Category: history


Revolutionizing Care at Mass General

Massachusetts General Hospital was established to provide care to Boston’s sick, regardless of socioeconomic status—an innovative idea in 1811. In the words of our founder, Dr. John Warren, “When in distress, every man becomes our neighbor.” We then became the first teaching hospital for Harvard University’s new medical school and have been redefining excellence in health […]

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Museum and Ether Dome Offer Insights Into the Hospital’s History

(Editor’s note: This summer, the Mass General Research Institute has two communications interns working with us as we work to highlight all of the research that takes place across Massachusetts General Hospital. Here is a post from our intern Milo Goodman.) One major highlight of my first week as a Communications Intern was visiting the […]

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A Flu Scare, 10 Years Later

When Proto Magazine: Dispatches From the Frontiers of Medicine launched its inaugural issue in 2005, researchers were anxiously watching a new flu virus called H5N1, which many were concerned might lead to a global pandemic. Although no global crisis came from the virus, that fear is very much alive. In this video, Dr. Martin Hirsch, a senior physician in […]

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Anesthesia: Who Knew What When?

“On October 16, 1846, at Massachusetts General Hospital, [William T.G. Morton] successfully administered ether to a surgical patient in a public demonstration. As acclaim was heaped upon Morton, [Horace] Wells unsurprisingly cried foul—but so did [Charles T.] Jackson. A bitter dispute rose all the way to Congress…” READ MORE

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Finding a very good age in the Ether Dome

Great article on the historic Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital, and our 2,700-year-old resident mummy Padihershef.

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When Medicine Meets the Arts

Did you know that Mass General has an official “writer-in-residence?” Primary care physician Suzanne Koven, MD, is first to hold the role in the hospital’s 200+ year history. Koven, whose work frequently appears in the Boston Globe and other publications, has observed that medicine’s crucial element—the clinician-patient relationship—has become threatened as the profession becomes increasingly technology-driven. She and other […]

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Mass General’s History of Research Innovation

Did you know that biomedical research has been part of Massachusetts General Hospital since its founding over 200 years ago, and has led to such innovations as: The use of general anesthesia in ether The modern PET scan A bionic pancreas A chip that detects circulating tumor cells in the blood And a vaccine for […]

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Looking Back at Research in the Past

Here are some photos of research at Massachusetts General Hospital during the 1960s and 70 (in case you couldn’t tell by the sideburns and braids).

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A Rich History of Research at Massachusetts General Hospital

Here’s a blast from the past. An undated photo from one of the research labs at Massachusetts General Hospital. Mass General operates the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, and has been leading the way in medical innovation for more than 200 years. Do you have a guess for when this photo was […]

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