Information

Massachusetts General Hospital


Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, is the third oldest hospital in the nation and the largest in New England. News and World Report.Founded in 1811, its main aim is to provide quality health care to the individuals and communities it serves, to advance care through excellence in biomedical research, and to educate future academic and practical leaders of the health care professions.In 1994, the hospital formed Partners HealthCare System – an integrated healthcare delivery system - in association with the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the hospital excels in every specialty and subspecialty of medicine and surgery.It is an 893-bed facility and is the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. With care centers for AIDS, cancer, cardiovascular research, cutaneous biology, and photomedicine, MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation.Areas of specialization, among many others, are Cardiology, Ethnic Medicine, Gastroenterology, Gynecology, Hematology, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, Physiology, Mental Health, and Nutrition.The Neurovascular Center at the hospital provides a complete range of services to patients with neurovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord. The hospital also maintains separate departments for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, emergency cases, and women’s health.The Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center, Cardiovascular Research Center, Environmental Services Department, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Unit, Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, North End Community Health Center, and the Weight Center, are the other important sections in the hospital.In addition, the Radiology Department offers a full-range of diagnostic testing services utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. Rehabilitation services are also available.Further, there are specialized units within the hospital to provide the latest in health information and medical research. They are the Access to Resources for Community Health (ARCH), the Blum Patient & Family Learning Center, the Cancer Resource Room, and the Treadwell Library.A part of the MGH community health network, ARCH strives to increase electronic access to quality health information and resources in the urban communities of Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and Charlestown.The Blum Patient and Family Learning Center is a health and wellness center providing resource on all health issues.The Cancer Resource Room serves as an information resource for cancer patients and families and helps cancer patients through special programs.The Treadwell Library provides comprehensive information for patient care.


MGH History


First Operation Under Ether, Robert Hinckley. Source

From the first successful public demonstration of the use of ether as an anesthetic agent to the &ldquoliver in a box,&rdquo MGH has celebrated a number of firsts, nationally and internationally. They've been carried out by physicians, scientists, administrators, and nurses. Some worked alone, some collaborated with colleagues, and some went outside MGH to find like-minded individuals in academia or industry. For the most part, these accomplishments were the first in the nation or the first in the world.

Some briefly-listed MGH milestones can be found here:

Below are other selected &ldquofirsts."

The first North American book on tumors was written by MGH co-founder Dr. John Collins Warren

MGH&rsquos Warren Library became the first general hospital library in the U.S.

The first successful public demonstration of the use of ether as an anesthetic in surgery, on October 16, 1846, was carried out by MGH co-founder Dr. John Collins Warren. See the Ether pages for much more information .

The &ldquofirst truly significant medical patent ever issued&rdquo was U.S. Patent No. 4848. It was given to Drs. Charles T. Jackson and William T. G. Morton for the discovery of sulfuric ether as a surgical anesthetic .

MGH&rsquos Dr. John Barnard Swett Jackson became the first professor of pathology in the U.S.

Young RH, Louis DN. The Warrens and other pioneering clinician pathologists of the Massachusetts General Hospital during its early years: an appreciation on the 200th anniversary of the hospital founding. Mod Pathol . 2011 Oct24(10):1285-94. PubMed PMID: 21926958.

MGH&rsquos Dr. James Clarke White opened the first ward in North America dedicated to skin diseases the following year, he became the first American professor of dermatology.

Dr. Reginald Fitz, MGH pathologist, studied the appendix and coined the word "appendicitis."

Fitz RH. Perforating inflammation of the vermiform appendix, with special reference to its early diagnosis and treatment. Philadelphia: Dornan , 1886. Reprinted from the Transactions of the Association of American Physicians, June 18, 1886.

MGH opened the Bradlee Operating Theater, the first aseptic operating room in U.S.

Walter J. Dodd, an apothecary and photographer at MGH, produced the first X-ray exposure in a U.S. hospital.

Brown P. American martyrs to radiology. Walter James Dodd (1869-1916). 1936. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995 Jul165(1):181-4. PubMed PMID: 7785582.

Two 1878 graduates of the Massachusetts General Hospital Training School for Nurses, Sophia Palmer and Mary E. P. Davis, founded the American Journal of Nursing , the first independent nursing publication to be owned and operated by nurses.

The Editor. American Journal of Nursing. 1900 Oct 1(1):64-66.

