Established in 1787 by 24 Prominent Philadelphia Physicians, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia is one of the oldest professional medical associations in the country.
The College’s Fellowship now includes more than 1,000 physicians, medical professionals, and distinguished members of the community, who serve as advisors for staff, mentors for youth programs, and ambassadors for the institution.
Our mission to “advance the cause of health, while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine” is accomplished through our collections, engaging exhibitions, informative public-health forums and youth programming that reaches an audience, not only in Philadelphia but across the world. The Mütter Museum continues to draw an increasing number of visitors with its unique assemblage of medical specimens, artifacts, and instruments on display. These medically significant artifacts continue to inform visitors and educate future medical professionals, supported by the Historical Medical Library that operates as an independent research library devoted to the history of medicine. Within its vast collection, the Library houses more than 12,000 rare books—many of which have been digitized, allowing for students, researchers, popular writers, and artists to have greater access than ever before. These collections continue to provide priceless narratives on the study of medicine as an art and a science.
The Fellows and staff of the College have committed themselves to supporting the next generation of health professionals and increasing diversity in the medical field. Our Karabots Junior Fellows Program, Out4STEM, Girls One Diaspora Club and TEVA Pharmaceutical Internship Program provide academic support and college preparation through lab-based activities, field trips, and participation in public health forums. An astounding 94% of students enrolled in our programs through our Center for Education go on to college after high school graduation.
Our award-winning HistoryofVaccines.org continues to be one of the College’s most popular initiatives and is a participant in the World Health Organization Vaccine Safety Net and U.S. National Immunization Conference. The information is now available in five languages and continues to be linked to by respected public-health organizations globally. In 2018 there were over two million unique visitors to the site and it continues to be a leading source in the global public-health conversation.
The College is embracing the challenges of the 21st century by embarking on an ambitious plan to reconfigure its spaces within a National Landmark Building, while seeking to preserve what is best about its original design. This plan also seeks to provide sustainable funding sources for key positions to ensure programs are bolstered to face future needs, in order for the Fellows and staff of the College to continue to encourage deserving youth to fulfill their dreams.
For the first time in its history, the College will seek to physically join the spaces of the Museum and Library and create new designated learning spaces to ensure the College can expand to meet the future in medical education, public health, research, and exhibition planning.
A new rare book exhibit will invite the public deeper into the Library’s extensive collection for the first time, and a much-needed expansion to the gallery spaces will increase our exhibition spaces by 82% allowing for more of the museum’s collection to be visible, and better movement for our 183,000 and more annual visitors. From providing vital public-health expertise in the spread of deadly viruses like yellow fever in 1793 to the Mütter Museum’s viral appeal on social media in the 2000s, this 18th-century medical society is flourishing in the 21st century.