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The Firm System

The MGH Firm System was established almost 20 years ago to enhance the quality of clinical teaching and build relationships between medical students, house officers, and attending staff. Now considered the "backbone" of teaching on the Ellison inpatient service, the system was named for former MGH Chiefs of Medicine James Howard Means, Walter Bauer, and James Jackson. Firm activities include teaching rounds, conferences, and one-on-one career guidance. The firm system provides continuity in teaching by clinician-educators committed to bedside teaching. The firm chiefs conduct rounds four times a week with their Ellison team where they meet and examine a patient at the bedside, then have a small group conference on the patient's disease presentation.

The firm system also offers access and exposure to the expertise of the medical staff. Attending physicians from subspecialty and general medicine units rotate monthly on these teams and lead teaching rounds in cooperation with the senior resident on the team. The firm system consistently receives enthusiastic support from medical students, house officers, and the attending staff. Many of the Department's firm chiefs and clinician-educators are also active in the Academy at Harvard Medical School, an effort that supports teaching faculty and the development of innovative educational approaches at Harvard Medical School and its affiliates.

Firm Chiefs

Lloyd Axelrod, MD

Lloyd Axelrod, MD
Endocrine Unit
James Howard Means Firm

Lloyd Axelrod designed and implemented the Firm System at the MGH and is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He trained at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and the MGH, where he was Chief Resident in Medicine. He is an endocrinologist with special interests in diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, glucocorticoid therapy and adrenal disorders.

Nesli Basgoz, MD

Nesli Basgoz, MD
Infectious Disease Unit
Fuller Albright Firm

Nesli O. Basgoz attended Indiana University, Northwestern University Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco. She is Associate Chief and Clinical Director of the Infectious Disease Division and Director of the Infectious Disease and HIV Outpatient Practices. Her clinical and research interests have included opportunistic infections in HIV and other immunocompromised hosts.

Thomas Spitzer, MD

Thomas Spitzer, MD
Co-Chair, Internship Selection Committee
Hematology/Oncology Unit
Walter Bauer Firm

Thomas Spitzer is a native of Canton, Ohio and a graduate of Bucknell University and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. After an internship and residency at New York Hospital, he practiced primary care internal medicine for 5 years before completing a hematology / oncology fellowship at Case Western Reserve University. He is currently director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

Associate Firm Chiefs

Morton Swartz, MD

Morton Swartz MD
Associate Firm Chief
Infectious Disease Unit

Morton Swartz attended Harvard College and received his MD in 1947 from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Swartz was Chief of the Infectious Disease Unit at the MGH from 1956-1990, and since 1990, has served as Chief of the Jackson Firm. He has been Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School since 1973. His investigations have concerned antimicrobial resistance in bacteria, DNA gyrase, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, meningitis and other central nervous system infections. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. He was an Associate Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (1981-2002). He has served as Chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Child Health and Development as well as the Board of Governors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (1979-85). He is a Master of the American College of Physicians and received their Distinguished Teacher Award in 1989.

Arnold Weinberg, MD

Arnold Weinberg, MD
Associate Firm Chief
Infectious Disease Unit

Arnold Weinberg has been active in a variety of roles at MGH for over half a century. Raised in Brooklyn, NY in the shadow of Ebbets Field, he graduated from Cornell University and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Weinberg completed clinical and laboratory training at MGH and the Laboratory of Metabolic Enzymes at the National Institutes of Health. An Infectious Disease specialist, Dr. Weinberg has been the course director at Harvard in both Microbiology as well as Pathophysiology of Infectious Disease. His interests in ID are broad, but especially focused in zoonotic and arthropod borne diseases.

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