Though MGH&rsquos Ida M. Cannon and Dr. Richard Cabot are credited with establishing the first Social Service department located within a hospital, Cannon was preceded by Garnet Pelton, a 1903 graduate of the MGH Training School for Nurses. Pelton resigned after falling ill within 6 months of being hired.

MGH reported the first systematic work in industrial disease undertaken by any U.S. hospital.

Washburn, Frederic A. The Massachusetts General Hospital its Development, 1900-1935 [Contact MGH Archives for use]. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1939, p. 391-395.

A pioneering allergy clinic was instituted by MGH&rsquos Dr. Joseph L. Goodale, who was &ldquothe first to make a skin test with substances other than pollen.&rdquo

Cohen SG. Blocking asthmatic progression and chronicity in the pre-corticosteroid era. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Mar121(3):787-90. PubMed PMID: 18328904.

Washburn, Frederic A. The Massachusetts General Hospital its Development, 1900-1935 [Contact MGH Archives for use]. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1939, p. 373-375.

Tan SY, Kwock E. Paul Dudley White (1886-1973): Pioneer in modern cardiology. Singapore Med J. 2016 Apr57(4):215-6. PubMed PMID : 27075760 PubMed Central PMCID : PMC4853490.

MGH physician Dr. Ernest Amory Codman founded the Registry of Bone Sarcoma, the first national registry of its kind in the U.S.

Brand RA. Biographical sketch: Ernest Amory Codman , MD (1869-1940). Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Jun471(6):1775-7. PubMed PMID : 23247819 PubMed Central PMCID : PMC3706647.

Pediatric hospital recreation was pioneered in the U.S. by MGH&rsquos Isabelle L. Whittier.

Whittier, IL. Occupation for Children in Hospitals. Archives of Occupational Therapy. 1922 Feb1(1):41-8.

Bedini L. The 'play ladies'-The first therapeutic recreation specialists Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 1995 Oct 66 (8): 32-5.

Under the leadership of Dr. Richard C. Cabot, MGH became the first hospital in the country to offer a pastoral care training program.

MGH&rsquos Dr. Joseph S. Barr and and Dr. William J. Mixter demonstrated the role of herniated intervertebral discs as the source of severe back and leg pain, and that this can be relieved by surgical intervention.

Barr JS, Mixter WJ. Rupture of the intervertebral disc with involvement of the spinal canal. N Engl J Med. 1934 Aug 2 211(5): 210-5 .

A man of many &ldquofirsts,&rdquo MGH endocrinologist Dr. Fuller Albright described what came to be known as Albright Syndrome.

Manring MM, Calhoun JH. Biographical sketch: Fuller Albright, MD 1900-1969.Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2011 Aug469(8):2092-5. doi: 10.1007/s11999-011-1831-0.PubMed PMID : 21384213 PubMed Central PMCID : PMC3126964.

MGH&rsquos Dr. Edward D. Churchill, who performed the first successful pericardiectomy in the United States, developed the technique of segmental resection of the lung for certain infections like bronchiectasis, resulting in greatly improved quality of life.

Churchill ED, Belsey R. Segmental pneumonectomy in bronchiectasis: the lingula segment of the left upper lobe. Ann Surg. 1939 Apr109(4):481-99. PubMed PMID:17857340 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1391296.

MGH&rsquos Ada Plumer became the first &ldquoofficial IV [intravenous] nurse&rdquo in the U.S. Until that time, it had been a medical role.

Alexander M. Ada Lawrence Plumer. J Infus Nurs. 2007 Jul-Aug30(4):189-90. PubMed PMID: 17667069.

Weinstein SM, Hagle ME. Plumer's Principles & Practice of Infusion Therapy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014, 9 th ed.

MGH&rsquos Dr. Saul Hertz and MIT physicist Dr. Arthur Roberts used radioactive iodine for the first time as a therapeutic agent in the diagnosis and treatment of Graves&rsquo disease, helping to usher in the field of nuclear medicine.

Hertz S, Roberts A. Application of radioactive iodine in therapy of Graves&rsquo disease. J Clin Invest. 1942 Sep 21: 624.

The first recorded use of penicillin in treatment of burns &ndash suffered by victims of Boston&rsquos Cocoanut Grove Fire -- took place at MGH.

