Can we still call the Health System ‘Penn Medicine’?

Dear Benny:
Did changing the name of Penn’s medical school to the Perelman School of Medicine also change the name of the hospital and the overall Penn medical system? Is it no longer correct to refer to Penn’s many medical institutes and centers as simply Penn Medicine?
--What’s In A Name?

Dear WIAN:
As you have correctly pointed out, the official name of the school of medicine changed in May to the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The change was made to honor an historic gift of $225 million made to Penn by the well-known philanthropists to establish a permanent endowment for the medical school. The endowment will be used to provide more financial aid to medical students, recruit world-class physicians and scientists, and support innovative research.

While the name of the medical school has changed, the name of the overall University of Pennsylvania Health System—more commonly known as Penn Medicine—has not. 

Penn Medicine includes the Perelman School of Medicine, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Medicine Rittenhouse, the Ruth and Ray Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and several suburban and regional affiliated community hospitals and medical practices.

Also, there are many free-standing, interdisciplinary centers and institutes that are housed within the Perelman School of Medicine—such as the Center for Translational Research, the Abramson Cancer Center, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, the Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, to name just a few—and those names have not changed.

A bit complicated? Yes. But if you use Penn Medicine as the general term to refer to Penn’s wide array of medical services and research centers, you will always be correct.

Originally published on November 17, 2011