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Mayo Clinic

Updated on November 29, 2016

Mayo Clinic, a private medical clinic in Rochester, Minn. In addition to treating patients, staff members of the Mayo Clinic carry out a program of medical research and graduate medical education. The clinic is affiliated with and provides the staffs for St. Marys Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital.

The Mayo Clinic developed from the practice of William Worrall Mayo and his sons, William James Mayo and Charles Horace Mayo. William Worrall Mayo was born near Manchester, England, on May 31, 1819. He came to the United States in 1845 and began practicing medicine on the Minnesota frontier in 1854. In 1863 he settled in Rochester. After his two sons became doctors, they went into practice with him.

Modern surgery was in its infancy at that time, and the use of antiseptic procedures was just beginning. The Mayo sons were the first doctors in their part of the country to put these new techniques into practice. They followed new surgical developments by reading and by traveling extensively to see surgeons at work. Soon they gained a reputation as master surgeons.

Much of the work of the Mayo family was done at St. Marys Hospital, which was founded in 1889. The Mayos began to hire assistants in the 1890's, and by 1903 they and their associates were commonly referred to as the Mayo Clinic. By 1910 the Mayo Clinic had become internationally famous.

In 1915, with money earned by the clinic, the Mayo brothers established what is now the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. Two years later the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine became affiliated with the graduate school of the University of Minnesota. The purpose of the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine is to promote research and graduate work in medicine.

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