Massachusetts General Hospital. Management of the Cocoanut Grove Burns at the Massachusetts General Hospital, by members of the staff, Joseph C. Aub [and others]. Philadelphia: Lippincott, [1943].

Saturday night at the Cocoanut Grove. IN: Ravage, Barbara. Burn unit: Saving lives after the flames. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2004. [Online access requires a free username/password. For the print edition, contact MGH Archives for use.]

MGH's Dr. Fritz Lipmann, who in 1945 discovered coenzyme A, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for pioneering research on the conversion of food into energy.

MGH&rsquos Dr. C. Miller Fisher, more than anyone of his generation, &ldquobrought cerebrovascular diseases under scrutiny, and many of the advances in the field can be traced to his original observations.&rdquo Among his many other accomplishments, he introduced the term transient ischemic attack as a warning sign of stroke.

Ackerman RH. Celebrating the life of C. Miller Fisher. Int J Stroke. 2012 Aug7(6):444-6. PubMed PMID: 22805573.

C. Miller Fisher: the master of clinicopathologic correlation. Interview by Jonathan D. Trobe. J Neuroophthalmol. 2004 Mar24(1):68-80. PubMed PMID: 15206443.

The Massachusetts General Hospital, 1955-1980 [Contact MGH Archives for use], edited by Benjamin Castleman, David C. Crockett, S.B. Sutton foreword by John E. Lawrence. Boston: Little, Brown, 1983, p. 159-160.

Drs. Wilma Jeanne Canada and Leonard W. Cronkhite, Jr., both residents in radiology at MGH, were the first to recognize the syndrome that bears their name, Cronkhite&ndashCanada Syndrome.

Cronkhite LW Jr, Canada WJ. Generalized gastrointestinal polyposis an unusual syndrome of polyposis, pigmentation, alopecia and onychotrophia. N Engl J Med. 1955 Jun 16252(24):1011-5. PubMed PMID: 14383952

MGH neurosurgeon Dr. Raymond N. Kjellberg and colleagues began treating small intracranial targets with radiosurgical techniques at the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory (HCL).

Smith AR. Proton therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2006 Jul 751(13):R491-504. PubMed PMID: 16790919

MGH&rsquos Dr. Ronald Malt and his team led the first successful limb replantation after twelve-year-old Everett "Red" Knowles&rsquos arm had been severed in an accident .

MGH&rsquos Dr. Charles Huggins helped revolutionize blood bank procedures through his invention of the cytoglomerator, enabling freezing and storing red blood cells for extended periods.

Huggins CE. Frozen blood. Ann Surg. 1964 Oct160:643-9. PubMed PMID: 14210366 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1408914.

T he series of discoveries made by MGH&rsquos Dr. John T. Potts and colleagues laid the groundwork for current understanding of calcium metabolism.

Potts JT. A conversation with John T. Potts Jr. Interview by Ushma S. Neill. J Clin Invest. 2013 Nov 123(11):4544-5. PMID: 24177463 PMCID: PMC3809803.

Jameson JL. Introduction of John T. Potts Jr. J Clin Invest. 2013 Nov123(11):4971-7. PubMed PMID: 24177469 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3809814.

MGH&rsquos orthopedic surgeon Dr. Melvin Glimcher, in partnership with MIT, Harvard Medical School, and the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, invented the Boston Arm, an artificial upper arm that was activated by electrical impulses generated in the muscles of the natural arm stump.

Calabro A. Giants of Orthopaedic Surgery: Melvin J. Glimcher MD. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2015 Aug473(8):2469-73. doi: 10.1007/s11999-015-4398-3. PubMed PMID: 26066067 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4488197.

The first telemedicine system, which linked a medical station at Boston's Logan Airport with doctors at MGH, was established.

Murphy RL Jr, Bird KT. Telediagnosis: a new community health resource. Observations on the feasibility of telediagnosis based on 1000 patient transactions. Am J Public Health. 1974 Feb64(2):113-9. PubMed PMID: 4129472 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1775394.

Smith PE. Doctoring on a Screen. Telemedicine made its first broadcast 50 years ago in an airport clinic. Proto. 2018 Sep.

Considered the &ldquofather of modern-day tracheal surgery&rdquo in the United States, MGH&rsquos Dr. Hermes Grillo developed original operations for disorders that were once considered uncorrectable.

