Medical Alumni Association

Scope and Scalpel

Years Gone By – Fact Check

Scope and Scalpel is easily the most unique tradition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The satirical annual play produced by fourth year students dates back to 1955. What started as a gripe session of school problems at a local pub became the uncensored student-run-and-funded class play, which is a staple in the lives of both current medical students and alumni.

But, did you know that Scope and Scalpel was not this historic program’s original name? Cyril Wecht, MD, (MED ’56) recently reminded the MAA that, although the first play debuted with the Class of ’55, the name Scope and Scalpel was not officially created until the Class of ’56. The first public release of the now all-too-familiar title appeared on the 1956 playbill, Spring Tonic.

As the Class of 2017 eagerly begins to plan their own Scope and Scalpel, we know that they will continue to build upon the legacy of their predecessors. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine community is excited to see what they have in store for us!

For more information about Scope and Scalpel, please visit If you are interested in donating to the Class of 2017 Scope and Scalpel fund, please contact 412-648-9059.