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Purpose-driven program encourages caring students to practice in region

Geisinger has taken another step toward ensuring its communities will be cared for by excellent physicians well into the future. This month Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) introduced the Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program. The program awards 10 first- or second-year medical students at GCSOM one year of loan forgiveness for each year the student works at Geisinger once he or she has finished residency training. The program targets debt related to tuition and fees.

“The Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program is purpose-driven,” said David T. Feinberg, MD, Geisinger CEO. “Everything we do is about caring and there is no better way to care for our communities than by growing our own physician workforce and cultivating talent right here in our backyard.”

Dr. Feinberg noted that the Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program will focus on students most likely to stay and practice medicine in the regions Geisinger serves – which means recipients will most likely be students who grew up in northeastern and central Pennsylvania or one of the other Geisinger service areas.

Steven J. Scheinman, MD, president and dean of GCSOM and executive vice president at Geisinger, said the Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program is one more way the School of Medicine is focused on bringing its alumni home.

“GCSOM already does a tremendous job focusing on local students,” he said. “Through our holistic admissions process, in a typical year, more than one-third of our incoming MD class is composed of local students. Also, through programs like REACH-HEI and our Center of Excellence, GCSOM has built a pipeline for talented local students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access careers in science and medicine. Some of these students have even been accepted at GCSOM. This loan forgiveness program is one more way we can encourage our best and brightest to stay in the region.”

Students chosen to receive an Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program award can look forward to a rewarding career at Geisinger – during which every year of service results in one year of forgiveness of tuition debt. Since medical student tuition debt can exceed $250,000 by the time commencement arrives, many future doctors find that the need to repay student loans dictates their career decisions. The Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program is designed to remove debt from career considerations. The program provides caring students with the financial freedom to choose to stay in our region and to choose the medical specialty that most inspires them.

About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of graduate degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit www.geisinger.edu/gcsom.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the nonprofit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 126 care sites — including 10 hospital campuses — and Geisinger Health Plan, with more than half a million members in commercial and government plans. Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $15 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country. Learn more at geisinger.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
On Call: 570-687-9703
ezygmunt@som.geisinger.edu
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