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Family and Community Medicine

Research within the Department of Family and Community Medicine has grown exponentially in recent years. The work reflects both the diversity of that patient population and the vast spectrum of interests among the primary care clinician-researchers.

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Research Highlights

The Department of Family and Community Medicine has a strong history of collaborative research efforts with other departments and divisions, including general internal medicine, pediatrics, sports medicine and public health sciences.

Research areas include:

  • Health disparities and underserved populations
  • Medical education
  • Patient self-support
  • Primary care quality improvement
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Integrative medicine
  • Caregiver support
  • Global health research
  • Chronic pain
  • Addiction

More about Research in Family and Community Medicine

Research Leadership Expand answer
A head-and-shoulders photo of Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD

Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD

Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD, is the Jeanne L. and Thomas L. Leaman, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Read more about Dr. Zgierska’s research here.

See Dr. Zgierska’s provider profile here.

Area Health Education Center Expand answer

The Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program Office is housed within the Office of Outreach and Research.

Within the central program office, the AHEC team provides support for the seven AHEC regions, coordinates student and faculty development programs and e-learning activities and manages statewide data and reporting as well as programmatic fiscal operations.

The AHEC program strives to meet the health care needs of underserved communities by improving the supply and distribution of the health-professions work force.

Seminars and Events Expand answer

A variety of continuing education programs are available in family and community medicine. When available, registration links appear below.

Resources for Internal Investigators Expand answer

Departmental Research Support

The department is home to a core group of research project managers dedicated to helping Department of Family and Community Medicine faculty members pursue their research interests.

At every stage of the research process, from identifying funding opportunities, crafting the proposal and budget, implementing the protocol, all the way through to disseminating the study results, the research team offers comprehensive expertise and support.

Submitting a Project Proposal

In order to better match studies and projects with resources and support, the Department of Family and Community Medicine has developed a procedure for prescreening and review of possible projects.

An initial review (by Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Research, and/or core department faculty members) determines if the project is compatible with the department mission and whether the study is feasible in the department and its practices.

Penn State Ambulatory Research Network (PSARN) Expand answer

Mission: Penn State Ambulatory Research Network’s mission is to facilitate primary care research and education by engaging primary care clinicians, their patients and their communities as partners to better address pressing public health needs through translational research.

Vision: Penn State Ambulatory Research Network will serve as a model practice-based research network, improve the primary care experience of patients and clinicians, and improve health outcomes for the people of south-central Pennsylvania and beyond.

Submit project proposal

Contact Family and Community Medicine Expand answer

To speak to someone about family and community medicine research, call 717-531-8187 or email

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