Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
|University of Pennsylvania|
|Affiliation||University of Pennsylvania Health System|
|Dean||J. Larry Jameson|
|Executive Vice Dean||Jonathan Epstein|
1,200 (residents and fellows)
|Students||775 M.D. students|
594 Ph.D. students
186 M.D.-Ph.D. students
329 masters students
704 post-doctoral fellows
3400 Civic Center Boulevard,
The Perelman School of Medicine, commonly known as Penn Med, is the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located in the University City section of Philadelphia. Founded in 1765, the Perelman School of Medicine is the oldest medical school in the United States and is one of the seven Ivy League medical schools. Penn Med is consistently one of the top recipients of NIH research awards and is currently ranked third for research among American medical schools by U.S. News & World Report.
The school of medicine was founded by Dr. John Morgan, a graduate of the College of Philadelphia (the precursor of the University of Pennsylvania) and the University of Edinburgh Medical School. After training in Edinburgh and other European cities, Dr. Morgan returned to Philadelphia in 1765. With fellow University of Edinburgh Medical School graduate Dr. William Shippen Jr., Morgan persuaded the college's trustees to found the first medical school in the Original Thirteen Colonies. Only months before the medical school was created, Morgan delivered an address to the trustees and the citizens of Philadelphia, "Upon the Institution of Medical Schools in America" during which he expressed his desire for the new medical school to become a model institution:
Perhaps this medical institution, the first of its kind in America, though small in its beginning, may receive a constant increase of strength, and annually exert new vigor. It may collect a number of young persons of more ordinary abilities, and so improve their knowledge as to spread its reputation to different parts. By sending these abroad duly qualified, or by exciting an emulation amongst men of parts and literature, it may give birth to other useful institutions of a similar nature, or occasional rise, by its example to numerous societies of different kinds, calculated to spread the light of knowledge through the whole American continent, wherever inhabited.
That autumn, students enrolled for "anatomical lectures" and a course on "the theory and practice of physick." Modeling the school after the University of Edinburgh Medical School, medical lectures were supplemented with bedside teaching at the Pennsylvania Hospital.
The School of Medicine's early faculty included nationally renowned physicians and scientists such as Benjamin Rush, Philip Syng Physick, and Robert Hare. In the mid-1800s, prominent faculty members included William Pepper, Joseph Leidy, and Nathaniel Chapman (founding president of the American Medical Association). William Osler and Howard Atwood Kelly, two of the "founding four" physicians of The Johns Hopkins Hospital were drawn from Penn's medical faculty. Later, in 1910, the landmark Flexner Report on medical education reviewed Penn as one of the relatively few medical schools of the era with high standards in medical instruction, facilities, and research.
Several institutional names are associated with the school. Founded in 1765 as the College of Philadelphia Department of Medicine, by 1909 it was named the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In 1916 it absorbed the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia, an institution which had dated to 1848. By 1971 the school reasserted its position as a department within UPenn, branding itself the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine. In 2011, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine was renamed as the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of a $225 million gift by Raymond and Ruth Perelman. Raymond and his son, Ronald Perelman, are both alumni of Penn's Wharton School.  It was the single largest gift made in the University's history, and it remains the largest donation ever made for naming rights to a medical school.
Today, the school is known as the Perelman School of Medicine, or Penn Med.
Campus and teaching hospitals
Between 1765 and 1801, medical school lectures were held in Surgeon's Hall on 5th Street in Center City, Philadelphia. In 1801, medical instruction moved with the rest of the university to 9th Street. In the 1870s, the university moved across the Schuylkill River to a location in West Philadelphia. As part of this move, the medical faculty persuaded the university trustees to construct a teaching hospital adjacent to the new academic facilities. As a result, Penn's medical school and flagship teaching hospital form part of the university's main campus and are located in close proximity to the university's other schools and departments. Although they are independent institutions, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Wistar Institute are also located on or adjacent to Penn's campus.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia serve as the medical school's main teaching hospitals. Additional teaching takes place at Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Hospital, and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the School of Medicine was one of the earliest to encourage the development of the emerging medical specialties: neurosurgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, and radiology. Between 1910 and 1939, the chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, Alfred Newton Richards, played a significant role in developing the University as an authority of medical science, helping the United States to catch up with European medicine and begin to make significant advances in biomedical science.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, Dr. Jonathan Rhoads of the Department of Surgery (which he would later go on to head for many years) mentored Dr. Stanley Dudrick who pioneered the successful use of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for patients unable to tolerate nutrition through their GI tract.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Dr. C. William Schwab, a trauma surgeon, led numerous advances in the concept of damage control surgery for severely injured trauma patients.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Dr. Paul Offit, a professor of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, lead the scientific advances behind the modern RotaTeq vaccine for infectious childhood diarrhea.
Benchmark changes in the understanding of medical science and the practice of medicine have necessitated that the school change its methods of teaching, as well as its curriculum. Large changes were made in 1968, 1970, 1981, 1987, and 1997. The last significant change in 1997 brought about the institution of Curriculum 2000, "an integrated, multidisciplinary curriculum which emphasizes small group instruction, self-directed learning and flexibility." Three themes, Science of Medicine, Art and Practice of Medicine, and Professionalism and Humanism, were developed by focus groups consisting of department chairpersons, course directors, and students.
Biomedical Graduate Studies
Biomedical Graduate Studies, contained within the Perelman School of Medicine, was established in 1985 and serves as the academic home within the University of Pennsylvania for roughly 700 students pursuing a PhD in the basic biomedical sciences. BGS consists of more than 600 faculty members across seven Penn schools and several associated institutes including Wistar Institute, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are eight graduate programs, labeled by the school as "graduate groups," that lead to a Ph.D. in basic biomedical sciences.
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Genomics and Computational Biology
All biomedical graduate studies students receive a stipend in addition to a full fellowship and tend to receive the degree within a median time frame of 5.4 years. There is also the option for students to pursue an additional certificate in medicine, public health, and environmental health sciences. Each graduate group has its own admission policy and training mission, and hence curriculum greatly varies.
The Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) comprise "Penn Medicine". Penn Medicine is an organizational structure designed to integrate Penn's clinical, educational, and research functions. Penn Medicine is governed by a board of trustees which in turn reports to the trustees of the university. Ralph Mueller serves as CEO of UPHS while J. Larry Jameson serves as Dean of Medicine and Executive Vice President of the health system.
The School of Medicine has departments in the following basic science subjects: Biochemistry and Biophysics, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cancer Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Genetics, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Physiology. The school also has departments in the following clinical practices: Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Family Practice and Community Medicine, Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology (See Scheie Eye Institute), Orthopaedic Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics (See Children's Hospital of Philadelphia), Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, and Surgery.
Centers and institutes
The Perelman School of Medicine, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, has contained within it many centers and institutes dealing with clinical medicine, clinical research, basic science research, and translational research.
- Medical schools in Pennsylvania
- List of Ivy League medical schools
- University of Pennsylvania Health System
- University of Edinburgh Medical School
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.|
- A History of the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania (1869) by Joseph Carson, M.D.
- The History of the University of Pennsylvania (1834) by George B. Wood, M.D.
- A Discourse upon the Institution of Medical Schools in America (1765) by John Morgan, M.D.