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

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Sandra Levison, M.D.

Picture of Sandra Levison
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[2 min, 58 sec]
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Sandra Levison, M.D.

“I always wanted to be a doctor and my parents took me to a female pediatrician, which was unusual back then. It was a very warm, safe place and she interacted well with my parents. She seemed to have it all...”


Joseph Hoeffel

Chaka Fattah


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Unanimous in their praise for her as an "outstanding asset to the Philadelphia community," Representative Joseph Hoeffel –Democrat from Pennsylvania– District 13– and Representative Chaka Fattah –Democrat from Pennsylvania District 2 – jointly recommended Sandra P. Levison as a Local Legend of Medicine.

A tenured Professor of Medicine at the Drexel University College of Medicine –formerly known as MCP Hahnemann, Levison is also Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Nephrology Fellowship Program Director, Senior Consultant to the Health Education Program, Institute of Women's Health, University College of Medicine, and Clinical Service Chief of Medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital.

For many years, she has supported women's health issues, including helping to found and serving as Chair of the National Academy on Women's Health Medical Education. In 1993 she was awarded a prestigious U.S. Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education –FIPSE– grant to implement a model medical student curriculum in women's health at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and to serve as a template for medical student women's health teaching throughout the country. This has led to the teaching of women's health in all aspects of physician training at the Medical College, including during internships, post-graduate studies and faculty development.

"The easiest way to effect change was to change the health care curriculum, not the health care structure," Levison points out. "The FIPSE grant was very important, essentially signaling that the federal government thinks that women's health is important. What we did is to make the curriculum relevant across all the departments, giving them time to understand women's health from their particular disciplines."

Board–certified in medicine and nephrology, Levison is a master of the American College of Physicians—American Society of Internal Medicine, and was a Reader's Digest Women's Health Hero award winner in 1999 "for making women's education a national priority." Her women's health research interests include: predictors of blood pressure in women and children; sex and gender bias illustrations in anatomy and physical diagnosis textbooks, and women's health and human rights.

"One of the most important things we've done is to point out the invisibility of women," Levison declares of her research. She coauthored "Tips for Talking— A Guide for Inclusive Communications," as well as co–wrote one of its chapters, "Women, Gender and Human Rights."

Levison has been a member of several national boards and professional societies, including serving as an officer. She is a founding member and Past President of Women in Nephrology, an organization supporting the professional development of female nephrologists and the development of information about the relationship of sex and gender to renal physiology and renal disease diagnosis and treatment.

A Phi Beta Kappa Bachelor of Arts graduate from New York City's Hunter College, she earned her MD degree from the New York University School of Medicine, followed by an internship and residency training in internal medicine at Kings County Hospital— State University of New York Downstate, Brooklyn, and at Bellevue Hospital. She was awarded a National Institutes of Health Fellowship Training award for her Nephrology, Dialysis and Hypertension fellowship at SUNY Downstate.



Appointed Instructor of Medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania


Appointed Instructor of Medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania




New York University School of Medicine


Internal Medicine

Sub Specialty

Women's Health