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MGH History

Print of G.H. Gay Ward & Operating Theatre from MGH's 1884 Annual Report. Source

Department Histories

This page includes links to histories of selected MGH departments, arranged in alphabetical order, with links to supporting information from selected websites, books, and journal articles.

Some books are available full text, some are in the MGH Archive, and some are available in public or academic libraries. Click as indicated for more information.

See Websites & Publications for a list of books about MGH’s history. See Finding More on MGH History to locate more information in medical journals, scholarly and non-scholarly publications, and newspapers.

Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine

"This is no humbug!" : Reminiscences of the Department of Anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital : A History, edited by Richard J. Kitz, Hassan Ali ... [et al.]. [Ashland, Ohio : Atlas Books, 2003?]. (Note: slow to load; works best in non-IE browsers)

Blood Donor Center


Center for Diversity and Inclusion 

Chaplaincy (department name changed to Spiritual Care, October, 2017)

MGH Celebrates 75th anniversary of Pastoral Care p.6

CIMIT (Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology)

Clinical Research Center

Means, James Howard. Ward 4; the Mallinckrodt Research Ward of the Massachusetts General Hospital.  Cambridge, [Mass.]: Harvard Univ. Press, 1958.[Online access requires a free username/password.  For the print edition, contact MGH Archives for use.]

Casper S. Inexplicable patients: the case of Charles Martell and Ward 4 at the Massachusetts General Hospital. CMAJ. 2016 Dec 6;188(17-18):1263-1264. Epub 2016 Aug 29. PMID: 27573742

Clinicopathological conferences ("CPCs")


Bowen J, Bernhardt M. Methods of teaching dermatology. J. Cutan. Dis. incl. Syph., N. Y., 1903, xxi, 249–254


Special Issue: Festschrift in Honor of Martin C. Mihm, Jr, MD. J Cutan Pathol. 2010 Apr; 37 Suppl 1: 1-136. 

Dermatopathology.  IN: Keen Minds to Explore the Dark Continents of Disease: A History of the Pathology Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, edited by David N. Louis and Robert H. Young. Boston, Mass.: Massachusetts General Hospital, 2011.   

The Disparities Solutions Center 

Endocrine Clinic

Laboratory of Computer Science

Ladies Visiting Committee

          The LVC marks a milestone

Mallinckrodt Research Ward see Clinical Research Center

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

MGH Institute of Health Professions


A History of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital

50th Anniversary of the Neurosurgical Service of the MGH, 1989

Barker FG 2nd. The Massachusetts General Hospital. Early History and Neurosurgery to 1939. J Neurosurg. 1993 Dec;79(6):948-59. PubMed PMID: 8246065. 



MGH Nurses’ Alumnae Association 

MGH Nursing History -- from Nursing and Patient Care Services  

MGH School of Nursing publications [including School of Nursing Yearbooks]

Parsons, Sara E. History of the Massachusetts General Hospital Training School for Nurses. Boston : Whitcomb & Barrows, 1922. 

Perkins, Sylvia. A Centennial Review, the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, 1873-1973. Boston: The School, 1975. [Contact MGH Archives for use of print version]

Massachusetts General Hospital : Nursing at Two Hundred. Georgia W. Peirce; Marianne Ditomassi; Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Nursing. Boston, MA : Massachusetts General Hospital Dept. of Nursing, 2011. [Contact MGH Archives for use of print version]

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Vincent Memorial Hospital

Baker, William R., Jr. The Best Kept Secrets in Boston: Obstetrics and Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital. [Boston] : Massachusetts General Hospital, 2012. [Contact MGH Archives for use]

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

History of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 

A History of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital

Keith DA, Dodson TB, Kaban LB. Historical Review: First Facial Pain Patient Admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital, February 1823 and First Case Series. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Aug;71(8):1322-33. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2013.04.027. PubMed PMID: 23866949.

Orthopaedic Surgery

Mankin HJ. Boston's Contributions to the Development of Orthopaedics in the United States. A Brief History. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2000  May;(374):47-54. PMID:     10818968

Rapp SM. Clinical and Research Pioneers Molded Massachusetts General Hospital’s Orthopedic Surgery History. Orthopedics Today, September 2010

Rowe, Carter R. Lest we Forget : Orthopaedics at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Ward I, 1900-1996. Dublin, N.H. : William L. Bauhan, 1996. [Contact MGH Archives for use]

Partners HealthCare


History of the MGH Case Records 

Keen Minds to Explore the Dark Continents of Disease: A History of the Pathology Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, edited by David N. Louis and Robert H. Young. Boston, Mass.: Massachusetts General Hospital, 2011. 

Pediatric Surgery

Transcript of interview with Patricia K. Donahoe , M.D., Chief of Pediatric Surgical Services, Emeritus

Physical Therapy

The History of Physical Therapy at MGH


           Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry

History, MGH/McLean Psychiatry

Psychiatry in a General Hospital : The First Fifty Years, edited by Thomas P. Hackett, Avery D. Weisman, Anastasia Kucharski ; John B. Herman, photography editor, James E. Groves, production editor. Littleton, Mass. : PSG Pub. Co., 1987. [Contact MGH Archives for use]

Radiation Oncology

Suit, Herman D. and Jay S. Loeffler. Evolution of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. New York: Springer Verlag, 2011. [Contact MGH Archives for use of print version.  Online version requires a Havard Key]


Wyman SM. Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital: a brief history. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1993 May;160(5):1141-4. PubMed PMID: 8470596.

Linton, Otha W. Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, 1896-2000. [Boston]: The General Hospital Corporation, 2001. [Contact MGH Archives for use]

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard

Sleep Lab

Social Service

Pioneering a profession: A history of social work innovation at the MGH, 1905 - 2005

Wulkop, Elsie. The Social Worker in a Hospital Ward, with comment by Richard C. Cabot, M.D. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1926. 

Cannon, Ida M. On the Social Frontier of Medicine : Pioneering in the Medical Social Service. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1952. [Contact MGH Archives for use]

Spiritual Care (department name changed from Chaplaincy, October, 2017)

Sports Medicine Service

History of the Massachusetts General Hospital Sports Medicine Service

Thyroid Clinic

Stanbury, John B. A Constant Ferment : A History of the Thyroid Clinic and Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, 1913-1990. Ipswich, MA: Ipswich Press, 1991. [Contact MGH Archives for use]

Treadwell Library

Myers, Grace W., comp. War Bibliography : Treadwell Library, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass. Boston, Mass: [n.p.], [1918?].

Stone ME. The World of John Goodhue Treadwell: A Brief Overview in Celebration of the 160th Anniversary of Treadwell Library, Massachusetts General Hospital. Watermark (Arch Libr Hist Health Sci). 2007 Fall;30(4):85-8. PubMed PMID:19425278.


             Urology at the Massachusetts General Hospital: The First 100 Years  

Ward 4 see Clinical Research Center