Deslauriers J. Birth of Airway Surgery and Evolution over the Past Fifty Years. Thorac Surg Clin. 2018 May28(2):109-115.PubMed PMID: 29627043.

Three MGH physicians: Drs. Howard Ulfelder, Arthur L. Herbst and David C. Poskanzer, were the first to discover the link between the vaginal clear cell adenocarcinoma and the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol), at one time prescribed to prevent miscarriages.

Herbst AL, Ulfelder H, Poskanzer DC, Longo LD. Adenocarcinoma of the vagina. Association of maternal stilbestrol therapy with tumor appearance in young women. N Engl J Med. 1971 Apr 15284(15):878-81. PubMed PMID: 5549830

MGH dermatologists Drs. Thomas Fitzpatrick and John Parrish introduced the field of photochemotherapy to treat skin disorders such as psoriasis.

Parrish JA, Fitzpatrick TB, Tanenbaum L, Pathak MA. Photochemotherapy of psoriasis with oral methoxsalen and longwave ultraviolet light. N Engl J Med. 1974 Dec 5291(23):1207-11. PubMed PMID: 4422691.

Cooper JB, Newbower RS, Moore JW, Trautman ED. A new anesthesia delivery system. Anesthesiology. 1978 Nov49(5):310-8. PubMed PMID: 736286.

Bause GS. The Boston anesthesia system. Anesthesiology. 2011 eb114(2):236.doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e318210be60. PubMed PMID: 21266863.

MGH surgeon Dr. John F. Burke , along with Dr. Ioannis V. Yannas , from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology&rsquos department of mechanical engineering, invented the first commercially reproducible, synthetic human skin .

Dr. Allan Goroll, a pioneer of modern primary care, collaborated with his MGH colleagues on the first textbook in that field.

Goroll AH, May LH, Mulley AG. Primary Care Medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1981.

MGH neurogeneticist Dr. James Gusella lead a team that found a genetic marker for Huntington&rsquos disease.

Gusella JF, Wexler NS, Conneally PM, Naylor SL, Anderson MA, Tanzi RE, Watkins PC, Ottina K, Wallace MR, Sakaguchi AY, et al. A polymorphic DNA marker genetically linked to Huntington's disease. Nature. 1983 Nov 17-23306(5940):234-8. PubMed PMID: 6316146.

MGH&rsquos Dr. Martin S. Hirsch is &ldquowidely recognized as a pioneer in HIV combination therapy because of his trailblazing studies of drug combinations in vitro and in vivo.&rdquo

Hartshorn KL, Sandstrom EG, Neumeyer D, Paradis TJ, Chou TC, Schooley RT,Hirsch MS. Synergistic inhibition of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III replication in vitro by phosphonoformate and recombinant alpha-A interferon. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1986 Jul30(1):189-91. PubMed PMID: 3019235 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC176465.

Dr. Jack Belliveau, researcher in MGH&rsquos Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, reported the first demonstration of functional MRI (fMRI).

Belliveau JW, Kennedy DN Jr, McKinstry RC, Buchbinder BR, Weisskoff RM, Cohen MS, Vevea JM, Brady TJ, Rosen BR. Functional mapping of the human visual cortex by magnetic resonance imaging. Science. 1991 Nov 1254(5032):716-9. PubMed PMID: 1948051.

Spitzer TR, Delmonico F, Tolkoff-Rubin N, McAfee S, Sackstein R, Saidman S, Colby C, Sykes M, Sachs DH, Cosimi AB. Combined histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-matched donor bone marrow and renal transplantation for multiple myeloma with end stage renal disease: the induction of allograft tolerance through mixed lymphohematopoietic chimerism. Transplantation. 1999 Aug 2768(4):480-4. PubMed PMID: 10480403

MGH&rsquos Disparities Solutions Center, opened under the direction of Dr. Joseph Betancourt, was the first of its kind in the U.S. to be hospital-based. (p. 59-60)

MGH surgeons performed the first total hip replacement using a joint socket lined with a novel material invented at MGH. The new material was developed by MGH&rsquos Orhun Muratoglu, PhD, director of the Harris Orthopaedics Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory , in collaboration with scientists at the Cambridge Polymer Group.

MGH&rsquos Dr. Daniel A. Haber, Dr. Mehmet Toner, and colleagues developed a microchip-based test (CTC-chip) that can identify tumor cells floating in the blood of cancer patients.

