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The Nineteenth-Century Origins of the Mayo Practice 

The Nineteenth-Century Origins of the Mayo Practice
The Nineteenth-Century Origins of the Mayo Practice

W. Bruce Fye

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date: 06 May 2021

The Mayo Clinic had its origins in a small town medical practice. William Worrall Mayo, a British immigrant, arrived in America in 1846 and settled in Rochester, Minnesota, in 1864. The general medical practice that he launched in that town of 3,000 thrived. After a deadly tornado struck in 1883, the leader of an order of Catholic sisters offered to build a hospital in the town if Doctor Mayo would take charge of it. By the time St. Mary’s Hospital opened in 1889, Mayo’s sons, William J. (Will) and Charles H. (Charlie), had joined his practice. Will and Charlie Mayo learned surgery by watching prominent urban surgeons operate using antiseptic techniques. They began performing a range of procedures at the hospital in Rochester. The Mayo brothers and the Sisters of Saint Francis collaborated in providing care to patients who were attracted by reports of excellent surgical results and compassionate care.

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