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The Mayos’ Invention of Multispecialty Group Practice 

The Mayos’ Invention of Multispecialty Group Practice
The Mayos’ Invention of Multispecialty Group Practice

W. Bruce Fye

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date: 06 May 2021

Doctors Will and Charlie Mayo invented multispecialty group practice during the first decade of the twentieth century, when they began hiring physicians who focused on diagnosis and surgeons who operated on specific organ systems. Their high-volume surgical practice in Rochester, Minnesota, attracted patients seeking care and doctors eager to see how they performed so many major operations with excellent outcomes. When Will Mayo became president of the American Medical Association in 1906, he was considered one of the nation’s top surgeons. Doctors who visited St. Mary’s Hospital to watch the Mayo brothers operate were also impressed by the highly organized system of preoperative diagnosis that internist Henry Plummer coordinated. Some visiting physicians published articles praising the structure and philosophy of the Mayo practice, which was portrayed as a unique combination of specialization and cooperation. The “Mayo Clinic” building, opened in 1914, exemplified the efficiency movement in America.

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