The Commonwealth Medical College - unique in many ways

TCMC and Wayne Memorial Hospital collaborate to provide educational opportunities for medical students

Tuesday, November 02, 2020

Scranton, Pennsylvania – Officials of Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH) recently entered into an agreement with The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) to provide clinical and community health research opportunities for its medical students. In October 2010, WMH and Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, along with Highland Physicians, began welcoming five TCMC medical students for three one-week clinical experiences in their first and second year as part of TCMC’s Scranton Regional Campus. The students arrived at WMH on October 25.

“The affiliation with Wayne Memorial brings our students into the community, to learn with practicing physicians and to appreciate the advantages of living and working in a community like Honesdale,” stated Dr. Robert D’Alessandri, MD, TCMC dean and president.  “From this experience and others like it in other communities, we hope our students will choose to return after their education to practice and live in Wayne County,” Dr. D’Alessandri continued.

Through TCMC’s unique and integrated medical education curriculum, students learn the practice of medicine in diverse clinical settings. In each of its regional campuses of Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Williamsport, students work with a clinical preceptor and/or continuity mentor who offers clinical experiences during community experience weeks in years 1 and 2. Students are also assigned a multi-generational family whom they will follow throughout their four years of education. As part of their community service requirement, students participate in a community research project within their respective regions to understand the health issues and offer solutions to enhance the quality of health for the residents in the region. In years 3 and 4, students will live and train full-time in their assigned regional campuses.      

Noting that Wayne Memorial Hospital is one of the founding members of TCMC, chief executive officer David Hoff reinforced Dr. D’Alessandri’s statements. “This is an opportunity for Wayne Memorial to play an integral role in the training of the next generation of healthcare providers,” said Mr. Hoff, “hopefully for our own area. We trust the TCMC students will learn from—and enjoy—their experience here and perhaps come back one day to work with us.”

The five TCMC first year medical students are working with primary care physicians on the medical staff of WMH who serve as continuity mentors to provide one-on-one supervision over the next two years. Students are also working with clinical preceptors to do clinical rotations in primary care, as well as outpatient and inpatient settings in WMH’s operating room, emergency department and inpatient units. They have also begun participating in a community health research project with WMH and Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers.
 
 “We are pleased to extend our network of medical students to Wayne County not only to involve them in the community but to work with some of the most outstanding clinicians in the region,” said Gerald Tracy, MD, associate dean of Regional Campus - Scranton. “Unlike traditional medical school training, TCMC students are exposed to various clinical experiences early in their education and, by the end of their first year, they are able to take a patient’s history and do a physical exam,” Dr. Tracy continued.

“Wayne County should be proud to be chosen as one of the communities to teach medical students from TCMC,” said Jon Sternburg, MD, Highland Physicians, TCMC community mentor and education coordinator for family practice for the Scranton area campus. “Bringing medical students out of the lecture hall and into the community should help to produce outstanding physicians. We in the medical community are excited to have the opportunity to teach the students in this unique way, and look forward to a long relationship with TCMC.”

From left: David Caucci, MD, vice president WMH Medical Staff; George Tietjen, MD, WMH chief of staff; Gerald Tracy, MD, TCMC associate dean for Regional Campus Development , Scranton; Robert D'Alessandri, MD, TCMC president and dean; Ingrid Warshaw, secretary, WMH Board of Trustees; Janet Townsend, MD, TCMC chair, Department of Family, Community and Rural Health; Lee Oakes, chair, WMH Board of Trustees; David Hoff, WMH chief executive officer; Dirk Mumford, 1st vice chair, WMH Board of Trustees; Robert Dohner, DO, president WMH Medical Staff; Jeffrey Mogerman, MD.

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