June 6, 2008
Pioneering MGH physician to retire

dineenIn 1967, when James J. Dineen, MD, (left) began his career at the MGH, he knew he had come to a special place — a place where he could feel the progressive and collaborative spirit of the institution as soon as he walked through its doors. During his 41 years at the MGH as a primary care physician, mentor and pioneer in health policy, Dineen has cared for countless patients and helped redefine the primary care physician-patient relationship. Now, on the brink of his retirement, he has not lost sight of what has kept him at the MGH. He hopes to continue to make a difference for patients, primary care physicians and the practice of medicine. Below are selected snapshots of this influential physician's career at the MGH.

As an intern working in the Clinics Building, Dineen noticed that there was a need for better health care access for all patients. With his mentor, John D. Stoeckle, MD, he helped to form a small primary care group that provided 24-hour coverage for patients in the Clinics Building. This group evolved into today's Internal Medicine Associates, an MGH primary care practice.

Upon completion of his residency in Internal Medicine, Dineen completed four six-month subspecialty fellowships to further his training in general internal medicine. During that period, he also worked in various community hospital emergency rooms that were staffed by rotating specialists. Dineen recognized the need for further training for physicians working in these settings and established appropriate courses at the MGH. He also helped author the MGH textbook of emergency medicine and became one of the 12 founding members of the American College of Emergency Physicians — an organization that has improved the quality of emergency medicine across the country.

After 20 years with the IMA, Dineen became one of the nine founders of the Bulfinch Medical Group (BMG) in 1990. The practice — which had the founding goal to provide personalized primary care by making each patient feel individually known and cared for by physicians with access to the best subspecialty experts, diagnostic testing and treatments — serves more than 20,000 patients a year. Since its inception, the BMG has continued to implement programs that cultivate the "patient-doctor partnership," forging the development of a fund supporting ongoing programs aimed at sustaining this idea — the Dr. James J. Dineen Partnership in Primary Care.

The MGH salutes the legacy of primary care excellence and innovation fostered by Dineen. MGHers are invited to celebrate his long and distinguished career at a special event Tuesday, June 17 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm under the Bulfinch Tent.

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