A medical center, or hospital, is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals are usually funded by the public sector, by health organizations (for profit or nonprofit), health insurance companies, or charities, including direct charitable donations. Historically, hospitals were often founded and funded by religious orders or charitable individuals and leaders. Today, hospitals are largely staffed by professional physicians, surgeons, and nurses, whereas in the past, this work was usually performed by the founding religious orders or by volunteers. However, there are various Catholic religious orders, such as the Alexians and the Bon Secours Sisters, which still focus on hospital ministry today.
Some academic centers such as medical schools may also serve as hospitals as well, and may be equipped with fully functioning emergency rooms, operating rooms and a morgue. One such example is Miskatonic Medical School, which is a faculty of Miskatonic University, located in Arkham, Essex County, Massachusetts. The school gained no small measure of notoriety in the mid-1980s when a first year med student named Herbert West used human cadavers as test subjects in his unethical tests on cellular regeneration.