Nagrath S, Sequist LV, Maheswaran S, Bell DW, Irimia D, Ulkus L, Smith MR, Kwak EL, Digumarthy S, Muzikansky A, Ryan P, Balis UJ, Tompkins RG, Haber DA, Toner M. Isolation of rare circulating tumour cells in cancer patients by microchip technology. Nature. 2007 Dec 20450(7173):1235-9. PubMed PMID:18097410 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3090667.

Maheswaran S, Sequist LV, Nagrath S, Ulkus L, Brannigan B, Collura CV, Inserra E, Diederichs S, Iafrate AJ, Bell DW, Digumarthy S, Muzikansky A, Irimia D, Settleman J, Tompkins RG, Lynch TJ, Toner M, Haber DA. Detection of mutations in EGFR in circulating lung-cancer cells. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jul 24359(4):366-77. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa0800668. PubMed PMID: 18596266 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3551471.

An international team led by MGH researchers identified the first gene that causes mitral valve prolapse. Senior author of the paper, MGHs Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD stated: &ldquoThis work provides insights into the pathways regulating valve growth and development and implicates a previously unrecognized basis for the long-term structural integrity of the mitral valve.&rdquo

Durst R, Sauls K, Peal DS, deVlaming A, Toomer K, Leyne M, Salani M, Talkowski ME, Brand H, Perrocheau M, Simpson C, Jett C, Stone MR, Charles F, Chiang C, Lynch SN, Bouatia-Naji N, Delling FN, Freed LA, Tribouilloy C, Le Tourneau T, LeMarec H, Fernandez-Friera L, Solis J, Trujillano D, Ossowski S, Estivill X, Dina C, Bruneval P, Chester A, Schott JJ, Irvine KD, Mao Y, Wessels A, Motiwala T, Puceat M, Tsukasaki Y, Menick DR, Kasiganesan H, Nie X, Broome AM, Williams K, Johnson A, Markwald RR, Jeunemaitre X, Hagege A, Levine RA, Milan DJ, Norris RA, Slaugenhaupt SA. Mutations in DCHS1 cause mitral valve prolapse. Nature. 2015 Sep 3525(7567):109-13. PubMed PMID: 26258302 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4720389.

A surgical team led by MGHers Drs. Curtis L. Cetrulo, Jr. and Dicken S.C. Ko performed the country&rsquos first genitourinary vascularized composite allograft (penile) transplant.

Ruscic KJ, Zamora-Berridi GJ, McGovern FJ, Cetrulo C, Winograd JM, Eberlin KR, Bojovic B, Ko DS, Anderson TA. Epidural Anesthesia to Facilitate Organ Blood Flow During the First Penile Transplantation in the United States: A Case Report. A A Pract. 2018 May 110(9):232-234. doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000000672. PubMed PMID: 29708917.

MGH was the first hospital in the country where a liver transplant was performed using what doctors loosely call &ldquo liver in a box ,&rdquo a portable device.

MGH&rsquos Dr. Bradley E. Bernstein, along with colleagues from MGH, Mass. Eye and Ear, and the Broad Institute at MIT, created the first atlas of head and neck cancer, revealing the many different kinds of cells, cancerous and non-cancerous, in primary head and neck tumors and their metastases, providing clues about how head and neck cancers metastasize.


From War Front to Home Front: Mass General’s History of Service

The year was 1916. President Woodrow Wilson was trying to keep this country out of the conflict that had engulfed Europe and would come to be known as World War I. Even so, the U.S. Army was drawing up medical contingencies and with good reason. Although the United States had won the Spanish-American War in 1898, the medical care provided to its troops had been abysmal. Disease and lack of sanitation had killed far more than combat. Post-war inquiries blamed a woeful lack of medical staff and organization.

A Civil War Visit from Gen. McClellan

Dr. Washburn was well suited to the task of organizing Base Hospital No. 6. Though charming and innovative, he was also a stickler for order and discipline. In one instance, which he later recounted in his own written history of the hospital, Dr. Washburn got so tired of seeing MGH interns walking around with their hands in their trouser pockets that he eliminated the offending side pockets from the next order of uniform pants.

