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Drexel University College of Medicine

Drexel University College of Medicine
Motto In the tradition of Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann Medical College
Established 1848
Dean Daniel V. Schidlow, M.D.
Location 2900 W Queen Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Queen Lane Campus
Nickname Template:If empty
Affiliations Drexel University

Drexel University College of Medicine is the medical school of Drexel University. The medical school has the nation's largest enrollment for a private medical school, and represents the consolidation of two medical schools: the nation's first medical school for women and the first U.S. college of homeopathy. Drexel University College of Medicine is ranked #83 in research and not ranked for primary care by U.S. News & World Report.

The College is housed at two locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Queen Lane Campus of the former Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University Hospital, which serves as the university's Center City Hahnemann Campus.


File:First Female Medical College of Pennsylvania Building.JPG
The first building to house the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, founded in 1850.
The former Medical College building on Henry Avenue before the College of Medicine moved to its current location on Queen Lane

Drexel University College of Medicine went through many name changes throughout its history. The medical school began as two separate medical schools: Hahnemann Medical College and Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1993, the Medical College of Philadelphia merged with Hahnemann.

In 2003 Drexel University assumed the leadership; this created the College of Medicine in its present form. U.S. News & World Report ranks Drexel University College of Medicine 84 for overall research rank. Primary care overall is not ranked.[1]

Hahnemann Medical College

  • Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1848–1869
  • Hahnemann Medical College, 1867–1982
  • Hahnemann University, 1982–1993

In 1848, three homeopathic physicians — Constantine Hering, Jacob Jeanes and Walter Williamson — joined forces and rented rooms at the rear of a Philadelphia pharmacy on 229 Arch Street. Homeopathy, an attempt to stimulate the body to heal itself, was developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann. With 15 students they began operating Hahnemann’s parent institution, the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, offering M.D. and H.M.D degrees. After a series of moves, the College joined forces with a hospital and moved to its present location near Broad and Vine Streets. By 1928 the 20-story Broad Street location became the site of one of the first high-rise teaching hospitals in the world.[2]

Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania

  • Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1850–1867
  • Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP), 1867–1970
  • Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP), 1970–1993

When Hahnemann Medical College left its original site, the building on 229 Arch Street became the home of the Female (later, Woman’s) Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1850, the world's first medical school for women was founded in Philadelphia.[3][4] Founded by Quaker businessmen, clergy and physicians, and operated by philanthropist William J. Mullen, “Woman’s Med” was the first medical school in the world to provide medical education exclusively for women. In its early days, it faced serious opposition from the male medical establishment. Prevailing notions held women too feeble-minded to succeed in the demanding arena of academic medicine and too delicate to endure the physical requirements of clinical practice. As a result, Ann Preston, M.D., a member of the College’s first graduating class, founded the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 1866, she became dean of the college, the first woman ever to hold that position at a medical school.

MCP Hahnemann University

  • MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine, 1993–1996
  • Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, 1996–1998
  • MCP Hahnemann University School of Medicine, 1998–2002

The Medical College of Pennsylvania merged with Hahnemann University in 1993, creating four fully accredited schools: the School of Medicine, Graduate School, School of Allied Health Professions and the School of Continuing Education. In 1993, the College became the first medical school in the country to completely integrate women's health issues into its curriculum instead of an occasional lecture or optional elective.[5] Also in that year, MCP and Hahnemann University became part of Allegheny Health Education and Research Foundation (AHERF) and were integrated into the Allegheny University of the Health Sciences (AUHS), which included facilities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But five years later, AHERF, which owned eight Philadelphia hospitals, collapsed in the nation’s largest bankruptcy of a non-profit health care organization.[6]

In October 1998, in an historic reorganization, the AHERF hospitals were sold to Tenet Healthcare Corporation, a for-profit hospital corporation based in Texas. A new non-profit corporation, Philadelphia Health & Education Corporation (PHEC), was created to carry on the education, research and service missions under the name MCP Hahnemann University. Drexel University was hired as the university’s operator, to bring the same level of expertise to running this academic medical center that Tenet brought to hospital management operations.

On August 3, 2000, former President Gerald Ford was admitted to the Hospital after suffering two minor strokes while attending the 2000 Republican National Convention, but made a quick recovery afterwards.[7]

Drexel University College of Medicine

  • Drexel University College of Medicine. 2002–present

After successfully operating MCP Hahnemann University for three and one-half years, the Drexel Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to make its relationship with MCP Hahnemann permanent. On July 1, 2002, two of the MCP Hahnemann schools—the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the School of Public Health—formally became part of Drexel, and PHEC continued to operate as a legal affiliate of Drexel under its new name, Drexel University College of Medicine. Shortly thereafter, the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved the transfer to Drexel University of all degree-granting authority that had previously been vested in MCP Hahnemann. As a result, all students of the former MCP Hahnemann University are Drexel students and graduate with Drexel degrees.

