Appreciating all that makes America special

Americana: Mayo Clinic

Physicians at the Mayo Clinic are paid a salary, not by patient volume. It's one way the medical center stays focused on patients and their needs. Uploaded to Flickr by James Neeley.

Today, “Mayo Clinic” is synonymous with medical excellence. U.S. News and World Report ranks it the number two hospital in the United States, just behind Johns Hopkins. But the Mayo Clinic’s history and influence makes it unique in American medicine today.

The Clinic grew from the practice of family doctor William W. Mayo in the rural town of Rochester, Minnesota. It was Dr. Mayo’s two sons, Dr. William J. Mayo and Dr. Charles Mayo, who took their father’s practice and made it into the world-recognized center of medicine it has become. As their surgical skills increased, they invited other physicians with other specialties to join them. With the help of one of these physicians, Dr. Henry Plummer, they created one of the world’s first integrated group practices of medicine.

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Today, the Mayo Clinic employs more than 3,300 doctors, researchers, and scientists for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. In Rochester, there are buildings dedicated to patient examination and laboratory work, research, and education. Hospitals there include the 794-bed Rochester Methodist Hospital, the 1,157-bed Saint Marys Hospital, and the 85-bed Mayo Eugenio Litta Children’s Hospital (part of Saint Marys). Education of medical professionals takes place at the Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School. Mayo also has facilities in Scottsdale/Phoenix and in Jacksonville.

But it isn’t the size of the facilities or the number of professionals that makes Mayo Clinic unique. It’s the treatment given to individuals, the time taken with them, the commitment to doing all that’s possible to improve their lives. That’s a legacy of the Mayo family, too, far more important than the bricks and mortar and machinery.

Back to those U.S. News rankings. Here’s where Mayo Clinic’s specialties rank nationally:
Number 1: Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders, Orthopedics, Digestive Disorders, Neurology and Neurosurgery
Number 2: Heart and Heart Surgery, Respiratory Disorders
Number 3: Gynecology, Kidney Disorders, Urology
Number 4: Cancer, Rheumatology
Number 5: Rehabilitation
Number 6: Geriatric Care
Number 7: Psychiatry, Ear, Nose, and Throat


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