Among modern hospitals, the art of medicine is now being combined with cutting edge technology to both treat diseases and find out how best to prevent them. As Americans are experiencing longer lifespans and a better quality of life in general, the challenges the healthcare field now face involve the treatment and prevention of cancer, a greater understanding of psychology via the modeling of the function of the brain, and extending knowledge on the healthiest ways for citizens to live their lives through preventative medicine.
Historically, the top hospitals in the US have for years attracted top medical and nursing talent to push forward the envelope of healthcare quality the world over. Many hospitals on the list below are charged with developing today the top practitioners of tomorrow and the people who will reshape our view of what technology can do to aid suffering and eliminate illness. As humankind better grasps the nature of illness and uses the art of medicine to cope with it, it will be largely thanks to the many professionals who operate every day in the country’s hospitals and clinics. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”
What can we expect the future of healthcare to bring? Almost certainly, research being done now will be used to better treat illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, while better education among the public of the causes of illness will help prevent such ailments. Whatever the outcome, the lives of many people around the world are sure to be strengthened and made better by the research being done today.
Here are just a few of the most modern hospitals in the United States, and what makes them so effective as centers for the treatment of illnesses.
1. Johns Hopkins Hospital
So famous and reputable as a hospital that it is the alma mater of television heros like House M.D. and “Scrubs” character Dr. Percy Cox, in order to suggest their goodness and reliability as people, Johns Hopkins Hospital and its famous medical school has long been a force in medicine that goes from strength to incredible strength, whether in developing treatments for cancer or being the original site of the development of cardiac surgery and neurosurgery.
Johns Hopkins has produced many of the finest practitioners in medical history, and its long tradition of advancing medicine places it firmly as one of the most modern hospitals in the United States. It is often ranked first in the nation in literally each of its specialities in surveys taken within the healthcare industry.
2. University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Known the world over for the quality of its cancer care, the M.D. Anderson Center is unrivaled in creating advances in cancer treatment as well as determining the best ways to prevent cancer. Known as a training ground of great oncologists of tomorrow, the M.D. Anderson center is the center for cancer treatment as both academic institution and veteran oncologist clinic par excellence. Students from all over the globe compete here for doctoral degrees of all stripes, and many have the same goal of alleviating suffering as much as possible. The sterling reputation of the M.D. Anderson Center in treating cancer is unmatched.
3. Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
Perhaps the most famous not-for-profit medical center in the world, the Mayo Clinic is renowned for the contributions its members have made to the field of medical advancement. As an institution, its commitment to research and training has led to progress in fields such as biomedical imaging, which as a practice gives doctors and nursing staff unparalleled ability to treat illnesses and have insight into diseases such as cancer and diabetes. As with many top centers, much emphasis is now being placed by the Mayo Clinic on prevention of illnesses in addition to their treatment, with studies of how lifestyles effect the development of common illnesses being a main focus for the clinic’s practitioners.
4. Massachusetts General Hospital
With its connection to Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital is the training ground and place of employment of some of the best doctors and nurses in the world. Its commitment to training the very best doctors and nurses makes it a medical and nursing student’s paradise, but one with some of the biggest challenges a doctor or nurse can face. Training at Mass General is for many a trial by fire as a doctor or a nurse, a time to see what one is really made of. Its treatment of inner city illness and trauma can make training there an extraordinarily stressful experience on residents and nurses, many of whom find that in the end the lessons learned from Mass General have been worth the long hours and sleepless nights. For an excellent documentary that includes footage of residents at Mass General and other Harvard-affiliated centers, see the excellent Public Broadcasting Service documentary “Doctor’s Diaries,” about the lives of Harvard Medical students as they make their way through training establishments to become world-class professionals.
5. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
One of the best treatment centers for cancer in both the United States and the world, Sloan-Kettering is renowned for the technological advances its staff have created for the treatment and prevention of cancer over the years. A veritable New York institution, Sloan-Kettering has become a byword in medical centers for excellent cancer treatment and the development of technological breakthroughs in its treatment.
6. McLean Hospital, Massachusetts
As one of the nation’s premier psychiatric hospitals, McLean is famous for bringing us developments on how the brain functions and how personality works. Like Mass General, McLean is a training ground for some of the best medical students in the world and is strongly allied with Harvard Medical School, making it one of the foremost grounds for understanding the mysteries of the brain in medical history. For an insider’s account of McLean, see the film “Girl, Interrupted,” about a patient at the hospital and their daily life there.
7. UCLA Medical Center
Associated with one of the strongest universities in the United States, the UCLA Medical Center is also one of the best hospitals in the US for bringing modern technology to its patients. Serving one of the most populous regions in the US, the center particularly prides itself on the care it provides for children, with centers focused on child psychiatry and treatment of other disorders in children making the UCLA Medical Center a major force for good in medicine among the nation’s most vulnerable and in need. Scores of parents are thankful to the center for their help in improving their children’s quality of life.
8. Pennsylvania Hospital
While it was the first hospital in the United States, Penn is still one of its most forward thinking. A training ground for residents from the University of Pennsylvania and other top academic programs, Penn has rightly earned a reputation as one of the most modern hospitals in the United States, with some of the finest technology in the field of surgery ever developed. True to the values of founder Benjamin Franklin, Penn holds an egalitarian view of healthcare that draws from all areas of American life, both in its choice of doctors, nurses and students and service to the Philadelphia area.
9. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
Unifying the teaching and training for some of the top doctors and nurses in the US and the world, New York-Presbyterian also involves some of the toughest cases for residents and doctors to deal with. Workers at the hospital deal with some of the most challenging cases in the country.
10. Stanford Hospital and Clinics
A bastion of medical technology on the West Coast of the US, Stanford’s hospital system has for years been training some of medicine’s and nursing’s greatest minds while playing host to some of the best biotechnological teams on the planet. With strong links to technological companies and close proximity to Silicon Valley, Stanford has become a powerhouse in medical and surgical development while using its connections to the tech industry to better serve patients.
If you’re considering a career in medicine or nursing, these hospitals may be a lifelong goal for you to reach in your working life. If your greatest aim in the world is to best help others, these institutions may help you reach your dreams in ways you never thought possible. For many, passing through the gates of these institutions is a dream come true, but more importantly, the possibility to help others in need in some of the most profound and moving ways possible can become a reality through their training.
As medicine moves us into the future, it will be exciting to see what developments emerge tomorrow from minds hard at work today. Perhaps cures for various cancers are just around the bend; perhaps heart disease will be greatly reduced fifty years from now. Whatever the methods of change, it is the staffs in hospitals across the world that will help to make them a reality and change all of our lives for the better. That is a very bright tomorrow indeed, and one we can all look forward to both for ourselves and our loved ones.