Massachusetts General vs. Johns Hopkins: 6 key comparisons

Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital are two of the most prestigious, high-ranking hospitals in the United States.

Both institutions are lauded for their commitment to education, research, innovation and clinical care. They have garnered global recognition and their brands are emblems of premier U.S. medicine. But when stacked side by side, how do Massachusetts General and Johns Hopkins compare?

Note: Becker's Hospital Review periodically compares the nation's best systems. This article compares Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Medicine. We recently published an article comparing Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. If you would like to see a comparison of two systems, please email

1. Leadership

Johns Hopkins: Paul B. Rothman, MD, has served as the  dean of the medical faculty, vice president for medicine of The Johns Hopkins University and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine since July 2012. As dean and CEO, Dr. Rothman oversees both the School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Health System.

  • Dr. Rothman attended medical school at New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University and earned his medical degree in 1984.
  • He completed a medical residency and rheumatology fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City before joining the medical faculty of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1986.
  • There, he also completed a postdoctoral biochemistry fellowship, studying immunoglobulin class-switch recombination. He eventually became Columbia's Richard J. Stock Professor of Medicine for Immunology and Microbiology and chief of the pulmonary, allergy and critical care division.
  • Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Rothman served as head of internal medicine at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, a role he held for four years.

Massachusetts General Hospital: Peter L. Slavin, MD, has served as president of MGH since 2003.

  • Dr. Slavin graduated from Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., in 1979. He earned a medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1984 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1990.
  • He completed his training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General from 1984 to 1987, eventually being appointed senior vice president and CMO, a role he filled from 1994 to 1997.
  • Prior to his current role, Dr. Slavin served as president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., from 1997 to 1999.
  • In addition to his duties at the helm of MGH, Dr. Slavin teaches internal medicine and healthcare management at Harvard Medical School, where he is a professor of healthcare policy.

 2. System size

Johns Hopkins, founded in 1889, is an integrated global health enterprise that operates six hospitals, four suburban healthcare and surgery centers, and 39 primary care and specialty care outpatient sites. It also offers the Johns Hopkins U.S. Family Health Plan, a managed care program developed by the Department of Defense. The USFSP offers comprehensive healthcare benefits to members of the U.S.' seven uniformed services, including active-duty family members, retirees and their family members and survivors.

  • Number of employees: As of Jan. 1, there are 41,000 combined full-time equivalent employees in the Johns Hopkins Medicine system, which includes facilities in St. Petersburg, Fla., Columbia, Md., Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Md., in addition to its Baltimore locations. There are 1,950 full-time attending physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the system's flagship hospital, 625 attending physicians at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore and more than 2,260 active medical staff across its other hospitals.
  • Number of beds: The Johns Hopkins Hospital houses 1,192 licensed beds. Combined, the system has 2,816 licensed beds.
  • Number of hospital visits: In 2015, there were more than 115,000 hospital admissions, more than 360,000 visits to the emergency department and upwards of 2.8 million outpatient visits across the total enterprise.

Massachusetts General Hospital opened its doors in 1811. It is the third oldest hospital in the U.S. and today operates five multidisciplinary care centers known worldwide for innovations in cancer, digestive disorders, heart disease, transplantation and vascular medicine.

  • Number of employees: MGH's main campus and four health centers in Charles, Chelsea, Revere and North End, Mass., employs 24,877 workers, including 2,405 physicians.
  • Number of beds: MGH's facilities house 999 licensed hospital beds.
  • Number of hospital visits: the health system admitted 50,679 inpatients and handled nearly 1.5 million outpatients in 2015. Annually, MGH records more than 100,000 emergency room visits, performs more than 42,000 operations and delivers more than 3,600 babies per year.

3. Affiliations

John Hopkins has numerous strategic affiliations, including those with Anne Arundel Health System, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore.

It also has international affiliations in Brazil, Chile, India, Japan, Lebanon, Panama, Peru and Turkey. It has joint ownership with hospitals in Saudi Arabia and Singapore, and strategic collaborative engagements in Canada, China, Colombia and Mexico.

Massachusetts General Hospital is a founding member of Boston-based Partners HealthCare, which has established regional dominance in the Boston region. MGH has numerous partners, including Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., Martha's Vineyard Hospital in Oak Bluffs, Mass., and Nantucket (Mass.) Cottage Hospital, as well as other affiliated healthcare providers in Maine and New Hampshire.

4. Academic medicine

Johns Hopkins. For the 35th consecutive year, in 2015 Johns Hopkins University was the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending at more than $2 billion, according to the National Science Foundation's ranking.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was ranked No. 2 in funding from the National Institutes of Health of all U.S. medical schools in 2015, with more than $420 million in funding. In fiscal year 2015, there were more than 1,200 medical and doctoral students enrolled in the medical school, with more than 2,700 full-time and 1,300 part-time faculty.

Massachusetts General Hospital is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, where nearly half of the hospital's staff physicians serve on the faculty. With an annual research budget of more than $786 million, MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the U.S., with a program that spans more than 20 clinical departments and centers across the hospital. In fiscal year 2015, MGH was awarded a total of $352.92 million in funding from the NIH.

MGH offers 28 residency programs, 19 of which are accredited by ACGME. There are 851 residents, 866 doctoral students and a combined 1,380 research and clinical fellows at MGH.

5. Key financial statistics

Johns Hopkins: In fiscal year 2015, Johns Hopkins Medicine had net revenue of approximately $7.18 billion, $7 billion in operating expenses and a budgeted operating income of $182.3 million.

Massachusetts General Hospital: In fiscal year 2015, MGH had net revenue of $3.46 billion, $3.25 billion in operating expenses and $2.11 million in operating income.

6. National rankings

Johns Hopkins Hospital was ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in Maryland by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-2016 Best Hospitals ranking. It is nationally ranked in 15 specialties, with nine in the top five and 11 in the top 10.

No. 1 — Rheumatology

No. 3 — Ear, nose and throat; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; and psychiatry

No. 4 — Urology

No. 5 — Diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, and geriatrics

No. 6 — Cancer

No. 9 — Nephrology

No. 12 — Gynecology

No. 13 — Pulmonology

No. 16 — Cardiology and heart surgery

No. 20 — Orthopedics

Massachusetts General Hospital was ranked the No. 1 hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-2016 Best Hospitals rankings. Fifteen of the 16 specialties ranked by U.S. News were in the top 10 in the nation.

No. 1 — Ear, nose and throat

No. 2 — Diabetes and endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; and psychiatry

No. 3 — Gastroenterology and GI surgery

No. 4 — Geriatrics, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics and pulmonology

No. 5 — Cardiology and heart surgery

No. 6 — Nephrology, rehabilitation and rheumatology

No.8 — Cancer

No. 16 — Urology

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