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A teaching hospital is a hospital that provides clinical education and training to future and current physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, in addition to delivering medical care to patients. They are generally affiliated with medical schools or universities (hence the alternative term university hospital or clinical school), and may be owned by a university or may form part of a wider regional or national health system.
Some teaching hospitals also have a commitment to research and are centers for experimental, innovative and technically sophisticated services.
Although institutions for caring for the sick are known to have existed much earlier in history, the first teaching hospital, where students were authorized to methodically practice on patients under the supervision of physicians as part of their education, was reportedly the Academy of Gundishapur in the Persian Empire during the Sassanid era.
The American television shows St. Elsewhere, Chicago Hope, ER, Scrubs, House, and Grey's Anatomy all take place in teaching hospitals (St. Eligius Hospital, Chicago Hope Hospital, County General Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital, Princeton-Plainsboro, and Grey + Sloan Memorial Hospital, respectively), as does the Canadian show Saving Hope (Hope Zion Hospital).
In the United Kingdom, the 1980s television documentary series Jimmy's was set in St James's University Hospital, Leeds (nicknamed Jimmy's), which formerly claimed to be the largest teaching hospital in Europe.
In France, many Paris hospitals are famous by their name: Pitié-Salpêtrière, Cochin, Necker or Hôtel-Dieu. They appear in many films and TV shows. An ER episode, for example, is set in Hôpital Saint-Antoine (AP-HP). Many patients are quite surprised to see medical students at their bedside: they know they are in top hospitals without knowing those hospitals are teaching hospitals.