Dec 1, 1993

The Massachusetts General Hospital. Early history and neurosurgery to 1939

Journal of Neurosurgery
F G Barker


The early history of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is reviewed with emphasis on the development of neurological surgery. The hospital opened in 1823. Early trephinations were performed by Dr. John Collins Warren and others for treatment of trauma and epilepsy. In the 1880's, interest in brain surgery increased, and Dr. John Elliot performed several trephinations for brain tumors, three of which were witnessed by Dr. Harvey Cushing during his years at the MGH as medical student and intern. In 1911, all brain surgery was placed in the hands of Dr. S. J. Mixter. He later shared the assignment with his son, Dr. W. J. Mixter, who described herniation of the intervertebral disc with Dr. J. S. Barr and became the first Chief of the Neurosurgical Service at MGH in 1939.

  • References7
  • Citations6


  • References7
  • Citations6


Mentioned in this Paper

Science of Neurosurgery
Historical Events, 19th Century
Brain Neoplasms
Intervertebral Disc Structure
Entire Intervertebral Disc
Cushing Syndrome
Hospitals, General

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