Massachusetts General Hospital: Wikis


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Massachusetts General Hospital
Mgh crest.png
Main entrance of Massachusetts General Hospital
Location 55 Fruit Street, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates 42°21′46.10″N 71°04′07.07″W / 42.362806°N 71.0686306°W / 42.362806; -71.0686306Coordinates: 42°21′46.10″N 71°04′07.07″W / 42.362806°N 71.0686306°W / 42.362806; -71.0686306
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university Harvard Medical School
Emergency department Level I trauma center
Beds 898
Founded 1811
Website home page
Lists Hospitals in the United States

Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General or MGH) is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and a biomedical research facility in Boston, Massachusetts. It is ranked as one of the top five hospitals in the USA.

It is owned and operated by Partners HealthCare (which also owns Brigham and Women's Hospital and North Shore Medical Center). MGH is part of the consortium of hospitals which operates Boston MedFlight and is a member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.



Founded in 1811, the original hospital was designed by the famous American architect Charles Bulfinch. It is the third oldest general hospital in the United States, and the largest in New England. John Warren, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at Harvard Medical School, which was located in Cambridge then, spearheaded the move of the medical school to Boston. Warren's son, John Collins Warren, along with James Jackson, led the efforts to start the Massachusetts General Hospital. Since all those who had sufficient money were cared for at home, Massachusetts General Hospital, like most hospitals that were founded in the 19th century, was intended to care for the poor. [1] During mid- to late-1800s, Harvard Medical School was located adjacent to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The first American hospital social workers were based in the hospital.[2]

The hospital's work with developing specialized computer software systems for medical use in the 1960s lead to the development of the MUMPS programming language, which stands for "Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System", an important programming language and data-base system heavily used in medical applications such as patient records and billing. A major patient database system called File Manager, which was developed by the Veterans Administration (now the Department of Veterans' Affairs), was created using this language.


Early use of anesthesia

Monument in Boston commemorating Morton's demonstration of ether's anesthetic use.

It was in the Ether Dome of MGH on October 16, 1846 that one of the first demonstrations of ether was presented to the medical profession to produce insensibility to pain by William Thomas Green Morton, a Boston dentist. An operation was performed on that date to remove a blood vessel tumor from the neck of a Cambridge, Massachusetts printer, William Abbott. The MGH Chief of Surgery, John Collins Warren performed the surgery and remarked "Gentlemen this is no humbug." News of the remarkable "new" invention rapidly traveled around the world. The actual first documented use of ether to render a patient unconscious prior to surgery was performed on March 30, 1842, by Dr. Crawford Long of Danielsville, Georgia. The term anesthesia was suggested for the insensible state by Oliver Wendell Holmes, then a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. A modern anesthesia department was established at the hospital in 1936 under the leadership of Henry Knowles Beecher. The Ether Dome still exists and is open to the public. It is one of the oldest operating theaters in existence. It contains a remarkable painting of the event by Warren and Lucia Prosperi.

Current operations

The hospital has 905 beds and admits over 45,000 patients each year. The surgical staff performs over 34,000 operations yearly. The obstetrics service handles over 3,500 births each year. The hospital handles over 1 million outpatients each year at its main campus, as well as its seven satellite facilities in Boston at Back Bay, Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Waltham and Danvers. Architect Hisham N. Ashkouri, working in conjunction with Hoskins Scott Taylor and Partners, provided the space designs and schematics for the pediatrics, neonatal intensive care, and in-patient related floors, as well as the third floor surgical suites and support facilities.

In 2003, MGH was named the state's first Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. Magnet recognition represents the highest honor awarded for nursing excellence.

In the fall of 2004, the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care (named for Jean R. Yawkey) opened. This 440,000-square-foot (41,000 m2) ten-floor facility is the largest and most comprehensive outpatient building in New England.

Bulfinch building, featuring Ether Dome

With more than 10,000 employees, the hospital is the largest non-governmental employer in Boston. It is sometimes jokingly described as "The Medical-Industrial Complex."

Massachusetts General Hospital is affiliated with Harvard Medical School and is its original teaching hospital. Together they form an academic health science center. MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $400 million.

