A Tradition of Firsts: A Brief History of the Department of Critical Care Medicine

Men in white coats standing in front of the Cathedral of Learning

In the 1960s and 1970s Pittsburgh was a perfect storm of bright minds with new ideas on how to support the critically ill patient. The genius and drive of those medical pioneers gave the world CPR and helped shape the field we now call critical care medicine.

Their legacy inspired the creation of the first stand-alone department of critical care medicine in the United States. Since then, our faculty continue to push the boundaries of critical care medicine by pursuing excellence in clinical care, education and research, and by keeping alive the tradition ‘firsts’ started by our founders and role models more than five decades ago.