One of the Mayo brothers' major contributions to medicine was the development of the private group practice concept. In a 1910 address, Dr. William J. Mayo detailed some of the circumstances that fostered this movement:
"As we grow in learning, we more justly appreciate our dependence upon each other. The sum-total of medical knowledge is now so great and wide-spreading that it would be futile for one man to attempt to acquire, or for any one man to assume that he has, even a good working knowledge of any large part of the whole. The very necessities of the case are driving practitioners into cooperation. The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered, and in order that the sick may have the benefit of advancing knowledge, union of forces is necessary."
The Mayo founders believed that the combined wisdom of one's peers is greater than any individual. Today's core principle for the practice of medicine at Mayo Clinic is an integrated team of compassionate, multi-disciplinary physicians, scientists and allied health professionals who are focused on the needs of patients.
The group practice of medicine evolved naturally as physicians, medical professionals and administrators worked together to solve practical problems. What was significant is that the Mayos believed in collaboration and provided the resources and time required to foster what was then a revolutionary way to practice medicine.