By the time the United States declared war on Germany on April 2, 1917, Dr. Washburn’s command was organized and drilling. In July, the staff of Base Hospital No. 6 set sail to England, from New York. Aboard the ship Aurania were 28 medical officers, 64 nurses, six secretaries, one dietitian and 153 enlisted men. They had supplies and equipment for a 500-bed facility. They would need far more.

Treating War Wounds and Influenza

The hospital they constructed on the grounds of a boy’s school near Bordeaux, France, opened on Oct. 1, 1917. Within a few months, convoys carrying hundreds of sick, wounded and gassed American doughboys were arriving from the front. While providing care, the hospital staff was engaged in a relentless search for supplies and construction materials to expand. The deadly influenza epidemic of 1918 ripped through the American Expeditionary Force and added to the pressure. By the time its operations wound down, Base Hospital No. 6 was equipped with more than 4,000 beds and had treated about 26,000 patients.


From 1873 until 1981, Massachusetts General Hospital operated the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, granting diplomas in nursing only. In 1977, the State of Massachusetts authorized the hospital system to grant academic degrees, and that same year the Massachusetts General Hospital Academic Division was launched. [1]

The program was renamed MGH Institute of Health Professions in 1980, admitting its first cohort of students. The first degrees granted was a Master of Science in Physical Therapy with the first class graduating in 1983. The school began admitting its first entry-level Master of Nursing Science students in 1982. In 1985, MGH Institute of Health Professions was re-constituted as a separate corporation from Massachusetts General Hospital, and in 2001 it moved into the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston where it now has more than 125,000 square feet of space in seven buildings.

Today, the IHP offers the following degrees: Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, and an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The IHP also offers several post-professional programs: PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Master of Science in Health Professions Education, along with several certificates. [1] The Institute has an alumni base of over 7,200 worldwide. [1]

The MGH Institute offers a single undergraduate degree, an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The rest of its academic programs focus on graduate degrees. [2] Established in 2013, the institute's entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program was the first of its kind in New England. [6] Other programs include graduate certificate offerings, several non-degree course options, and Certificates of Advanced Study in the health professions. [2]

The institute and its programs are all accredited by their corresponding accreditation bodies, including the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. [7] [8]

Demographics of the MGHIHP student body (2011) [2]
African American 3%
American Indian or Alaskan Native <1%
Asian American 10%
White, non-Hispanic 61%
Hispanic American 1%
Other/Unknown 24%

In 2011, the institute's student body was 85 percent female and 62 percent were enrolled as full-time students. The graduation rate for the school was high, with over 98 percent matriculating through to the end of their degree program. Non-degree seeking students, including those in continuing health professions education courses, accounted for roughly 18 percent of the total student enrollment. [2]

The Institute has over 159,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space at its campus, including space for pro-bono rehabilitation centers, simulation labs and general faculty and student research. [5]


Published 8 years ago by Mass General Giving in History

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Massachusetts General Hospital, Bulfinch Building

The Bulfinch Building of the Massachusetts General Hospital is located on the hospital's main campus on Fruit Street in the West End of Boston, Massachusetts. It was designed by architect Charles Bulfinch, and built between 1818 and 1823, with a major expansion in 1844-46. A National Historic Landmark, it is an excellent example of Classical Revival architecture, and a rare surviving example of an early 19th-century public hospital building. The building is home to the Ether Dome, an operating theater which has been separately designated a National Historic Landmark as the site of the first public demonstration of the use of ether as an anesthetic. [2]

The Bulfinch Building is a rectangular structure, two stories in height, with a massive Ionic portico at the center of its longer facade. The building is built out of white granite from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and stands on a basement of rusticated granite. It has a hipped roof, and the central portion has a square attic story with chimneys at the corners and a saucer-shaped dome in the center. The interior has undergone extensive and repeated renovations, as the hospital's needs for the space have changed. [2]

As designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1817 and built over the next five years by Alexander Parris, the building had smaller wings (roughly half the present size), and had a capacity of 73 beds. The stonework for its construction was largely done by the inmates at the Charlestown Prison. The building's capacity was nearly doubled in 1844-46 by the addition of five bays to each of the wings, and the original entrance hall designed by Bulfinch was extensively altered. [2]

Bulfinch's design, with an operating amphitheater under the dome, was probably based on that in the Pennsylvania Hospital building, which he probably saw on a visit in 1816. That amphitheater, now known as the Ether Dome, is where the first public demonstration of the use of ether as an anesthetic took place on October 16, 1846. The amphitheater was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 in recognition of this event. The entire building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a National Historic Landmark, in 1970, as an excellent example of Classical Revival architecture, and as one of the oldest public hospital buildings in the nation. [2]

The building is now surrounded by the much larger modern facilities of the hospital.


