The MGH Department of Orthopædic Surgery will soon welcome a new leader. With more than 25 years of academic and clinical experience in Orthopædic Surgery, Mitchel Harris, MD, has been named the department’s new chief, effective Oct. 1.

Harris comes to the MGH from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) where he was chief of the Orthopædic Trauma Service for 14 years, after serving as chief of the Orthopædic Spine Service for three years.

"I feel like this is an absolutely unique opportunity, and I’m overwhelmed with excitement and optimism," Harris says.

Harris says his interest in Orthopædic Surgery stemmed from a love of sports combined with an interest in “fixing things.” Ultimately these interests grew into a remarkable career focusing on orthopædic and spine trauma management.

Harris earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1984 and completed his residency in Orthopædic Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in 1989. He completed a fellowship in Orthopædic Spine and Trauma at the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Science Center, as well as a second fellowship in Orthopaedic Spine and Trauma Surgery at Queen’s Orthopædic Centre in the United Kingdom. Prior to BWH, Harris also worked at Wake Forest University in North Carolina where he served as chief of the Adult Spine Surgery Service and developed their Orthopædic Trauma Service. From 1990 to 1993, he directed the Orthopædic Trauma Service at Charity Hospital in New Orleans while also serving as chief of the Adult Spine Surgery Service there until 2000. During his tenure as faculty at Louisiana State University, Harris also served as residency program director.

As he prepares for his latest role, Harris says he has a few goals in mind. “What I’m most excited about is concentrating on helping the MGH Orthopædic Surgery Department ascend to the next level,” Harris says. “My priorities include departmental issues surrounding further growth and collaboration. I want to focus on the departmental identity as opposed to individuals within the department. I want to make our department a more cohesive, integrated team and a department that is attractive to young clinicians and scientists.”

He adds, “I recognize what a unique opportunity it is to be part of an institution that is so rich in tradition and culture like the MGH.  I have been in the Boston area for 14 years and have only experienced MGH from the outside. Now I’m joining the MGH family, and that is quite exciting.”


This article was originally published in the 09/29/17 Hotline issue.