The Department of Medicine has three main goals: to provide outstanding clinical care, to educate students, residents and fellows, and to improve lives through biomedical research. In all that we do, we keep in mind the quality of our care and the safety of our patients; a legacy passed down from the history of our founding hospitals.
Our clinical care is focused on one important mission: to provide the kind of care that each of us would want for our own family members. We apply this approach in our primary care program, which included over 273,000 outpatient visits last year. We have the most intensive care beds of any Boston hospital, and our clinical programs lead the way among area hospitals, with 26,300 endoscopy sessions and over 4,300 cardiac catheterizations and peripheral interventions done in 2015. We provide services from primary care to cutting-edge specialty services through our divisions of medicine. We are also proud of our strong ties to community clinics that care for the underserved throughout Boston.
Quality and Safety
One of the most important aspects of providing high quality care is access. The Department prides itself on making its clinical services available to patients in a timely manner. A new patient appointment is available within days of a telephone call in nearly all of our clinics. Our quality improvement programs inspire us to give timely, safe and effective care across the Department and have helped make BIDMC one of the safest hospitals in the nation.
We are proud to provide superb teaching at all levels: to Harvard medical students, residents, fellows and current faculty. Our educational programs are led by a team of nationally-known teaching faculty. In fact, the Department is renowned throughout Harvard Medical School for its teaching, and our members have garnered more teaching awards in recent years than any other department in the school.
Our research programs are focused on finding new ways to cure disease and improve lives. In 2015, the Department earned research funding of over $175 million, placing it among the ten best funded Medical School Departments of Medicine in the country. Our research faculty members have received the highest national honors and include 1 member of the National Academy of Sciences, 10 members of the Institute of Medicine, 26 members of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, 9 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and 2 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
BIDMC has a rich and unique history and is currently celebrating historic milestones. New England Deaconess Hospital, one of our two founding hospitals opened its doors 120 years ago; and Beth Israel opened 100 years ago. The combined medical center, now called Beth Israel Deaconess, is 20 years old this year.
The Deaconess Hospital was founded by a group of women called deaconesses who worked full-time for Methodist churches. In 1896, these women built a 15-bed hospital next to the home in which they lived to provide care to the underserved. Beth Israel Hospital opened as a Jewish community hospital on Townsend Street in Roxbury in 1917, founded to provide a place for Jewish physicians and patients, both of whom were discriminated against at other hospitals. Beth Israel remained a community hospital for the next 10 years, and then was moved to Brookline Avenue, already the site of the Longwood Medical Area next to Harvard Medical School. The two hospitals merged in 1996, creating Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a new combined Department of Medicine. We’re proud to carry on the traditions of our founding hospitals in providing high quality and compassionate care to all.