What is an Academic Medical Center?

UPMC is many things — a health care provider, an insurance provider, a worldwide leader in medical and health sciences research, and an innovative creator of technologies and services to improve health care delivery. It’s often referred to as an academic medical center. What exactly does that mean, and how does care at an academic medical center differ from a “traditional” hospital?

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UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

UPMC is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, which means our organizations work together to train future generations of health care providers and researchers. Many of our health care professionals have been part of this multidisciplinary community since the early days of their training. Together, UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh attracted $577 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2018, the fifth highest funding that year.

Our relationship provides another benefit to the communities we serve in Pennsylvania and around the world: it helps to attract some of the best doctors, researchers, and educators to collaborate with and learn from other experts in their fields.

Working together as health care providers, researchers, and educators, UPMC experts have developed internationally recognized programs in:

Academic Medical Centers Benefit Communities

Continuous learning is especially essential in health care. By asking questions and testing different ideas, our researchers and providers benefit from an expanded perspective. Our diverse and multidisciplinary teams benefit from the insights that each member brings to the conversation. Our combined efforts to expand UPMC’s clinical excellence and research capabilities benefits the people we serve — including you and your loved ones.

At an academic medical center, your health care team may include your primary care doctor and specialists, nursing professionals, and other care providers like radiology technicians, physical therapists, and social workers. You may also receive care from students, residents, and fellows who are training with UPMC experts. Our nutritional and environmental services teams, volunteers, security and parking staff members, and others also are integral to the patient experience. For the entire UPMC team, this collaborative effort is a way of living UPMC’s core values:

  • Quality & Safety
  • Dignity & Respect
  • Caring & Listening
  • Responsibility & Integrity
  • Excellence & Innovation

Expanding the Academic Medical Center Model

As a respected academic medical center, UPMC is frequently asked to share its clinical and educational expertise. For example, one of our latest efforts is working with leaders in Kazakhstan to transform the Nazarbayev University Medical Center into the area’s first fully integrated academic medical center — one that is financially viable, actively engaged in research, and dedicated to training and educating medical staff. As part of that effort, UPMC is helping the university to pilot six academic departments:

  • Family medicine
  • General surgery
  • Internal medicine
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s health

UPMC is also helping with strategic planning and management, education and training, and clinical trials.

Learn more about UPMC’s international locations and partnerships.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.