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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Stephanie Abbuhl, M.D.

Picture of Stephanie Abbuhl
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Stephanie Abbuhl, M.D.

“Emergency medicine is a real challenge. Each patient is different; each patient comes in with problems that require a quick and accurate diagnosis. I love that challenge.”


Sen. Arlen Specter



As a child growing up in Albany, New York, Stephanie Abbuhl often accompanied her father, a pediatrician, on his rounds at the local hospital. "It was wonderful," she recalls. "We would go to the hospital together and for me it was a real thrill, seeing all those doctors and nurses dedicated to helping other people get well. I wanted to be part of that." Stephanie Abbuhl has done that in a career at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where she helped pioneer the acceptance of emergency medicine as a full academic department, as well as working tirelessly on health and leadership issues for women in the medical community.

Stephanie Abbuhl began her career with a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and had stayed on, devoting herself to the practice of emergency medicine, and to teaching and mentoring medical students and doctors.

Under her leadership, the University of Pennsylvania became one on the first Ivy League schools to confer full academic department status on Emergency Medicine. While teaching, she has continued to practice emergency medicine in a level-one trauma center that primarily serves a minority and underserved local community.

Nominated by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA-Senator), Stephanie Abbuhl has won praise for her clinical accomplishments in emergency medicine as well as her work at the University of Pennsylvania where she is Vice-Chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical Director and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, and the Faculty Director of the Leadership Mentoring Program. She was also chosen as a fellow in Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) for 2004-05.

Of her accomplishments, Stephanie Abbuhl points to her work with FOCUS, a health and leadership program for women that supports the twin goals of advancing women in academic medicine and promoting women's health research. She is currently the Executive Director of FOCUS.

She has received the American Medical Women's Association Award in 1980, the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Class of 1992, and Philadelphia Magazine's "Top Doc" award in 1994 and 1996.



Appointed Lecturer in Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Appointed Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Appointed Executive Director, FOCUS on Health and Leadership for Women, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


Appointed Vice Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA




University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY


Emergency Medicine

Sub Specialty

Internal Medicine