Recently, in February 2009, the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute of immunology was founded to bolster research into creating vaccines and other therapies for acquired immune system conditions, chiefly AIDS. It is the largest single gift ($100 million evenly divided over 10 years) to MGH and one of the largest ever to Harvard University as a whole.

Though it has its own chief of psychiatry, MGH is closely affiliated with nearby McLean Hospital, which is also affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

It consistently ranks as one of the country's top hospitals in U.S. News and World Report. In 2007, Massachusetts General Hospital ranked 5th overall from among 5,462 medical centers with a #1 ranking in psychiatry[3] as well as high rankings in endocrinology, orthopedics, respiratory disorders, geriatrics, digestive disorders, neurology and neurosurgery, kidney disease, heart, rheumatology, cancer, urology, gynecology, and ear, nose, and throat.[4] Since 1994, MGH has been awarded the most research funding for an independent hospital by the National Institutes of Health [5], receiving over $285 million dollars alone in 2004 [6]. MGH is also home to the world-renowned Mallinckrodt General Clinical Research Center.

MGH is located at 55 Fruit Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The campus is in an area formerly known as the West End, adjacent to the Charles River and Beacon Hill. The closest MBTA stop is Charles/MGH on the Red Line. On 27 March 2007, the new Charles/MGH station was opened with new renovations, including handicap accessible elevators [7].

There are five main food service areas for the general public on the MGH campus. They include the Eat Street Cafe in the lower level of the Ellison Building, the Blossom Street Cafe in the Cox lobby, Coffee Central in the White lobby, Tea Leaves and Coffee Beans in the Wang Ambulatory Care Center, and Coffee South in the Yawkey outpatient center.

Other Educational Opportunities

MGH in Popular Culture

There have been several mentions of Massachusetts General Hospital in fictional television series, movies, and books. It is also notable that in common parlance, this hospital is usually referred to as "MGH," "The MGH," or "Mass General." The moniker "Mass Gen," sometimes used in fictional works, is rarely, if ever, used by employees, residents, students, faculty or patients. Some works that have referenced MGH include:

  • In the series Alias, Arvin Sloane mentions that Sydney's psychiatrist trained at the hospital.
  • In the movie Sleeping with the Enemy, an MGH neurologist gives the characters played by Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergin a ride on his sailboat off the coast of Cape Cod.
  • In the movie Malice, the lead character played by Alec Baldwin is an MGH-trained surgeon with a "God complex".
  • In an episode of House, Dr. Gregory House fakes brain cancer in order to participate in a clinical trial at the MGH. The experimental anti-depressant would have given Dr. House, addicted to painkillers, a powerful high.
  • In an episode of Grey's Anatomy, Lexie Grey explains that she was supposed to have an internship at "Mass Gen" (referring to the hospital by a casual moniker that is sometimes applied to the hospital in real life, though almost never by insiders) but that she remained in Seattle as a result of the untimely death of her mother.
  • In an episode of The Onion News Network, a video podcast from The Onion, MGH was featured in a story titled "Anonymous Philanthropist Donates 200 Human Kidneys To Hospital."
  • Doctor Charles Emerson Winchester on this hit series M*A*S*H* is a former employee of MGH.
  • In an episode of The X-Files MGH is shown when Agent Scully is brought to NYU Medical Center.
  • In an episode of Arrested Development, Tobias Funke refers to having once been "chief resident of psychiatry at Mass General"
  • In an episode of ER (episode 15.03), Dr. Abby Lockhart reveals that she has got a new job at 'Mass Gen' and will be moving to Boston with her family as soon as her shift ends. Maura Tierney, the actress who played Dr. Abby Lockhart, is from Boston in real life.
  • In Jan Karon's novel series, the Mitford Years, the local doctor, Walter "Hoppy" Harper, was an intern at MGH, having graduated from Harvard School of Medicine.
  • MGH is referred to as "MBH" or "Man's Best Hospital" in Samuel Shem's satirical novel, The House of God; it is also sometimes referred to as "Man's Greatest Hospital".
  • MGH nurses were featured in a four-part, front-page series in The Boston Globe entitled "Critical care: The making of an ICU nurse", which is being used in nursing schools throughout the country.


External links

Simple English

Massachusetts General Hospital is a very large hospital in the state of Massachusetts.


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