Penn State College of Medicine

www.hmc.psu.edu
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Penn State College of Medicine Reviews

Updated April 30, 2015
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3.2
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  1. A PhD student's perspective

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant

    I have been working at Penn State College of Medicine full-time

    Positive Outlook
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Friendly colleagues and idyllic community setting. Consistent growth of medical center and research endeavors help make a positive atmosphere for graduate research/studies. Supportive graduate dean and staff!

    Cons

    Despite some great strides toward translational research with HCAR, Office of Tech. Development, and P3 campaign, you won't confuse this with one of the major biotech (or cultural) hubs, but those aren't that far away.

  2. The pay wasn't stellar but I was willing to drive an hour to get there because I enjoyed the people and philosophy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Clinical Research Coordinator in Hershey, PA
    Former Employee - Senior Clinical Research Coordinator in Hershey, PA

    I worked at Penn State College of Medicine full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Contributing to cancer research, working as a team, treated as a valuable member

    Cons

    Pay doesn't correspond to amount of work and education.

    Advice to Management

    Increase pay slightly

  3. The College is academically focused, with emphasis on hard work and tangible productivity.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Technologist I in Hershey, PA
    Current Employee - Research Technologist I in Hershey, PA

    I have been working at Penn State College of Medicine part-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The hours are flexible, and the College definitely has a laid-back atmosphere. Every day is casual Friday.

    Cons

    Compensation is substantially lower than an equitable position in Industry. You may be asked to work long hours without the possibility of overtime, and your time outside of work (vacation time, evenings, weekends) may not be respected. There is not a great emphasis on "health" and "balance" for the employee work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Consider emphasizing a greater sense of work-life balance; your employees will feel empowered and be more productive during working hours.

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  5. Good people, good science = good medicine.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Support Coordinator in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Administrative Support Coordinator in Harrisburg, PA

    I worked at Penn State College of Medicine full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent cutting edge research by an outstanding faculty. Nine out of ten scientists I had contact with possessed stable mature personalities with courteous and professional behavior exhibited toward coworkers and staff. Generally one of the best work environments and cultures I've had the privilege of working in.

    Cons

    Often had to deal with the usual lack of leadership and management skills on the part of a few lower administrative staff. Micromanagement and inadequate communication skills demonstrated by these few detracted from an otherwise collegial work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Clear lines of authority and boundaries should be clearly defined during initial training with annual refresher as needed. Professional communication skills should be emphasized as well during refresher training.

  6. Great culture/values

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hershey, PA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hershey, PA

    I have been working at Penn State College of Medicine full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible hours, very bright people

    Cons

    Good benefits for full-time employees, but like most places, postdoctoral fellows get few benefits and little pay. It's ot so much a knock on PSCOM just the structure of the system in academic science.

    Advice to Management

    Little to comment on here.

  7. Good place to work with good benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Hershey, PA
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Hershey, PA

    I have been working at Penn State College of Medicine full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Healthcare
    Great 401k match
    Great atmosphere
    Very good Education Reimbursement

    Cons

    Salary
    Room for advancement
    Lots of bureaucracy, hard to get things done at times

    Advice to Management

    Improve salary for Penn State employed staff and provide more opportunities for advancement

  8. Friendly environment, but not top tier research.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Penn State College of Medicine

    Pros

    Friendly coworkers and great place to learn techniques.

    Cons

    Inability or desire for to reach the next level of excellence.

    Advice to Management

    Should be more future-thinking.

  9. Lab tech = Hard work, long hours, little pay, no opportunities for advacement or raises

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lab Tech I in Hershey, PA
    Current Employee - Lab Tech I in Hershey, PA

    I have been working at Penn State College of Medicine full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    good benefits, some good people to work with, flexible hours

    Cons

    Very little possibility for career advancement. Last year they re-organized their job structure increasing the requirements for each job title makeing it even more difficult to qualify for raises and promotions.

    The pay is terrible even for academic standards.

    experiences vary greatly by lab. The employee is at the mercy of the PI. Some PI's bully their employees into long hours and very busy days. PI's are not held accountable for their actions and are allowed to do as they please

    non- exempt employees can not document overtime for fear of being fired or reprimanded.

  10. The right department will make or break it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hershey, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hershey, PA

    I worked at Penn State College of Medicine

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Depending on which department you end up working, your experience with the College of Medicine can be very rewarding or very miserable. Some Departments have very poor management and the human resources in the department does not take steps to remedy the problem.

    Cons

    The pay is not that great. It's kind of in the middle of no where. Poor management (depending on the department)

    Advice to Management

    Better management training and promotions should be based more on competence, performance, leadership skills, and ability to work in teams. Not who can suck up the manager best.

  11. To anyone considering this place: STAY AWAY

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hershey, PA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hershey, PA

    I have been working at Penn State College of Medicine

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    I have to fill out 20 words for this section. Being that this is extremely difficult and I see no pros, I am writing this: easy commute.

    Cons

    For a detailed critique you can refer to my review of Hershey Medical Center on this site. Essentially all the points I made there applies here:

    1. Too much red-tape

    2. The scientific environment here is laughable. The core facilities are ludicrous, there are no world renowned labs, and most of the faculty live in denial of how bad the scientific output of this place really is.

    3. The collaborative environment is non-existent. Partly because the two campuses are nearly 100 miles apart, but mostly because there are no experts in this institution.

    4. Lack of growth potential. In most cases you will be stuck as a postdoc and if you are extremely lucky probably be promoted to research associate. That is just policy, unless of course you know how to play politics. Also the chances of getting employment once you come out of this place is next to zero. In all likelihood you have to do a second postdoc at a more prestigious institution. So spare yourself the agony and skip this place altogether.

    5. Lack of pay. There is a pay freeze here. So many third year postdocs are still getting paid at first years rates, in violation of NIH policy, even though they are extremely productive.

    6. As a postdoc you will be unappreciated. This place does not value researchers, I can say that from personal experience.

    7. The support staff is terrible. In all likelihood the research assistants are only high school graduates and you will end up doing your job as well as theirs.

    Advice to Management

    My previous advice still applies. If the management wants to make this place into a competitive research institution then they need to do more to attract top talent and retain them through competitive incentives. As of right now there is no incentive for anyone to come and work here, unless they are coming from a different country and don't know any better.

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