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Concurrent surgeries cause conflict at MGH: 10 things to know

By Emily Rappleye

The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team recently reported on an ongoing controversy at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital — one that has spurred several investigations, changed patient lives and fueled both terminations and resignations of top physicians.

The years-long debate at MGH is over concurrent surgeries, or when a surgeon runs two operations at the same time. The controversy calls patient rights and surgeon rights into question.

Here are 10 things to know about the Boston Globe report on MGH’s battle over concurrent surgeries.

1. The report stems in large part from Dennis Burke, MD, a former leading surgeon at MGH, who has led the opposition against double-booked surgeries at his own expense. After nearly 10 years challenging the practice, he provided The Globe with copies of internal records — with patient names and identifying information removed — and was dismissed from his position in August.


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