Massachusetts General Hospital was founded in 1811, with a mandate to serve the underserved population of Boston. It was the first teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School and both education and service have remained at the core of this place.

Throughout our interview day, the tour and several presentations will highlight some of the historical milestones in medicine that have occurred here.

If you are planning your interview trip, and are interested in medical history, a new Museum of Medical History opened recently at MGH, and there is a self-guided history walk through the grounds of the hospital that visitors can take. See the links below for more information.

Click here for a narrative history of MassGeneral.

Program History

The Harvard MGH Medicine-Pediatrics Program began in 1989 as the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Med-Peds Residency. In 1995, the original MGH med-peds program merged with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) Med-Peds Residency (formed in 1994), to become the Harvard Combined Med-Peds Program (HCMP), encompassing all four core programs. In 2006, the ACGME mandated to all med-peds programs across the country that they have only one parent medicine program and one parent pediatric program. This necessitated the division of the Harvard Combined Program into The Harvard MGH Med-Peds Program and the Harvard BWH/CHB Med-Peds Program. The programs continue to work together, jointly hosting medical student med-peds interest group events.


Massachusetts General Hospital: A Long History of Innovation and Impact

History was made at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846 when the first successful demonstration of ether anesthesia occurred in the hospital's Ether Dome. Since then, the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine (DACCPM) at Mass General has remained at the forefront of innovation.

Every year, the DACCPM team provides anesthetic care for more than 50,000 procedures in 66 ORs and approximately 25 other locations across Mass General campuses. As innovators in clinical care, research, and education, the DACCPM plays a critical role in advancing anesthesiology, medicine, and science.

The role of anesthesiology continues to grow in critical care medicine and a unique area of focus for the DACCPM team is the impact of anesthesiology intensivists, especially when it comes to cardiac care.

“Cardiac critical care medicine is a subspecialty of intensive care that has transitioned from elective.


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On this day in 1821, the Massachusetts General Hospital admitted its first patient, a 30-year-old sailor. More than a decade earlier, two Boston doctors had appealed to the city's "wealthiest and most influential citizens" to establish a general hospital. The War of 1812 delayed the dream, but on July 4, 1818, the cornerstone was finally laid. The original building, designed by Boston's leading architect Charles Bulfinch, is still in use. One of the world's great centers of medical research and treatment has grown up around it. The original domed operating amphitheater, where anesthesia was first publicly demonstrated in 1846, is now a Registered National Historic Landmark. MGH has achieved countless medical milestones, including the first successful reattachment of a human limb.

Not all gifts were in cash: one man donated a pig "of an uncommonly fine breed" another gave an Egyptian mummy, which the Trustees rented out for exhibition, raising $1,200.

By 1800, seriously ill Europeans were accustomed to seeking care in general hospitals in the United States, things were different. There were only two general hospitals in the entire nation: Pennsylvania Hospital, which had opened in Philadelphia in 1756, and the New York Hospital, which followed in 1791. For the most part, Americans who fell sick were treated at home by family members and lay healers. Increasing numbers of affluent families sought the services of physicians, but most people viewed institutional medical treatment with distrust. In colonial New England, families expected to care for their own only individuals without family connections or resources — the destitute, the insane, criminals, or members of the military — were confined in public institutions such as military hospitals and almshouses.

In the early 1800s, reformers began to see civic institutions as a way to address social ills. They established asylums for the mentally ill, criminals, orphans, the poor, the blind, the deaf, and the sick. At the same time, doctors sought to elevate the status of their profession through more uniform and scientific training. Hospitals and medical schools grew hand in hand.

. . . only individuals without family connections or resources — the destitute, the insane, criminals, or members of the military — were confined in public institutions such as military hospitals and almshouses.

In March of 1810, a group of prominent Boston men set out to create a general hospital that would care for both the physically and mentally ill. The doctors involved in the project realized that having a hospital in Boston would improve the teaching of Harvard Medical School students. Up to that point, the training of men who called themselves doctors varied enormously, ranging from apprenticeship with another physician to self-instruction. A medical school associated with a well-run hospital would provide excellent medical training, attract aspiring doctors, and raise the standards of both medical education and medical treatment in New England. "A hospital," one fundraising letter pointed out, "is an institution absolutely essential to a medical school, and one which would afford relief and comfort to thousands of the sick and miserable."

