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Professional News
Mass. General Ranked #1 In News Magazine Survey
Psychiatric News
Volume 40 Number 18 page 10-10

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston has again topped U.S. News and World Report's list of "America's Best Hospitals" for psychiatry.

It is the 10th year running that MGH has found itself in the coveted slot.

The psychiatry program at New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell ranked second on the list, and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore is the third-ranked psychiatry program in the United States.

The rankings for psychiatry are based solely on each program's reputation in the field, while rankings for other specialties include mortality ratios and quality of patient services as well.

Each year, the news magazine publishes a list of the top-ranked hospitals for 17 areas of medicine, including oncology, rehabilitation, and gynecology.

Researchers from RTI International, a consulting firm based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., randomly selected a sample of 3,400 board-certified physicians from the American Medical Association's master file of 811,000 U.S. physicians. Slightly less than half of the sample responded to the 2005 survey.

All physicians surveyed were asked to list the five hospitals they considered most reputable in their specialty for "difficult cases" without taking cost of services or location into consideration.

For psychiatry and specialties such as ophthalmology, pediatrics, rehabilitation, and rheumatology, this was the only factor on which the rankings were based.

About half of the 152 psychiatrists surveyed cited MGH as having the best reputation for treating difficult cases successfully.

"We have a great deal of expertise and depth in many areas of modern psychiatry, and the department is an extraordinarily collegial place," Jerrold Rosenbaum, M.D., MGH psychiatrist in chief, told Psychiatric News.

He cited the department's research endeavors as one of the reasons for its stellar reputation in the field.

"We have a tradition of conducting clinical research that has relevance to patient care," he said, pointing out that the researchers" are the clinicians themselves who are dedicated to difficult-to-treat and treatment-resistant patients."

The psychiatry program at MGH has an annual research budget approaching $50 million, according to Rosenbaum.

He also called MGH faculty "extraordinary teachers" who understand the daily challenges of treating patients.

It is the "world-class clinical services for mental disorders" that helped put New York-Presbyterian University Hospital in second place on the magazine's list of psychiatry programs, according to Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D.

Lieberman is psychiatrist in chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center, chair of Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry, and director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

The program draws on the expertise of psychiatry faculty from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Medical College of Cornell University, which "infuses the clinical programs with cutting-edge knowledge of the nature and treatment of mental disorders," he added.

U.S. News and World Report's"Best Hospitals 2005" list is posted at<www.usnews.com/usnews/health/hosptl/tophosp.htm.>

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