Mass General Hospital doctor’s office designed for non-traditional feel

February 7, 2019

There’s the typical doctor’s office at Massachusetts General Hospital has Ivy League diplomas and medical journals, according to an article on the Boston Globe website.

But Dr. Alice Flaherty’s office has old tools hang on pegboards, animal bones  and kumquat, strawberry, and tomato plants.

Flaherty, who has a dual appointment in Mass. General’s psychiatry and neurology departments was diagnosed with bipolar illness in 1998

Her jam-packed office, she says, probably stems from something called horror vacui, or fear of empty spaces, which can be a component of bipolar illness. But it’s also reflective of a relentless curiosity about the natural world and the brain, the article said.

Patients seeing Flaherty for the first time find many ways to break the ice. She makes a mental note of what patients notice in her whirlwind of an office. If they know the clear plastic bear with the skeleton inside is a gummy bear, they probably have children in their lives, for instance.

Read the article.


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