About Primary Care at Mass General

A patient and doctor at the Mass General Ambulatory Practice of the FutureMass General's reputation is built on a cornerstone of exceptional primary care that integrates trusted doctor-patient relationships with the latest technologies for preventing, diagnosing and treating a full spectrum of common ailments and complex chronic diseases.

Under the umbrella of the Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM), Mass General and the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO) operate a large and growing network of primary care sites located on or near the hospital's main campus and in nearby communities. Four modern community health centers are an important part of our primary care network and community mission. Each provides primary care, specialty, diagnostic and therapeutic services, interpreters, outreach and social services to meet the needs - and improve the health - of the diverse communities we serve.

Mass General primary care physicians are board-certified in internal medicine, pediatrics and/ or geriatrics, and serve on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

Demand for Mass General primary care is high and new physicians are able to build patient panels quickly. Patients find our physicians through the Mass General website and Physician Referral Service, local insurance rosters of physicians, promotion to Mass General employees during benefit enrollment periods and various other Mass General efforts to promote primary care.

Our Vision for Mass General Primary Care

Our primary care sites are unified by our vision: We will deliver highest quality patient-centered care, encompassing all aspects of health and illness. The relationship between the primary care physician and the patient is at the core of all that we do. Our care teams provide comprehensive, compassionate and equitable care through continuous healing relationships. They partner with patients and families to elicit their values and preferences, educate them about their health and encourage them to be active participants in their own care.

Guided by physician, nurse and administrative leaders, we cultivate a culture that supports resilience and creative problem-solving to shape the future of care delivery. Primary care physicians and specialists work together to deliver seamless, coordinated care between inpatient and outpatient settings, ensuring patient safety and avoiding redundancy. Our practices are vibrant learning communities, enabling us to recruit exceptional professionals and educate leaders who will transform the delivery of primary care locally and nationally.

Why Mass General Primary Care

Primary care physicians have many choices about where to practice. Mass General offers both a stimulating position for today and the opportunity for professional growth and development in years to come.

Physician-led: Each practice is led by a medical director responsible for ensuring the practice provides high-quality, patient-centered care and professionally satisfying work for physicians and other staff. There are operating standards which span all sites, but each practice may develop its own unique qualities to meet the needs of its patient population, as determined by practice leaders and team members.

Clinical-assistant support: Today's primary care requires a team. Mass General primary care physicians and their patients are supported by nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, population health coordinators and nurse care managers.

Practice-enhancing tools: Mass General primary care physicians have access to a host of technology to facilitate their practice, including:

  • A longitudinal medical record system that supports coordination of care among multiple Mass General clinicians. Information may be exchanged rapidly and effectively for informed clinical decision-making.
  • Our proprietary Primary Care Office Insite (PCOI) website, which offers guidelines for primary care including prevention, screening and chronic disease management; generates patient education materials for in-office teaching and/or reference at home; and serves as gateway to access other on-line resources.
  • A patient portal for secure on -line exchanges with patients and the capability to provide "virtual visits,” most often used to follow-up with patients after an office visit for conditions common to primary care practice.

Support for practice innovation: Mass General primary care practices have access to coaches, collaboratives and other structured programs to facilitate operations improvement aimed at providing better, more cost-effective care.

Options for inpatient care: Mass General primary care providers may function as the attending physician for their patients who are admitted to the hospital or physicians may delegate attending responsibilities to Mass General hospitalists who oversee teaching and front line hospital medicine services.

Connections to Mass General: Members of the Mass General medical staff include experts from around the world. Our staff physicians consult with a range of specialists found only at a leading academic medical center. Mass General specialists are available for curb-side consults and/ or to help triage patients when necessary. Mass General also provides opportunities to participate in research including basic science, epidemiological, community-based and/or clinical trials.

Professional Development Opportunities

The Mass General Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM) prioritizes the importance of physician well-being, work/life balance, job satisfaction and professionalism. DGIM aspires to have engaged, passionate, enthusiastic faculty and will help faculty achieve individual professional goals, including career development and advancement.

New Faculty Orientation Activities

The DGIM offers many opportunities for new faculty and their partners and families to meet one another, as well as their DGIM colleagues and leadership. Activities include a summer picnic, informal gatherings, and-a dedicated half day program designed to cover all areas of the DGIM and resources available in the clinical, educational, research and administrative realms, starting with an annual State of the Division talk by the chief.

DGIM Career Conferences

Faculty have formal, structured meetings with their primary care team leaders every two years (at a minimum) to review faculty goals, accomplishments, barriers to completing goals, academic career aspirations and available resources. These meetings complement a more frequent, informal program of mentoring and coaching that links junior and senior faculty across the division.

DGIM Academic Promotion and Recognition

The promotion program ensures that faculty are aware of both Harvard Medical School and Mass General criteria for promotion along the various career trajectories one may choose. Dedicated senior DGIM leadership are available for counseling and support, and also actively reach out to faculty to assist, facilitate and encourage promotion activities.

Teaching Opportunities

Since the hospital's founding, Mass General has been committed to training and mentoring the next generation of international leaders in science and medicine, while providing a wealth of opportunities for physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. As the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, Mass General provides physicians with a wide variety of short-term and longitudinal teaching opportunities, to teach medical students and house-staff.

DGIM Research Opportunities

The DGIM research program comprises dedicated senior staff and provides opportunities for training in grant writing, securing protected time, manuscript writing and presentations. DGIM faculty lead major research programs in clinical epidemiology, outcomes research, and health services research, with specific concentrations in tobacco control, diabetes care, and HIV treatment.

DGIM Educational Opportunities

The DGIM offers primary care physicians a host of educational opportunities, including continuing medical education, maintenance of certification and American Board of Internal Medicine recertification.

Divisional Newsletter

The DGIM newsletter provides all members of the division with quarterly communications outlining recent events, upcoming offerings, group highlights and a message from the chief.

DGIM Mentoring Program

Our formal system of mentorship and career support is designed to enhance the potential and career satisfaction of each faculty member in the DGIM. The mentoring program helps physicians meet institutional requirements for academic contributions, strengthen the interest of clinician­-teachers in applied research projects, such as initiatives to improve the quality and safety of health care, and improve the recruitment and retention of primary care faculty.

Winickoff Scholars Program

This fellowship program gives primary care physicians the opportunity to spend one half-day per week for three months working on a project of their choice within the DGIM. The purpose of the program is to give practicing physicians a chance to engage in creative projects outside of the routine of everyday practice, thus enhancing their professional development, while contributing to the primary care community.

Global Health Innovation Fellows

Global Health Innovation Fellows work for two years on projects that advance the Division of Global Health & Human Rights' mission. As part of the program, fellows also complete degree or certificate programs in global health.

Global Primary Care Scholar Program

The Global Primary Care (GPC) Scholars Program creates an opportunity for Mass General primary care physicians, nurse leaders and other team members to contribute to and learn from patient care and service innovation in Uganda. The GPC Scholars Program represents a new collaboration between Mass General primary care, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Bugoye Health Center.