black & white photo of two nurses at a desk in the center and two patients in bed on thee left and right behind them.

Medical ward, 1963

In the 1960s, patients benefited from considerable recent changes in medicine. New pharmaceutical treatments for a variety of needs had been developing rapidly since WWII, polio had recently been all but conquered, and diagnostic technologies were making great strides forward. At MGH, this decade saw a reorganization of the Department of Medicine into over a dozen specialties. Some had already split off into their own hospital units, like the Cardiac Unit and Thyroid Unit, and other specialties became their own sub-department of medicine for the first time, such as the Pulmonary Disease Unit and Diabetes Unit.