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Boston Medical Center
Boston Medical Center logo.png
Menino Pavilion from Albany Street
Location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Care system Private, Medicare, Medicaid
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university Boston University
Emergency department Level I trauma center
Beds Licensed for 626
Founded 1855
Website home page
Lists Hospitals in the United States
Boston City Hospital, shown here in a 1903 photo, was one of the two institutions which merged in 1996 to form Boston Medical Center.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) is a non-profit 626 licensed-bed medical center in Boston, Massachusetts. It was created by the formal merger of Boston City Hospital (BCH) which was the first municipal hospital in the United States and Boston University Medical Center Hospital (BUMCH) in July 1996 which was sponsored at founding by the Methodists and then by Boston University. BCH was founded in 1855, and BUMCH in 1864. It has the largest 24-hour Level I trauma center in New England, and the Emergency Department had more than 129,000 visits in 2008. BMC employs more than 1,600 in-house physicians — including 652 residents and fellows — and 1,600 nurses. BMC is the primary teaching affiliate of the Boston University School of Medicine.


Patient care

Boston Medical Center provides a comprehensive range of inpatient, clinical and diagnostic services in more than 70 areas of medical specialties and subspecialties, including cardiac care and surgery, hypertension, neurological care, orthopedics, geriatrics and Women’s health.

Total Licensed Beds 626
Medicine/Surgery beds 350
Obstetrics/Gynecology beds 20
Intensive and Coronary Care beds 62
Neonatal Intensive Care beds 15
Pediatric Intensive Care beds 6
Pediatric beds 34
Rehabilitation beds 24 (12 out of service)
Chronic Care beds 100 (all out of service)
Psychiatry beds 15 (all out of service)

Supporting services

The hospital offers an unusually broad array of services, extending beyond traditional medical procedures. With its long history of serving the low-income population, the hospital has targeted innovative programs at certain categories of special needs which disproportionately affect this demographic. These include:[1]

  • A food pantry against which doctors can write prescriptions for undernourished patients
  • Home visits to ensure patients and their families are following care instructions, and to identify problems at home which may lead to medical conditions
  • Lawyers on staff to help people navigate government assistance programs, and to deal with landlords who maintain unhealthy conditions
  • Special counseling and asylum assistance for victims of torture and political persecution
  • Training for first responders dealing with children who have witnessed violence
  • Pediatricians giving books to families with children to promote reading

The hospital offers the most extensive interpreter services program in New England. In addition to providing person-to-person interpreters on-site in more than 30 languages, 24-hours-a-day, the department utilizes the latest advances in technology such as telephonic and video interpreting. In 2008, interpreter services assisted in more than 197,400 interactions with patients and visitors.

Boston Medical Center also offers numerous outreach programs and services, including skin cancer screenings, cholesterol tests, blood pressure screenings, prostate cancer screenings, osteoporosis screenings, eye exams, smoking cessation counseling and flu shots. In addition, cancer education and prevention seminars are offered in the community, and youth outreach workers are trained for involvement in schools and health fairs.

Teaching and affiliations

Boston Medical Center is the principal teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. Every member of the hospital’s medical and dental staff holds an academic appointment at the Boston University School of Medicine or at the Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Boston Medical Center operates 44 residency training programs with more than 650 resident and fellowship positions.


Boston Medical Center received more than $93 million in sponsored research funding in 2008, and oversees 431 research and service projects separate from research activities at Boston University School of Medicine. The researchers at Boston Medical Center conduct both basic, laboratory-based biomedical research, and clinical research programs, including the Sickle Cell Center, infectious disease, cardiology, vascular biology, Parkinson's Disease, geriatrics, endocrinology and hematology/oncology.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) HealthNet Plan

Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan is a managed care organization founded by Boston Medical Center in 1997. Offering MassHealth and Commonwealth Care coverage, BMC HealthNet Plan serves more than 250,000 members statewide. The Plan offers comprehensive coverage and personal physicians who provide care for the whole family; interpreter services, a personal membership card, and a 24-hour nurse advice line. It also provides additional member extras beyond the state's coverage including: for MassHealth members, free car seats and bike helmets, along with manual breast pumps for nursing mothers; and for Commonwealth Care members, discounts on Weight Watchers and fitness club memberships.


Boston Medical Center employs 4,765 full-time equivalent employees, consisting of more than 1,600 in-house physicians — including 652 residents and fellows — and 1,600 nurses. Boston Medical Center also incorporates the ambulance service Eascare (headquartered in Dorchester) into their operation to transport patients from one campus to another.

The Yellow Pipes

The yellow pipes crossing Albany St above ground, seen in the picture above, are considered the symbol of the BMC, much like the Citgo sign for the city as a whole. The rumors that the City Hall intends to ask BMC to burrow them under the street led to an energetic wave of disapproval from disappointed BMC employees, on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. ^ Boston Medical Center Documentary (from the WBUR Newsroom)

External links

Redirecting to Boston Medical Center


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