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Physician Scientist Student Association provides highlights from spring 2019

Penn State College of Medicine’s Physician Scientist Student Association shared several highlights from its spring 2019 activities.

In the past year, the association has organized three College of Medicine MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program retreats, drafted an official Clinical Exposure Program course and longitudinal MSTP-friendly clerkship, and revitalized Medical Scientist Training Program student involvement.

According to the association, a large part of its success is due to the tremendous efforts from past PSSA president Carson Willis (G3), as well as program co-directors Dr. Robert Levenson and Dr. Leslie Parent, program administrator Alison Smolinski, director of graduate education Kathy Simon, the MSTP Steering Committee and the rest of the association.

The association was excited this spring for its M4s who matched into residencies. See details on those six matches here. All of the students plan to incorporate intensive research into their residencies.

This spring was also the 15th annual Medical Scientist Training Program retreat and 25th anniversary of the MD/PhD program at Penn State College of Medicine. Dan Goetschius (G2), Patricia Yee (G2), Eric Yau (G2) and Poom Khunsriraksakul (G1) organized the event, held in State College. Invited speakers Drs. Franklin Pugh, Judith Bond, Robyn Klein and Stacey Clardy gave talks on both science and career development. There was also time for vertical integration and comradery during the retreat.

At the end of the retreat, the new 2019/2020 Physician Scientist Student Association government was elected. Those elected were Marty Johnson (G2) as President, Mallory Peterson (G1) as Vice-President, Mike Sha (M1) as Treasurer, Sarah Kazzaz (M1) as Secretary, Dan Goetschius (G2) and Greg Brown (G1) as Steering Committee Chairs, Corey Kronman (M1) as Social Chair, Kyra Newmaster (G1) as Recruitment Chair, Jasmine Geathers (G1) as Clinical Research Conference Chair, Maryknoll Palisoc (M2) as Retreat Chair, Rhea Sullivan (M1) as Schreyer Honors College Liaison and Monica Manglani (G4) and Maryknoll Palisoc (M2) as American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) representatives.

The new officers met for the first time in April and discussed their new leadership roles as well as setting an agenda for the next year.

This summer, two Penn State Schreyer Honors College undergraduate students will be participating in Schreyer Honors College MD/PhD Summer Exposure Program beginning May 28. The Penn State College of Medicine MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program runs this 10-week summer exposure program for outstanding students in the Schreyer Honors College who are interested in becoming physician-scientists. These students are invited to MSTP seminars and clinical research conferences.

Many of the incoming M1s will also be starting their pre-matriculation rotation June 3; a welcome week with activities is planned for when they first arrive.

Finally, Dr. Parent will be having her annual summer welcome picnic July 13; students are asked to RSVP to the invitiation they will receive.

The Physician Scientist Student Association will have its next meeting June 13 after the lunch seminar. The group will discuss these summer activities, feedback on the spring retreat and professional seminars, and other student concerns from the previous meeting.

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