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The History of Neurosurgery at
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School

This is an illustration of the Bulfinch Building, the first home of the Massachusetts General Hospital, which opened in 1823.

(Used with Permission - from an original ink wash and watercolor lithograph by Robert J. Leanna II.)

The operating room of the hospital, now known as the Ether Dome, is visible in the center of the building's top floor. In this operating theater general anesthesia for surgery was demonstrated to the world's medical community for the first time.

This illustration is from the cover of the Journal of Neurosurgery (vol 79, 1993) and the article

The Massachusetts General Hospital. Early history and neurosurgery to 1939.
Barker Fred G. II, M.D.
(J Neurosurg 1993 Dec;79(6):948-959)

Dr Barkers publication is a companion and update to the publication:

Neurosurgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital - 1909 to 1983 - A Short History and Alumni Record. Edited by DR Nicholas T. Zervas, MD and the Neurosurgical Staff
(First Edition copyright 1984).

[MGH Neurosurgical Service]

As you have seen, we use the symbol of the Bulfinch Building as a link to our MGH Neurosurgery main web system and the logo for the MGH Neurosurgical Service.

The East and West Neurosurgical Services are named after the wings of the Bulfinch building. The South Surgical Service also dates to the time of Harvey Cushing's

[Neurosurgery Rounds] Neurosurgical Grand Rounds at MGH are presented in the Ether Dome Amphitheater located in the dome of the Bulfinch Building each Thursday from 8-9 a.m.. We use Mr Hinkley's painting of the first ether operation (The Ether Operation) as a link to our Neurosugery Grand Rounds.
Disclaimer About Medical Information: The information and reference materials contained herein is intended solely for the information of the reader. It should not be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient's own physician. All visitors to this and associated sites from the Neurosurgical Service at MGH agree to read and abide by the the complete terms of legal agreement found at the Neurosurgery "disclaimer & legal agreement." See also: the MGH Disclaimer, the MGH Privacy Policy, and the MGH Interactive Program Disclaimer - Copyright 2005.
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Last modified: May 11, 2005