In February 1811, the Massachusetts legislature granted a charter for the Massachusetts General Hospital. The lawmakers required that the hospital take care of patients regardless of citizenship, social class, or income, although it was of course permitted to exclude women from its training programs.

"A hospital," one fundraising letter pointed out, "is an institution absolutely essential to a medical school, and one which would afford relief and comfort to thousands of the sick and miserable."

The legislature bestowed numerous favors on the hospital: it transferred ownership of the Province House, where British governors had resided in colonial times, to the hospital and allowed the hospital to rent or sell it. The legislature also chartered a new life insurance company on the condition that one-third of its net profits go to the hospital. Over the next 130 years, the company would generate more than $1,500,000 for Mass General. The legislature also saved the hospital nearly $30,000 in construction costs by stipulating that the state prison furnish the stone and labor for the first building.

The hospital campaign had wide popular appeal. Between December of 1816 and March of 1817, 1,047 individual donors contributed over $107,000. Not all gifts were in cash: one man donated a pig "of an uncommonly fine breed" another gave an Egyptian mummy, which the Trustees rented out for exhibition, raising $1,200.

The Trustees' highest priority was the opening of a mental hospital. In 1816 they purchased an estate in what was then Charlestown, and on October 6, 1818, the institution that would eventually be known as McLean Hospital admitted its first patient. Meanwhile, a four-acre parcel on the Boston side of the Charles River was acquired for the General Hospital. Architect Charles Bulfinch incorporated state-of-the-art central heating and plumbing into his classic design for the granite building. On September 3, 1821, the Massachusetts General Hospital admitted its first patient. Two years later, the building was complete.

As the first and largest training ground for Harvard medical students, the hospital soon established Boston as one of the nation's premier centers of medical education.

From the day the hospital opened its doors, it afforded Harvard Medical School students and professors the best medical environment in New England. As the first and largest training ground for Harvard medical students, the hospital soon established Boston as one of the nation's premier centers of medical education. Mass General has also evolved into a top-tier medical research institution, with a research budget of more than $800 million and a top recipient of research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Between the education of medical students and scientific research, MGH has an impact on the health of many beyond the state of Massachusetts.

MGH's original 73 beds have grown to over 1,000 the hospital's staff care for over 1,500,000 patients a year around 100,000 of them in its acclaimed Emergency Department. Mass General conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States.

The Bulfinch Building is dwarfed by the enormous medical complex that has risen around it, but it still stands, a testimony to the hospital's modest beginnings.

If You Go

A visit to the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation is a great way to learn about the history of Massachusetts General Hospital and its commitment to patient care and medical research. The Ether Dome may be visited during regular business hours, unless a meeting is being held in the space.

Links

Location

This Mass Moment occurred in the Greater Boston region of Massachusetts.

Sources

History of the Massachusetts General Hospital, by N. I. Bowditch (Arno Press, 1972).

Every Man Our Neighbor: A Brief History of the Massachusetts General Hospital, 1811-1961, by Joseph E. Garland (Little, Brown and Company, 1961).

The Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic, by David J. Rothman (Little, Brown and Company, 1971).


About Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham is a not-for-profit, integrated health care system in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital—two of the nation’s leading academic medical centers—Mass General Brigham includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, a physician network, community health centers, home care and other health related services.

Mass General Brigham is committed to the community, and dedicated to enhancing patient care, teaching, and research in service to our patients and their families.

Mass General Brigham is the largest private employer in Massachusetts, with approximately 74,000 employees, including physicians, nurses, scientists, and caregivers. Mass General Brigham institutions maintain a total research budget of more than $1.7 billion, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are the largest private hospital recipients of National Institutes of Health funding in the nation.

Mass General Brigham offers one of the most robust and competitive medical educational programs in the country, with more than 200 residency and fellowship programs, where physicians-in-training routinely rotate among academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals.

Mass General Brigham maintains a strong commitment to the community. Through outreach programs and philanthropic initiatives, Mass General Brigham and its hospitals are committed to improving the delivery of care locally and globally.


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