Tradition & Heritage Timeline Artifacts  
The Origins of the Mayo Foundation
To Heal the Sick and Advance the Science

When Dr. William J. and Dr. Charles H. Mayo gave the assets of their private medical practice -- and the majority of their personal savings -- to establish what is today Mayo Foundation, they ensured a balance among patient care, education and research. In so doing, Dr. Will said, "We want to make the medical experience of the past generation available for the coming one and so on indefinitely, so that each new generation shall not have to work out its problems independently, but may begin where its predecessors left off."

Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie learned medicine by first observing and later assisting their father, Dr. W.W. Mayo. As boys they would accompany him on house calls, watching and listening intently, at the bed of each patient. When the elder Dr. Mayo determined that they had absorbed enough through observation, he put his young sons to work at jobs such as bandaging wounds and setting casts.

In this way a tradition of training and education became second nature to the Mayos. All three doctors traveled extensively to learn about the latest advances in medicine and stayed long enough to acquire the needed skills and bring them back to Rochester. They recognized the need for a well-trained and educated staff to deliver outstanding care to patients.

They put an equal value on research and saw the need to combine patient care, education and research in a single institution dedicated to excellence in medicine.

"It is a great thing to make scientific discoveries of rare value, but it is even greater to be willing to share these discoveries and to encourage other(s) in the same field of research," said Dr. Will.

Education at Mayo encompasses five schools whose programs and graduates are among the most highly ranked in the world. These schools serve as the training ground for many Mayo Clinic physicians, scientists, educators and health sciences professionals.

In 2003, Mayo Clinic established "Mayo Clinic College of Medicine" to serve as a single unifying name for its wide-ranging programs in medical education and research on its three campuses -- Jacksonville, Fla.; Rochester, Minn.; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.

Origins of Mayo Foundation Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

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