Boston Medical Center

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Boston Medical Center
Boston Medical Center logo.svg
Boston University Medical Center.jpg
Moakley Building from Harrison Avenue
Location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates 42°20′06″N 71°04′25″W / 42.3349°N 71.0735°W / 42.3349; -71.0735Coordinates: 42°20′06″N 71°04′25″W / 42.3349°N 71.0735°W / 42.3349; -71.0735
Care system Private, Medicare, Medicaid
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university Boston University
Emergency department Level I trauma center
Beds 496
Founded 1855
Lists Hospitals in Massachusetts
Boston City Hospital, shown here in a 1903 photo, was one of the two institutions which merged in 1996 to form Boston Medical Center.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) is a non-profit 496-bed academic medical center in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest safety-net hospital and Level I trauma center in New England.[1]

BMC employs more than 1,400 physicians — including 704 residents and fellows — and 1,505 nurses.


BMC was created by the formal merger of Boston City Hospital (BCH) which was the first municipal hospital in the United States and Boston University Medical Center Hospital (BUMCH) in July 1996 which was sponsored at founding by the Methodists and then by Boston University.

Boston University School of Medicine opened its doors November 5, 1873, combining the Female Medical College of Boston with the medical staff of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital. Dr. Israel T. Talbot was the first chairman of the Department of Surgery at BU while also serving as the first Dean of BUSM.

The history of the Department of Surgery at BU dates back to 1946, when Dr. Reginald H. Smithwick was recruited from Massachusetts General Hospital to serve as Surgeon-in-Chief. With him, he brought a team of talented surgeons, including Dr. Jesse Thompson, a pioneer in vascular surgery; Dr. Douglas Farmer, a gastrointestinal surgeon; Dr. Chester Howe, a specialist in surgical infectious disease; and Dr. George Whitelaw, a noted educator and general surgeon. Smithwick served as chairman for nearly 20 years, and was followed by Dr. Richard Egdahl who was recruited from the Medical College of Virginia in 1963. Dr. Egdahl continued to pioneer the clinical research capabilities, and later retired in 1973. In 1997, Dr. Egdahl was named the first Alexander Graham Bell Professor of Entrepreneurial Medicine at BUSM.

Following periods of leadership by Drs. Lester Williams, Peter Mozden, Robert Hobson, Edward Spatz, James Becker, and Gerard Doherty, in 2017 Jennifer F. Tseng, MD, MPH, assumed the position of Surgeon-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center and Chair and Utley Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine.

In March 2017, the Boston Medical Center announced that it had received a $25 million gift, the largest in its history, from John Grayken and his wife, Eilene. The donation will go to the creation of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at BMC.[2] Michael Botticelli was named its director.[3]


The Framingham Heart Study, a longitudinal study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in collaboration with staff who are faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine, has helped obtained much of our current knowledge about heart disease.[4] The Amyloidosis Center at Boston Medical Center is known internationally as a leader in basic and clinical research on amyloidosis. Notably, they pioneered the use of high dose Chemotherapy and Stem cell transplantation for patients with AL amyloidosis.[5]

Patient care[edit]

Number of Beds 496
Medicine/Surgery beds 332
Obstetrics/Gynecology beds 39
Intensive and Coronary Care beds 74
Neonatal Intensive Care beds 15
Pediatric Intensive Care beds 6
Pediatric beds 30

Supporting services[edit]

The hospital has many services, extending beyond traditional medical procedures. With its long history of serving the low-income population, the hospital has programs that include:[6][better source needed]

  • The Preventive Food Pantry to which doctors can write prescriptions for food for undernourished patients[7]
  • A Roof Top Farm, which is suppies some of the food used by this Pantry and in BMC's cafeteria[8]
  • The bWell Center innovative approach to educating and supporting families of the Boston Medical Center Pediatrics Department.
  • Home visits to ensure patients and their families are following care instructions, and to identify problems at home which may lead to medical conditions
  • Lawyers on staff to help people navigate government assistance programs, and to deal with landlords who maintain unhealthy conditions
  • Special counseling and asylum assistance for victims of torture and political persecution
  • Training for first responders dealing with children who have witnessed violence
  • Pediatricians giving books to families with children to promote reading

Boston Medical Center (BMC) HealthNet Plan[edit]

BMC HealthNet plan earned the #3 rank among Medicaid plans in the nation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in its Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Rankings, 2011–2012. Comprehensive coverage for hospital, primary, specialty and behavioral health care are among the benefits and services provided. The Plan also offers extras beyond traditional benefits; all members receive discounts on Weight Watchers® and fitness club memberships plus access to a 24/7 Nurse Advice Line. In addition, MassHealth members receive free car safety seats and bike helmets for kids and manual breast pumps for nursing mothers. BMC HealthNet Plan also operates Well Sense Health Plan, a Medicaid plan in New Hampshire.


Boston Medical Center employs,4,902 full-time equivalent employees, consisting of more than 1,422 in-house physicians — including 704 residents and fellows — and 1,331 nurses.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]