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Health Education is Powerful Medicine

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James J. Dineen, MD

Co-Chair, Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine

During his 41 years at MGH as a primary care physician, mentor and pioneer in health policy, James J. Dineen, MD, has cared for countless patients and helped redefine the primary care physician-patient relationship. He hopes to continue to make a difference for patients, primary care physicians and the practice of medicine through his involvement in the Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine. Below are selected snapshots of this influential physician's career at 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 (IMA), 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 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.