Read about the history of Penn Medicine.

A leader in medicine for more than 240 years Penn Medicine has a lot of firsts.

Pennsylvania Hospital, part of Penn Medicine, is the nation's first hospital, and was founded in 1751. The University of Pennsylvania opened its School of Medicine, the nation's first, in 1765. And, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1874 as the nation's first teaching hospital.

Over the past 30 years, Penn physicians and scientists have participated in many important discoveries, including:

  • The first general vaccine against pneumonia
  • The introduction of total intravenous feeding
  • The development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other imaging technologies
  • The discovery of the Philadelphia chromosome, which revolutionized cancer research by making the connection between genetic abnormalities and cancer

Since our founding days, we've expanded medical frontiers by creating some of the nation's earliest programs in areas ranging from dermatology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and radiology, to the Philadelphia region's only program to transplantation of five major organs.

Our clinicians and researchers continue to make medical advances that help people live longer, healthier lives. We are committed to care for patients with respect and compassion while forging the medical discoveries that will lead our teams through the 21st century. 

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