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Patient Care and Clinical Research in the 1920s 

Patient Care and Clinical Research in the 1920s
Patient Care and Clinical Research in the 1920s

W. Bruce Fye

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date: 06 May 2021

The Mayo Clinic, recognized as a world center for comprehensive diagnosis and surgical therapy by World War I, became known for its research programs during the 1920s. Laboratories of experimental biochemistry and experimental surgery had already been established. In 1920 Will Mayo hired internist-pharmacologist Leonard Rowntree to build a hospital-based program of clinical research in Rochester, Minnesota. Rowntree assembled a group of internist-investigators that complemented internist Henry Plummer’s team of medical diagnosticians. Much of the research undertaken at Mayo focused on common clinical problems. The institution was among the first to study insulin therapy for diabetes. Steady growth of the multispecialty group practice led to the construction of a twenty-floor outpatient building that opened in 1928. In it, internist-diagnosticians were clustered in sections that reflected their interests in subspecialties, such as cardiology, gastroenterology, or hematology.

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