LVC Trio Completes Primary Care Scholars Program at Hershey Medical Center

Lebanon Valley College pre-med students attended the Primary Care Scholars Program at Hershey Medical Center

Three Lebanon Valley College pre-medicine students completed the prestigious two-week Primary Care Scholars Program at Hershey Medical Center this summer. Karis Brashear ’19, Paige Mealing ’19, and John Horne ’19 gained first-hand experience in the primary care unit as they engaged with physicians, interacted with patients, and talked with other medical students.

The selective program allowed the nearly 50 participants to spend time with medical students and primary care physicians in a variety of practice settings, learn about the medical school application process, and get introduced to curriculum. 

Dr. Kristen Boeshore, director of LVC’s pre-health professions and associate professor of biology, encouraged students to apply to the program. 

“Students who have completed the program in past years have greatly benefited from it, with several of them accepted into medical school at Penn State Hershey and others accepted to medical schools elsewhere,” she said.

The program began with four days of classes on the Hershey campus that included medical school admissions, the College of Medicine’s Family Medicine Accelerated Program, and a problem-based learning case discussion. Participants also learned about the philosophy and practice of primary care in the disciplines of family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. A panel of current College of Medicine students shared insights into student life. 

“I really enjoyed talking to current medical students. They provided tons of tips and inside information that I wouldn’t have known about medical school otherwise,” said Brashear, a biology major. “The one-on-one consult with a member of the Admissions Board was also extremely helpful, as I was able to ask questions about how they interview and what recommendations they had to improve my application.”

During the second week of the program, each participant shadowed a family physician, general pediatrician, or general internist. Students had the option of attending the clinical experience near their college, home, or at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

“I always wanted to work in the medical field and this program inspired me to follow my dreams,” said Mealing, a biology major who plans to pursue a physician assistant program. “I was not set on working in the primary care field, but after this program, I know I want to work in pediatrics.”

Finally, Brashear said the program underscored the importance of networking and making the most of opportunities. “You never know when you might need a recommendation or a connection in order to get where you want to go. At LVC, that means doing well academically, making a good impression on professors and mentors, and most importantly, letting those who have helped you know how much you appreciate their guidance.”