First Patient

The Mount Sinai Hospital admitted Patient No. 1 on June 8, 1855, three days after opening its doors. Dr. Israel Moses operated on L.S., a 42-year-old male with a fistula in-ano, who went home five days later in good condition. The Department of Surgery has played a key role in the evolution and success of the institution ever since.

First Patient
L.S., Mount Sinai's First Patient

From its original 45-bed building, the Mount Sinai Hospital served the city during the Civil War years, the Draft Riots of 1863 and the Orangemen Riots of 1871. In 1872 the move to larger quarters on Lexington Avenue coincided with the formation of the Medical Board. That body promptly recommended creating a House Staff, appointed by competitive examination.

First Building
The Mount Sinai Hospital's First Building on 28th Street

In 1877 the hospital divided the House Staff into Medical and Surgical Divisions, each with a Senior and a Junior Resident. Surgical volume continued to increase, and in 1899 the caseload exceeded 2,000 operations. By 1904, when the hospital moved to its current site, four House Surgeons completed their training every year.

Second Location
The Mount Sinai Hospital's Second Location on
Lexington Avenue

Today, our resident training program has 72 residents. The Department of Surgery includes 10 divisions, with 203 full-time faculty members. All of these men and women are dedicated to patient care, teaching and research at The Mount Sinai Hospital and at our affiliates: the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital Center and Englewood Hospital.

A full description of the growth and development, and the many scientific contributions of the Department of Surgery, is beyond the scope of this document. Please see the time line, which depicts many of the important events in the history of the Department.