A World of Health: Philadelphia's Globally Renowned Medical Community

Alex de Berardinis, for GPA -- As the fifth most populous city in the United States, Philadelphia has an extremely large and diverse medical community. In addition to size and scope, Philadelphia’s healthcare system boasts award-winning specialty care, world-renowned physicians and a wide breadth of medical research making it one of the most impressive worldwide. With 96 hospitals in the Greater Philadelphia region alone, residents are almost guaranteed to find expert and effective medical care for any medical problem. Philadelphia’s highly trained medical community is just one of a multitude of reasons that speak to the global significance of the city.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is often ranked number one in the nation in the category of Children’s Hospitals by the U.S. News and World Report. CHOP has been ranked as a top five national institution for the treatment of numerous advanced conditions. In 2012, CHOP handled approximately 1.2 million outpatient visits and boasts one of the most impressive and well-respected medical staffs in the country. As a member of the Global Philadelphia Association, CHOP is a true representative of the scope and depth of the healthcare community in Philadelphia and contributes to the abundance of world-class medical institutions in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Another outstanding example of Philadelphia’s globally elite medical system is found in Leonard Karp, the President and CEO of Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM). PIM’s goal to take advantage of Philadelphia’s great medical institutions and make it the international healthcare destination of choice is just the kind of attitude that has helped put Philadelphia’s medical services on the map. At the forefront of the latest medical research and techniques, PIM has contributed nearly $135 million to Philadelphia’s economy in addition to being the number one healthcare resource for international patients in the area. In a 2012 Global Conversation, Karp told GPA that “if you look at the concentration of healthcare resources in Philadelphia, the medical schools here, the research that’s being done - this is the epicenter of American medicine”. With Karp at the helm of PIM, Philadelphia’s role as a global contributor to the medical field will continue to increase in a hugely positive way.

Another member of GPA, the Wistar Institute Cancer Center, is a leading voice in the area of cancer research and is based in Philadelphia. With impressive accomplishments that include the identification of genes that are associated with breast, lung and prostate cancer, the development of monoclonal antibodies that are used to study tumor development and general contributions to improving cancer treatments, the Wistar Institute is paving the way for cancer research across the globe.

Other prestigious medical institutions in Philadelphia include the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Wills Eye Institute, both located in downtown Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson has been ranked among the country's leading hospitals, while the Wills Eye Institute is the oldest continually operating eye-care facility in the United States, having been established in 1832. Both of these Philadelphia institutions are key contributors to Philadelphia’s medical prowess and will continue to help Philadelphia grow as a global city.

The global impact that these medical institutions bring to Philadelphia cannot be overlooked. With such a large number of state-of-the-art and world-class medical facilities, top professionals in their respective fields come to Philadelphia to work, publish, live and research. In addition, people come from all over the globe for medical treatment. The prestige, economic development and job opportunities that stem from Philadelphia’s world-renowned medical community are becoming increasingly important in Philadelphia’s role as a global city.

Photo courtesy of Penn Medicine.