Clash in the name of Care

Clash in the name of Care: The e-mails

For years, some employees at Massachusetts General Hospital wrote emails and letters challenging the wisdom and safety of a practice called “concurrent surgery” in which surgeons start a second operation before the first is completed. Many were sent by or to the man who has led the opposition to concurrent surgery, orthopedic surgeon Dennis Burke.

The extensive correspondence, obtained by the Globe from hospital staffers, offers a behind the scenes look at a heated battle inside one of the nation’s top-rated hospitals, involving some of the most prominent names in Boston medicine.

But the correspondence offers an incomplete view of the internal debate, primarily the vantage point of concurrent surgery critics. The hospital has denied many assertions in the emails, questioned the motives of some critics and said its own review finds the practice to be safe.

Messages appear as written except for redactions for patient privacy. Titles are for positions held at the time. Highlighted text is added for emphasis.

Produced by Russell Goldenberg, Gabriel Florit, and Elaina Natario

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