Today, as Drexel University College of Medicine, the institution continues its historic commitment to women's health education. The College also now has over 1,000 medical students, more than 500 biomedical graduate students, 550 residents, 600 clinical and basic science faculty, and over 1,700 affiliate and volunteer faculty.

Drexel University College of Medicine offers two tracks for the first two years of undergraduate medical education. These tracks are suited for a particular student's learning preferences:

  • A traditional lecture-based track called the Interdisciplinary Foundations of Medicine (IFM)
  • A case-based, problem-based track called the Program for Integrated Learning (PIL)


The Queen Lane Campus is located within the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia
File:HahnemannUHospital crop.jpg
Center City Hahnemann Campus as seen from the I-676 interchange.

Queen Lane Campus

The College of Medicine's main campus is at the university's Queen Lane campus of the former Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. This campus houses first and second-year medical students as well as biomedical graduate students and is located in a suburban-like setting in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 2006, the University finished construction of the Script error: No such module "convert". Student Activities Center. This new wing included an expanded gym, recreation room, book store, and a lecture hall that can accommodate an entire class in one auditorium.

In 2008, the University broke ground on an addition to the building. The Independence Blue Cross Medical Simulation Center at Drexel University College of Medicine, funded in part through a $2.5 million donation from Independence Blue Cross, will feature lifelike robots and screen-based simulation programs. The computer-driven robotic mannequins, called high-fidelity patient simulators, exhibit lifelike vital signs, including heartbeats, blood pressures, and body and eye movements. They can be programmed to display a variety of normal and abnormal conditions, and to respond realistically to student interventions, such as intubation, drug injection, or cardiac defibrillation. They can be programmed to speak or cry out in pain.[8]

The center will include a suite of exam rooms equipped with digital audio and visual recording capabilities for use in “standardized patient” encounters. In the 1980s, the College—then Medical College of Pennsylvania—became the first medical school in Philadelphia to employ standardized patients, actors who are taught to portray various clinical conditions and trained to provide feedback to students and residents.

“The simulation center will provide a tremendous opportunity for practicing physicians, our students and our residents to enhance their skills and improve patient safety,” said Dean Richard Homan, M.D. “One of our goals is to collaborate with engineers and media discovery to develop new simulation prototypes for the future. We are extremely grateful to Independence Blue Cross for its generous gift.”[8]

The new addition will also house the Drexel University College of Medicine Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership and the Office of Executive Leadership in Academics, which includes the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. The ELAM program is the nation’s only in-depth program focused on preparing senior women faculty at schools of medicine, dentistry and public health to move into positions of institutional leadership.[8]

The wing will also serve as the home of the College’s Archives and Special Collections, the records Drexel University College of Medicine and its predecessor institutions, including Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann Medical College. The collections include books and other publications, photographs, clothing, uniforms, medical instruments and teaching tools. In total, the new addition will encompass Script error: No such module "convert". of space over three floors. The anticipated completion date is August 2009.[8]

Center City Hahnemann Campus

The Center City Hahnemann Campus, located in downtown Philadelphia, is the main site for the College's clinical education departments in addition to biomedical facilities and other health-science and public health programs. Hahnemann University Hospital anchors the Center City Hahnemann Campus, along with the Outpatient Clinics, Lecture Halls, and Residence Hall. Drexel's Office of Continuing Medical Education offers the only Physician Refresher/Re-Entry Course in the East Coast for physicians intended to re-enter the workforce after years of inactive practice to refresh, or receive additional training.

In 1991, the college purchased the former Elk's Lodge BPOE No. 2 Philadelphia Athletic Club building at 306–320 N. Broad Street for $2.35 million. They demolished it the following year to redevelop the site as a parking garage and computer center.[9] The building had been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.[10]

Clinical sites

First-year students have the opportunity to be assigned to a faculty member for the entire year in a clinical setting. The university offers a wide array of clinical sites to its third- and fourth-year students. Operating large urban hospitals and small rural private practices, the university provides numerous opportunities for the students to be exposed to many diverse experiences. During third-year rotations, the students have the option to stay at a particular hospital for the entire year, or rotate among all the various locations throughout the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware area. Here is a partial list of the various sites:

All-year sites

Partial-year sites

Notable alumni

The Drexel University College of Medicine is one of the largest private medical schools in the nation. With the merging of Hahneman Medical College and the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Drexel inherited a long history in medicine. The medical schools have graduated notable physicians, such as Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American female physician, Rebecca Cole, the second African-American female physician in the United States, and Patricia Robertson, a NASA astronaut and physician.

See also



External links

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