for treatment delivery in Radiation Oncology, including Simulation and treatment planning integrating CT, PET, and MRI-based planning, techniques including intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), proton therapy, and brachytherapy. 
  • Learning about the management of acute and late toxicity of multi-modality cancer therapy, and supportive care principles.

Radiation Oncology offers ample opportunities for clinical and/or basic research for students motivated to pursue a career in this field. Some laboratory and/or clinical research positions in the Department offer students a modest stipend.

School required sub-internship: Internal Medicine

Department required courses: Radiation Oncology

Highly recommended courses:
Hematology/Oncology
Surgical Oncology
Radiology
Surgical Pathology

Helpful courses (in no particular order):
Gynecologic Oncology
Pediatric Oncology
Otorhinolaryngology
Urology
Neurosurgery
Gastroenterology
Pulmonary Medicine
Infectious Disease
Neurology
Psychiatry

Letters of recommendation: Students matching in Radiation Oncology are encouraged to obtain letters of recommendation from Radiation Oncology faculty that know the applicant best, research mentors, and one letter from Internal Medicine.

Additional information for applying: The strongest applicants in Radiation Oncology demonstrate clinical excellence during their rotations, and an interest in and motivation to pursue clinical and/or basic research. One way to learn about potential research opportunities is to ask your attending during your Radiation Oncology elective.

Student advisors for the residency application process:

  • J. Nicholas Lukens, MD
  • Neha Vapiwala, MD

Away electives:
Away electives are not required, however, they can sometimes be helpful if the student has a strong interest in a particular program.

To learn more about Penn’s Department of Radiation Oncology residency program, visit the website at: https://www.xrt.upenn.edu/residency

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Rehabilitation Medicine

Rehabilitation Medicine, also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, specialists or "Physiatrists" treat a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. They focus on helping patients who are recovering from injuries or disabling illnesses (such as musculoskeletal disorders, head traumas, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and cognitive impairments) to regain as much function as possible. For those students interested in the specialty of Rehabilitation Medicine, it is imperative to understand that rehabilitation is a very diverse and encompassing field. A broad knowledge base is required to be a successful practitioner. Thus, it is important to master basic concepts of internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, pediatrics, and family medicine. The specialty offers non-surgical interventions and takes a holistic approach to patient management, often coordinating an interdisciplinary team including neurologists, psychologists, and surgeons as well as allied health professionals in the care of patients with complex physical, social and psychological needs. A high degree of patient contact and long-term care are common in this field.

Highly recommended:

Rehabilitation Medicine elective
Medicine sub-I
Neurology
Radiology: emphasis on musculoskeletal readings
Orthopedic Surgery
Inter-disciplinary Pain Clinic
Rheumatology
Sports Medicine

Helpful:

Research
Occupational Medicine
Cardiology
Neurosurgery
Ambulatory Medicine
Urology
Trauma Service

To learn more about the department visit their website at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/rehabmed/educ/index.shtml or email them with questions.

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General Surgery

General Surgery is one of the most demanding and rewarding specialties. The Surgeon's ability to treat patients with otherwise terminal diseases, and the hands-on, and often immediately gratifying nature of the field are frequently cited as the some of the greatest benefits of the profession. Although the operating room remains the primary venue of the Surgeon, pre- and post-operative care continues to be essential skills the Surgeon must master. With the explosion of medical technology, the Surgeon must also be able to analyze a wide array of imaging studies, as well as adapt to the latest minimally invasive techniques. General Surgery residencies are the path to follow for anyone interested in pursuing a career in General Surgery, or any of its sub-specialties, such as, Colorectal, pediatric, cardio-thoracic, vascular, transplant, trauma or surgical oncology. Please feel free to contact Dr. Cary Aarons (Cary.Aarons@uphs.upenn.edu) or Dr. Carla Fisher (Carla.fisher@uphs.upenn.edu)  with any further questions.

Highly recommended:

Clinical General Surgery or Clinical Surgical Preceptorship
SICU
Surgical Research
Surgical Oncology
Thoracic Surgery

Helpful:

Emergency Medicine
Surgical Pathology
Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Infectious Disease, Oncology, Renal Disease, Pulmonary Medicine, Medicine Sub-Internship
Colorectal Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Vascular Surgery Cardiac Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology, Neurosurgery

To learn more about Penn's Department of Surgery visit their website at: www.uphs.upenn.edu/surgery/dse/educate.html

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Urology

Urology is a surgical sub-specialty that encompasses a wide range of both surgical and medical issues. Urologists specialize in diseases of the urinary tract and associated organs. Thus, they tackle an array of challenging problems including all forms of genitourinary oncology (renal cell CA, prostate CA, transitional cell CA, testicular tumors, etc.), benign prostatic hypertrophy, male sexual dysfunction, male infertility, pelvic and renal trauma, chronic bladder conditions, incontinence, voiding dysfunction, congenital GU defects, vesicourethral reflux, and perineal reconstruction. Urologists perform a wide range of surgical procedures including endoscopic, open, laparoscopic and robotic operations. Urology does participate in the early match process.

Required:

SUR 345

Highly recommended:

Surgical externship
Radiology (GU)

Helpful:

Surgical ICU
Renal Disease
Advanced Radiology elective

To learn more about Penn's Department of Urology visit their website at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/surgery/clin/urology.html

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