Massachusetts General Hospital

Harry E. Rubash, MD

Harry E. Rubash, M.D.

Edith M. Ashley Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Harvard Medical School

2012-13 Chief's Report

Trauma Service

The MGH Orthopaedic Trauma Service led by Drs. Mark Vrahas and R. Malcolm Smith has had many notable achievements this past year. The combined Trauma fellowship program’s application for accreditation under the new Orthopaedic Trauma Association rules has just been approved. The accreditation will help provide a structured education program and continue to attract top candidates from the US and Canada.


In the Fall, the Trauma Service hosted a “Boot Camp” for new PGY-2 residents, where the residents learned basic surgical skills from the faculty in the BWH’s STRATUS simulation laboratory. The residents and staff enjoyed this educational format. Next year we hope to expand the program to include both operative simulation and cadaver experiences.


This Spring, the MGH team welcomed Todd Johnson, A.C.N.P., as the second Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Todd recently graduated from the Nurse Practitioners Program at San Francisco State University, where he specialized in both Internal Medicine and Trauma, and General Surgery. Todd is fortunate to be mentored by his fellow Nurse Practitioner, Kathy Burns, A.C.N.P. Todd, like Kathy, will serve in a leadership role on the inpatient units as a point person for patients, staff, and faculty. Welcome Todd.


The most memorable event of this academic year was the Boston Marathon bombings. The MGH team lead by Dr. R. Malcolm Smith, were called into action on the afternoon of April 15th to care for the Marathon attendees who had been serioulsy injured by the blasts. The response was immediate, coordinated and effective in providing the care these patients needed during this time of duress. I would like to recognize all our residents who pitched in to help and for showing tremendous grace under pressure.


In early June, the Harvard Orthopaedic Trauma research program hosted its second annual Harvard Orthopaedic Trauma Research Day, featuring presentations by Trauma faculty, fellows, colleagues from the orthopaedic labs, and residents.


Dr. Vrahas is also collaborating with colleagues at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to develop patient-reported outcome measures using Item Response Theory and Computer Adaptive Technology for the orthopaedic patient population. This exciting technology allows patients to report their progress by answering a series of 5-8 questions on iPad technology, versus the traditional measures which are both several factors larger in length and paper and pencil-based. Other than its implications on efficiency, our early work shows that this technology has a higher level of accuracy in predicting outcomes when compared to traditional outcome measures.


The 2012-13 Trauma fellows, Marilyn Heng, MD, and Michael Sridhar, MD, came from the University of Toronto and Emory University, respectively. Dr. Heng will be heading back to the University of Toronto to complete a second fellowship in Oncology. Dr. Sridhar has accepted a position with a group in Greensboro, North Carolina. We wish them the best of luck!

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