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Boston Doctors Appeal for Mental Hospital

August 10, 1810
August 10, 1810

Boston Doctors Appeal for Mental Hospital

On August 20, 1810, two Boston doctors circulated an appeal for "a hospital for the reception of lunatics and other sick persons." (Some sources, including, until recently, Mass Moments, erroneously date the letter to August...

Dr. Susan Dimock Begins Medical Residency

August 20, 1872
August 20, 1872

Dr. Susan Dimock Begins Medical Residency

On this day in 1872, Dr. Susan Dimock became the resident physician at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston. Only a month earlier, she had returned from medical school in Europe,...

Flu Epidemic Begins in Boston

August 27, 1918
August 27, 1918

Flu Epidemic Begins in Boston

On this day in 1918, two sailors housed at Boston's Commonwealth Pier reported to sickbay. The men were the first Americans stricken with a strain of influenza that would prove far more dangerous than the...

Massachusetts General Hospital Admits First Patient

September 3, 1821
September 3, 1821

Massachusetts General Hospital Admits First Patient

On this day in 1821, the Massachusetts General Hospital admitted its first patient, a 30-year-old sailor. More than a decade earlier, two Boston doctors had appealed to the city's "wealthiest and most influential citizens" to...

Boston Doctors Use First Iron Lung

October 12, 1928
October 12, 1928

Boston Doctors Use First Iron Lung

On this day in 1928, Children's Hospital in Boston was the scene of the first use of an "iron lung." Developed by a young Harvard doctor, it was little more than a galvanized iron box,...

Boston Dentist Demonstrates Ether

October 16, 1846
October 16, 1846

Boston Dentist Demonstrates Ether

On this day in 1846, a crowd gathered in the operating theater at Massachusetts General Hospital. A Boston printer with a tumor on his jaw lay on the table. Curious and skeptical physicians and...

The First Leprosy Patients Arrive on Penikese Island

November 18, 1905
November 18, 1905

The First Leprosy Patients Arrive on Penikese Island

On this day in 1905, five leprosy patients arrived on Penikese Island in Buzzard's Bay, the site of the first and only leprosarium in Massachusetts. Over the next 16 years, 36 victims of leprosy, or...

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