Dr. Schnabel, Medicine

Dr. Truman G. Schnabel Jr., C. Mahlon Kline Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Medicine, passed away March 10, 2009, at age 90.

Dr. Schnabel was a third generation graduate of Penn’s School of Medicine, earning his MD here in 1943. He earned his BS from Yale.

His father Dr. Truman Schnabel Sr., was a professor in the School of Medicine. Following in the footsteps of this father, Dr. Schnabel Jr. (affectionately known as Dr. Nipper) was appointed to the School of Medicine faculty in 1954 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor only two years later and then promoted to professor in 1963. In addition to teaching, he was assigned to the Philadelphia General Hospital, where he served until the hospital closed in 1977, first as ward chief and then as chief of the University service, a position his father also held some years earlier. After over three decades of serving on the faculty, he retired from teaching in 1989 but remained at Penn serving as acting director of the Institute of Aging during the 1990s. He was accorded emeritus status in 1994.

Dr. Schnabel’s honors and awards included being the recipient the School of Medicine’s Distinguished Graduate Award in 1988. Previously, he was named an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 1974. He was the 50th president of American College of Physicians, who named him a master in 1975 for his “scholarship, humanistic attitudes, and superb leadership.” The occasional essayist and medical historian, he published numerous articles in medical journals and also co-authored It’s Your Body: Know What the Doctor Ordered—Your Complete Guide to Medical Testing with M. L. Fox in 1979.

Dr. Schnabel is survived by his children, Ann Gignac, Paul Schnabel and Brooke Schnabel; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Contributions may be made to a fund established to honor his father, Truman G. Schnabel Sr. Fund, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3400 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19101.