Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General or MGH) is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and a biomedical research facility located in the West End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It is the third oldest general hospital in the United States and the oldest and largest hospital in New England with 950 beds. Massachusetts General Hospital conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the world, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million. It is currently ranked as the #2 hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
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; only Pennsylvania Hospital (1751) and NewYorkâ"Presbyterian Hospital (1771) are older. John Warren, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at Harvard Medical School, spearheaded the move of the medical school to Boston. Warren's son, John Collins Warren, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh Medical School, along with James Jackson, led the efforts to start the Massachusetts General Hospital, which was initially proposed in 1810 by Rev. John Bartlett, the Chaplain of the Almshouse in Boston. Because 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. During the mid-to-late 19th century, Harvard Medical School was located adjacent to Massachusetts General Hospital.
The first American hospital social workers were based in the hospital.
The hospital's work with developing specialized computer software systems for medical use in the 1960s led 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.
Patients, families, hospital staff, and members of the public can learn more about the accomplishments MGH is most proud of at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation, located at the front of the hospital's main campus on Cambridge Street. The museum is a part of the hospital's public affairs department.
Early use of anesthesia
It was in the Ether Dome of MGH in October 1846, that a local dentist, William Thomas Green Morton, was invited to perform a public demonstration of the administration of inhaled ether to produce insensibility to pain during surgery. Several years prior, Dr. Crawford Long of Danielsville, Georgia had given ether for surgery, but his work was unknown outside Georgia until he published his experience in 1849. On 16 October 1846, after administration of ether by Morton, MGH Chief of Surgery, John Collins Warren, painlessly removed a tumor from the neck of a local printer, Edward Gilbert Abbott. Upon completion of the procedure, which was without screaming or restraint, the usually skeptical Warren reportedly quipped, "Gentlemen, this is no humbug." News of this "anesthesia" invention rapidly traveled within months around the world.
A reenactment of the Ether Dome event was painted in 2000 by artists Warren and Lucia Prosperi. They used the then-MGH staff to pose as their counterparts from 1846. The Ether Dome still exists and is open to the public.
An anesthesia department was established at the MGH in 1936 under the leadership of Henry Knowles Beecher.
Facilities and current operations
The main MGH campus is located at 55 Fruit Street in Boston, Massachusetts. It has expanded into an area formerly known as the West End, adjacent to the Charles River and Beacon Hill. The hospital handles over one 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. With more than 14,000 employees, the hospital is the largest non-governmental employer in Boston.
The hospital has 1,057 beds and admits over 47,000 patients each year. The surgical staff performs over 34,000 operations yearly. The obstetrics service handles over 3,500 births each year. The Massachusetts General Hospital Trauma Center is the oldest and largest American College of Surgeons-verified Level One Trauma Center in New England, evaluating and treating over 2600 trauma patients per year. 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 the fall of 2004, the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care (named for Jean R. Yawkey) opened. This 380,000-square-foot (35,000Â m2) ten-floor facility is the largest and most comprehensive outpatient building in New England. In 2011, the Lunder Building, a 530,000 square foot, 14-floor building opened. The building houses three floors of operating rooms, an expanded emergency room, radiation oncology suites, inpatient neurology and neurosurgery floors, and inpatient oncology floors; all of which increase the inpatient capacity by 150 beds.
Since 1994, MGH has been awarded the most research funding for an independent hospital by the National Institutes of Health, receiving over $210 million alone in 2014. MGH is also home to the world-renowned Mallinckrodt General Clinical Research Center. The Treadwell Library, established in 1847, is the health sciences library for MGH.
MGH is affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
The closest MBTA stop to the main campus is Charles/MGH on the Red Line. On March 27, 2007, the new Charles/MGH station was opened with new renovations, including handicap accessible elevators. 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.
Massachusetts General Hospital is affiliated with Harvard Medical School and is its original teaching hospital. Together they form an academic health science center. MGH reports it conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of over $750 million. Research centers cover many areas including AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, transplantation biology and photomedicine. 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 was made possible by a $100 million gift over ten years, and represents the largest single donation made to MGH.
Though it has its own chief of psychiatry and top ranking department, MGH is closely affiliated with nearby McLean Hospital, a psychiatric hospital also affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
Awards and recognition
There have been eleven Nobel Laureates who have either worked or trained at MGH.
- 1934 George R. Minot, MD
- 1947 Carl F. Cori, PhD
- 1953 Fritz A. Lipmann, MD, PhD
- 1972 Gerald M. Edelman, MD, PhD
- 1985 Michael S. Brown, MD, and Joseph L. Goldstein, MD
- 1989 J. Michael Bishop, MD
- 1998 Ferid Murad, MD, PhD
- 2009 Jack W. Szostak, PhD
- 2011 Ralph Steinman, MD
- 2012 Robert Lefkowitz, MD
In 2012, MGH was named the number one hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report
In 2011, MGH was named the second best hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. MGH consistently ranks as one of the country's top hospitals in U.S. News & World Report. In 2011, MGH was also ranked as one of the top three hospitals in the country for Diabetes & Endocrinology; Ear, Nose & Throat; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Ophthalmology; Orthopedics; and Psychiatry.
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 August 2011, Becker's Hospital Review listed MGH as number 12 on the 100 Top Grossing Hospitals in America with $5.64 billion in gross revenue.
- Massachusetts General Hospital Academy
- Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy
- MGH Institute of Health Professions
- Proto magazine
- Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare
- History of MGH
- ARCADD, Inc.
- Historical photos
- MGH at Doctoralia USA