Friday, August 5, 2011

Chronicling two centuries

Written history: The cover of the MGH Pathology departmental history book

IN ADDITION TO the hospital-wide history, Something in the Ether: A Bicentennial History of Massachusetts General Hospital, 1811-2011, by father-daughter duo Webster and Martha Bull, several departmental history books have been or will be published this year in honor of the bicentennial. In May, the Department of Nursing released MGH Nursing at Two Hundred. Radiation Oncology’s Evolution of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital – written by Herman Suit, MD, PhD, former chief of Radiation Oncology, and Jay Loeffler, MD, current chief – now is available at

A History of Urology at the Massachusetts General Hospital 1821-2011, by Scott McDougal, MD, chief of Urology, also has been published. Three additional books will be published in the coming months. Innovations in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, 1910-2010 is anticipated for release by the end of the summer. Written by Daniel Shannon, MD, chief of the Pediatric Pulmonary and Cystic Fibrosis Unit, the book’s 23 chapters discuss each of the department’s seven chiefs and many divisions, offer reflections of former residents and detail departmental innovations.

In the fall, Keen Minds to Explore the Dark Continents of Disease: A History of the Pathology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital and The Best Kept Secrets in Boston: Obstetrics and Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital, A Bicentennial History will be available. Edited by David N. Louis, MD, chief of Pathology, and Robert H. Young, MD, MGH pathologist, Keen Minds consists of 25 chapters and 200 photographs covering the history of MGH Pathology and its divisions. The Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology book – written by William R. Baker Jr., administrator for the Vincent – is a narrative history featuring both archival images and contemporary accounts. Many other departments have written or compiled articles about their histories as well. For more information about these books, contact the departments.

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