Family Medicine

About the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health

Brother and sister


Family practice is the medical specialty which provides continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual and the family. It is the specialty in breadth which integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. The scope of family practice encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity.

Quality health care in family practice is the achievement of optimal physical and mental health through accessible, cost-effective care that is based on best evidence, responsive to the needs and preferences of patients and populations, and respectful of patients' families, personal values, and beliefs.

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health of the University of Pennsylvania has a proud and rich mix of academics and service. Begun in 1996, the Department has quickly developed excellent residency, fellowship, medical student education, patient care, research, and community service programs. Faculty are also helping to lead a major new program, the Center for Public Health Initiatives, involving schools across the University of Pennsylvania campus.

The Penn Family Care office has two locations:

The practice sees about 45,000 outpatient visits a year and has about 1,000 hospital admissions, admitting adults mostly to PPMC and about 400 mothers and their babies a year at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).

The Section of Public Health reinforces Penn's public and community health academics and service. The section leads Penn's ties with the University-wide Center for Public Health Initiatives, Masters of Public Health Program, and other public health initiatives.

Globally, the largest program involving Penn's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health is the Guatemala Health Initiative, in which the Department partners with Hospitalito Atitlán to improve health in the Tz'utujil Maya town of Santiago Atitlán. Penn faculty also direct an innovative national program to train medical students in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, China.

The Department is innovative, academically strong, and community-oriented. We are proud to exemplify the Penn Compact — initiated by Penn's current President, Dr. Amy Gutmann: Increasing access, integrating knowledge, and engaging locally and globally.