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  • PPI is One Best Places to Work in Central PA

    Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI) is nestled in central Pennsylvania – a great place to live that is located just a short drive away from many major metropolitan areas.

    Yassir Mahgoub, MD, started his training through a residency program with Penn State and PPI. Once he finished his residency, he followed his wife to New York as she was finishing a program of her own. After three years working at a medical center in Brooklyn, they decided to return to their PA roots.

    Yassir Mahgoub, M.D.

    Yassir Mahgoub, M.D.

    “The cost of living in New York was too high, and I had personal goals of being in academia” explains Dr. Mahgoub. “Penn State and PPI offered an academic position with opportunity for research, clinical work and inpatient services. I was already familiar with their programs from residency and being back in an area with very solid and excellent schools with a reasonable cost of living for a family just made sense.”

    Now back in the Hershey area, Dr. Mahgoub has been back at PPI for almost two years. Dr. Mahgoub is currently a staff psychiatrist at PPI, inpatient psychiatrist, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Penn State School of Medicine.

    “I enjoy working at PPI because I get to balance clinical work with research and academic opportunities. I get to work with medical students and residents alongside my peers in a supportive and caring environment.”


    Alison Swigart, M.D.

    Alison Swigart, M.D.

    Another one of our psychiatrists, Alison Swigart, MD, moved to central PA from out of state because of the advantages that PPI and this area offer. Dr. Swigart is an Attending Psychiatrist at PPI, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health and the Program Director for Public & Community Psychiatry Fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine.

    Following her residency and staying to work in Providence, RI, to work for five years, Dr. Swigart joined the team at PPI in 2018.

    “I wanted to move somewhere that had an academic medical center, but that wasn’t in a big city.
    Relocating back to central PA with our two sons, living on the West Shore just made sense. Housing is reasonable. We can have space in our backyard for our boys and the public schools are good. Not to mention we are much closer to family”
    mentions Dr. Swigart.

    “What was appealing to me about working for PPI was that I could work in an academic institution and still perform clinical care while teaching and educating residents, fellows and medical students. And only having to be on call three weekends a year is a huge bonus!”

    “PPI serves an important service in our community; it makes a big impact on a community that has needs. At PPI, we have the opportunity to make a real impact in the community where our help is needed.”

    “There is strong teamwork and a collaborative attitude with the staff here. PPI has a collegial and supportive atmosphere among the physicians. We have each other’s backs and can go to one another for advice. There is a great interdisciplinary team of behavioral health professionals that provides our patients with excellent care.”

    “We also have strong physician leadership. Our Chief Medical Officer, Elisabeth Kunkel, MD, is focused on quality improvement. She focuses on the quality and access to care for our patients and career development for physicians” notes Dr. Swigart.


    Elisabeth Kunkel, M.D.

    Elisabeth Kunkel, M.D.

    Equally as enthused about her new peers, Dr. Kunkel notes “The physicians we recruit to PPI and to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health are intelligent, accomplished, creative, and enthusiastic about being part of our PPI academic-community team.”

    “This year we wanted to provide additional faculty development support by recruiting in 3 new people to support faculty in their academic projects, academic career development, and research. All our faculty work well together as a team and garner mentorship and academic support from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Medical Center. The area has a lower cost of living, great schools, beautiful trails, and lots of activities to enjoy. People are friendly and there is a real sense of community. I would be delighted to speak to anyone interested in a position at Penn State Health and Psychiatry.”

    If you are interested about joining the team at PPI,  please contact Erica Geist at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for additional information.


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