News Release

September 20, 2012


Greg Richter


Perelman School of Medicine

This release is available online at

Penn Medicine's Stephanie Abbuhl, MD, Receives 2012 AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Development Award

Stephanie Abbuhl, MD, Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs for Emergency Medicine and executive director of FOCUS on Health and Leadership for Women in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has received the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) 2012 Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Development Award for an individual.

According to the AAMC, this distinction recognizes “extraordinary, innovative, and far-reaching contributions” supporting women’s leadership and success in academic medicine. As executive director of FOCUS on Health and Leadership for Women, Abbuhl has played an integral role in numerous gender equality initiatives throughout the Perelman School of Medicine. The FOCUS program was awarded AAMC's Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award in 2004.

This work is an important priority for Penn Medicine, where Abbuhl’s research and programs are aimed at increasing the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women physicians and researchers through the ranks of academic medicine. While 48 percent of students accepted into U.S. medical schools today are women, their numbers dwindle at the higher rungs of the academic ladder: women make up about 42 percent of assistant professors in the nation’s medical schools, but only 31 percent of associate professors and 19 percent of full professors. They comprise just 13 percent of department chairs and 13 percent of deans.

Abbuhl co-leads the NIH Transforming Academic Culture (NIH-TAC) Trial, a $1.5 million National Institutes of Health-funded cluster-randomized trial to study a multi-faceted intervention in the Perelman School of Medicine aimed at improving the academic productivity and job satisfaction of women faculty.  Although much has been learned about what barriers stand in the way of women advancing to the highest levels of academic science and medicine, this project is the first federally funded endeavor to examine interventions to alter this gender gap.

Abbuhl has received many other honors and is credited with more than 100 publications on operational and administrative issues in emergency medicine, and faculty development, among other areas.

She will formally receive the honor at the AAMC Annual meeting in November.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.