Photo of John Warren Harthorne, MD

John Warren Harthorne, MD

  • Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Senior physician, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Founder of Heart Rhythm Society


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Centers & Specialties

Heart Center

Clinical Interests
  • Cardiac pacing
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Arrhythmia management
  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Valvular heart disease
Medical Education
  • MD, McGill University Faculty of Medicine
  • Residency, Montreal General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Internal Medicine
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - other
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - SSN
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
  • United Healthplan (non-HMO) - other
  • United Healthplan (non-HMO) - SSN
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Harthorne is closing in on a 50 year association with the MGH dating from training with Paul Dudley White as a Cardiology Fellow in 1961. He introduced coronary angiography in 1965, transvenous cardiac pacing during that same year and has been involved in the training of annual cardiology fellows ever since. He remains active in a clinical practice that covers all aspects of cardiology including coronary disease, valvular disease, heart failure, adult congenital heart disease and pacemaker and defibrillator related issues as well as medical aspects of rhythm management. He see patients two days each week (Tuesday and Thursday) and oversees device implants in the Electrophysiology Laboratory every Wednesday.

   A recent interest in the Team Heart medical mission to Rwanda has brought renewed interest in the social and technical challenges of providing diagnostic and therapeutic assistance to that country that was wracked by tragedy in the 1994 genocide.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary
Dr. Harthorne's research interests have largely been related to clinical practice. As the principal invvestigator of the CASS (coronary artery surgical study) at the MGH he was involved in the comparative observations of the clinical differences between medical and surgical treatment of mild stable angina. His work on diagnostic catheter techniques has produced "How To" book chapters on cardiac catheterization and the anatomy of the coronary arterial circulation. An early involvement in the creation of cardiac pacemaker devices and later the automatic implantable defibrillator has included several years of consulting with manufacturers on the desirable characteristics of these devices for maximal patient benefit. More recently, an awareness of environmental sources of electromagnetic interference with arrhythmia devices has led to a study of theft deterrent systems in stores and their effect upon patients with arrhythmia devices.
130 manuscripts, books, periodicals relating to all aspects of clinical and diagnostic cardiology with a focus on cardiac catheterization, cardiac pacemaker implantation and management, CPC case analyses, electromagnetic interference sources etc.

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News & Events


Massachusetts General Hospital
15 Parkman Street
Boston MA, 02114-3117
Phone: 617-726-2876
Fax: 617-726-5988

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