About Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital

Commonly called Mass General, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is one of the top three largest hospitals in the country. It was founded in 1811 as a facility to care for people who could not afford in-home doctor visits and currently has inpatient beds to accommodate 907 patients and in-house interpreters who speak eleven languages. There are almost thirty buildings on the main campus, but three of those are parking garages. The hospital accepted its first patient on September 3, 1821.

Mass General is renowned as a research facility and is the first to be a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The hospital consistently ranks among the best hospitals in the country. Founded in 1934, the Department of Psychiatry has been repeatedly ranked the best in the nation for psychiatric care every year since 1996.

There are 923, 526 square feet of space devoted to research at Mass General. In 2009, the hospital received it largest gift ever. It was a gift of $100,000,000 that was used to establish an institute whose first goal is to develop an effective vaccine against AIDS. It is a joint effort with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School.

The hospital has been home to some incredible events throughout history. The first public gathering to demonstrate the benefits of surgical anesthesia happened there in 1846. The first building designed specifically for sterile surgery was completed in 1888. Established in 1905, Mass General was home to the first social services department in the country based in a hospital. The perfection of Pap smear usage to discover cervical cancer occurred in 1945. Mass General surgeons were the first to reattach a severed arm in 1962. Also, radiologists pioneered the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose sickness and injury in 1979. Twenty years later, doctors there showed that medical treatment for ADHD reduces the risk that teenage boys will struggle with substance abuse in 1999.

On the research front, staff from Mass General along with researchers from MIT and Shriners Burns Institute created the first artificial skin that was made from living cells in 1981. They also made the discovery in 1996 that skin care products containing alpha hydroxy acids might lessen the appearance of skin aging. In 2000, they discovered that starting antiviral therapy during the earlier stages of infection can help patients with HIV control that virus with their own immune systems.

In 2011, Massachusetts General Hospital celebrated its bicentennial.

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