beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

A teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is renowned for excellence in patient care, biomedical research, teaching and community service. Located in the heart of Boston's medical community, it hosts nearly three quarters of a million patient visits annually in and around Boston.

Decades before Beth Israel and Deaconess hospitals came together as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, each was a leader in health care with a long history of personalized patient care and community service. In 1896, as part of their missionary charter, Methodist deaconesses founded Deaconess Hospital to care for the city's residents. In 1916, Beth Israel Hospital was established by the Boston Jewish community to meet the needs of the growing immigrant population.

Today, the medical center is renowned for excellence in surgery (including general, cardiovascular, thoracic, gastrointestinal, solid organ transplant and vascular surgery), with minimally invasive and robotic approaches to many procedures. BIDMC is also known for treatment of cardiac conditions, cancer, and pulmonary and thoracic disorders; and for our expertise in neurosciences, gastroenterology and liver disease, obstetrics and women's health, podiatry, and emergency and trauma medicine. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox.

Patient care

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a nonprofit health care institution that provides care for patients of any race, creed, color, or nationality. It features:

  • 649 licensed beds, including 440 medical/surgical beds, 77 critical care beds and 60 OB/GYN beds
  • Delivery rate of approximately 5,000 births a year;
  • A full range of emergency services, including a Level 1 Trauma Center and roof-top heliport; and
  • The Beth Israel Deaconess Learning Center, offering patients and families up-to-date health information and access to current research on a wide range of medical conditions.

Biomedical research

Cutting-edge clinical and biomedical research is supported by grants from private foundations and government agencies.

  • BIDMC consistently ranks as a national leader among independent teaching hospitals in biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health with $230 million annually. BIDMC researchers run more than 850 active sponsored projects and 500 funded and non-funded clinical trials.
  • The Harvard-Thorndike Laboratory, the nation's oldest clinical research laboratory, has been located on this site since 1973.
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center shares important clinical and research programs with institutions such as the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the Joslin Diabetes Center and Children's Hospital.


  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has 1,250 physicians on the active medical staff (including more than 800 full-time staff physicians). Most of these physicians hold faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School.
  • In addition to its medical students, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center provides clinical education to students in nursing; social work; radiologic technology, ultrasound and nuclear medicine; and physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapies.
  • The Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education and Research provides medical students and physicians in training with an on-site centralized educational facility, a state-of-the-art simulation and skills lab, and a variety of educational resources that let students diagnose, manage, and learn technical skills.

A Network of Care

  • BIDMC's expertise reaches well beyond downtown Boston. We have integrated a wide range of services with our partners, sharing physicians and technology to benefit the community.  In the pursuit of clinical and research excellence, BIDMC has formed partnerships with other outstanding institutions to benefit our patients in the areas where they live and work. Some of these partners include: Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance, Atrius Health and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.
  • Through a close relationship with the Joslin Clinic, BIDMC is known for treatment of diabetes, with outstanding results in cardiology, vascular surgery, podiatric care, eye care, pregnancy, and pancreatic transplantation.
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has two multi-specialty regional outpatient centers in Lexington on the Chelsea/Revere border, and in Chestnut Hill, which includes an urgent care center.
  • The medical center incorporates primary care physician offices in many communities throughout the greater Boston area.
  • Through the Community Care Alliance, BIDMC is affiliated with community health centers in downtown Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, Allston-Brighton, Quincy, Waltham and Cape Cod.

Medical milestones

  • The first administration of insulin in New England occurred at Deaconess Hospital in 1922.
  • Building upon pioneering research by Saul Hertz, MD, Beth Israel Hospital, under the direction of Herman Blumgart, MD, A. Stone Freedberg, MD and George S. Kurland, MD, led the way in the use of radioactive iodine for the treatment of cardiac conditions in the 1940s.
  • The first implantable cardiac pacemaker was developed at Beth Israel Hospital in 1960.
  • The first Rights of Patients statement in the nation implemented at Beth Israel Hospital in 1972 .
  • The first successful liver transplant in New England was performed at the Deaconess Hospital in 1983.
  • The first baby conceived through in vitro fertilization in Massachusetts was delivered at Beth Israel Hospital in 1986.
  • The first evidence that abnormalities in the visual system of the brain could help explain problems of people with dyslexia was discovered by Beth Israel researchers in 1991.
  • New England's first minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery was performed at Deaconess Hospital in 1995.
  • The first deep brain stimulator implantation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease in New England was performed at Deaconess Hospital in 1995.
  • BIDMC performed the first adult live-donor liver transplant in New England in 1998.
  • A patent was issued in 1998 for the Cohn cardiac stabilizer, developed by cardiothoracic surgeon William Cohn, M.D., allowing coronary artery bypass surgery to be performed without the use of a heart-lung machine.
  • BIDMC became the only clinical trial site in Boston to test a new therapeutic AIDS vaccine on normal, healthy adults in 2002.
  • In 2003, BIDMC researchers identified the source of preeclampsia, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy and one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality worldwide.

A Caring Employer

  • Over 6,000 diverse employees, including approximately 819 full-time staff physicians; 1,179 full-time registered nurses; and 3,600 non-clinical employees