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Beyond Mid-Century: Two Decades of Growth and Change 

Beyond Mid-Century: Two Decades of Growth and Change
Beyond Mid-Century: Two Decades of Growth and Change

W. Bruce Fye

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date: 23 April 2021

Specialization in medicine grew in popularity after World War II when federal grants stimulated research into organ-specific diseases and the development of new diagnostic and treatment technologies. Mayo Clinic’s time-honored model of care involved having every internal medicine specialist devote significant time to general diagnosis. Mayo’s cardiologists produced a strategic plan in 1964 in which they expressed concern that this philosophy compromised their role as heart specialists. In 1965 Mayo’s internal medicine training program came under fire from a national group that insisted that it conform to the standard academic medical center model. This resulted in the creation of a Department of Medicine, which reduced the autonomy and influence of subspecialty sections such as cardiology. In 1969 Mayo decided to seek philanthropic support to help launch a medical school and to support its research and training programs. Despite Mayo’s changing structure, its main focus remained patient care rather than research.

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