Following nomination and interviews, three Albright College juniors, Brigette Amendano, Phuong Chau and Erika Hollinger learned this fall that they have been accepted into the Early Assurance Program at Penn State College of Medicine — Hershey.
Acceptance to the medical college is conditional on the students’ completing remaining courses and bachelor’s degrees at Albright, as well as passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). But once they arrive at Hershey, they’ll rejoin Albright seniors Jennifer Crumling, Nicole Crumling, Maya Fares and Donna Saboori, who successfully earned Albright degrees and navigated the MCAT last summer and will join Hershey next fall. Recent Albright graduates, Ty Achtermann, Rebecca Morgis and Mara Trifoi are already diving into their studies at the College of Medicine.
Passion and skill
With so many different possible specialties, (pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, to name a few) each medical student is likely to pursue a different path. Sometimes medial paths are chosen by interests or skills that take shape during rotation experiences – others come from passions that exist long before medical school begins.
As a non-traditional student baptized into the Mennonite Church in 2012, Erika Hollinger has a passion. She has witnessed, first-hand, healthcare disparities among her friends and family in the Mennonite community.
“My love for learning, desire to serve others and experiences as a community member motivate me to bridge some of these long-standing gaps,” says Hollinger. “As a physician, I plan to work in the Amish and Mennonite communities and hope to make quality healthcare more accessible to these underserved groups.”
Penn State College of Medicine is part of an academic medical center group that also includes Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital – all located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, home to thriving Amish and Mennonite communities.
“I believe that Penn State recognizes many of the same opportunities to improve medical care, particularly primary care, in these vulnerable populations,” says Hollinger. “Penn State’s commitment to educating physicians in both the science and art of medicine aligns closely with my goal of offering cutting-edge care in a culturally sensitive and accessible manner.”
Though she was well prepared, Hollinger says going through the application process was a moving experience.
“It was humbling to have so many of my professors and mentors write letters of recommendation on my behalf,” she says. “I’m extremely thankful to have been able to build relationships with each one of them during my time at Albright. My acceptance means a great deal to me.”
With four young children at home, Hollinger is also deeply grateful for her husband, without whose help she would not be able to take on Albright’s innovative psychobiology curriculum. Her mother and other family and friends have chipped in on household tasks and taking care of the children, as well.
“I realize that this acceptance is not just for me, but it’s a validation of the hard work and support of so many people who have helped me get to this point,” says Hollinger.