Hospital is a voluntary not-for-profit teaching institution
located in Philadelphia's historic Society Hill area. Founded
by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond in 1751, the hospital
today is a 505-bed medical complex in Center City Philadelphia.
The hospital is the first choice for many students because
of its exceptional faculty combined with a training environment
that serves a diverse population of varied socioeconomic backgrounds.
In addition, there are research opportunities available, primarily
clinical, in which residents can collaborate on ongoing projects
or, under preceptorship of an attending physician, initiate
their own projects.
Pennsylvania Hospital has played an important role in the
expanding legacy of healthcare in this country and around the
world. Below are just a few highlights of the hospital's history:
- By 1762, just 11 years after its founding, Pennsylvania
Hospital became the principal clinical teaching center in
- A signer of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin
Rush, joined the hospital staff in 1783 where he served as
a medical teacher and social reformer and came to be known
as the "father of American psychiatry."
- Philip Syng Physick, MD, was appointed to the staff in
1794 and served until 1816. He achieved fame through his
surgical prowess and his inventions. He became known as the "father
of American surgery."
- In the early 1800s Pennsylvania Hospital continued to grow
in stature and size, implementing many new services, including
the first surgical amphitheater in the colonies.
- In 1835 the new medical library became the first, largest
and most important storehouse of medical information of its
time. The historic library continues to serve today as a
repository for the hospital's archive collection and as the
meeting place of the Board of Managers.
- One of the treasured books among the 13,000 volumes in
the Historic Library is a copy of Vesalius' study of human
anatomy published in 1555. There is also a book published
in 1534 that discusses the work of Galen, the classical authority
on medicine, as well as many valuable books printed before
- By 1917, Pennsylvania Hospital was at the forefront of
the first hospital service units established in World War
I, treating more than 48,000 patients during 18 months.
- In 1927, the hospital opened a new outpatient department
signaling a new approach to better health through prevention.
- A Women's Building, which opened in 1929, was considered
to be one of the most innovative approaches to women's care
in the country.
- In 1970, The Rothman Institute was established and the
first sterile "greenhouse" for orthopedic surgery
in Philadelphia was opened. Since that time, more than 10,000
joint replacements have been performed at Pennsylvania Hospital.
- At the forefront of cancer care in the region, the hospital
founded its Hospice Program in 1979. The program was the
first in the area to offer a complete range of services.
- The Adult Day Health Center, opened in 1986, was the first
hospital-based facility of its kind in Philadelphia. The
Center links the broad range of services for older adults
at Pennsylvania Hospital.
- More babies are born at Pennsylvania Hospital than any
facility in eastern Pennsylvania.