Mayo Clinic

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Main campus in downtown Rochester, Minnesota.

Mayo Clinic is an internationally renowned medical practice based in Rochester, Minnesota, USA integrated with hospital facilities and a medical school. The first and largest facilities of Mayo Clinic are also located in Rochester, but it also runs additional hospitals and physician practices in Jacksonville, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, Mayo Clinic operates a number of smaller clinics and hospitals in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, known as the "Mayo Health System". Mayo Clinic was ranked the second best hospital in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report in 2007[1] and 2006, and is consistently ranked by other sources as one of the best hospitals in the United States. The Mayo integrated group practice is recognized throughout the world.[2]

The main building of the Mayo Clinic rising behind the Mayo Medical School student center.

The term "clinic" in the Mayo Clinic's name normally implies a single small outpatient facility. The Mayo Clinic did begin as such, but it is now a comprehensive health care system in its home region of southern Minnesota and neighboring states (the Mayo Health System) and provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient care through its hospitals and clinics. It is also a medical research organization of nationwide scope and global reputation, including both schools of graduate education and the medical school, a part of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Historically, the Mayo Clinic was the first educational institution to train physician residents, pioneering the current model of post graduate medical education.

The primary value at the Mayo Clinic is, "The needs of the patient come first." The mission is, "Mayo will provide the best care to every patient every day through integrated clinical practice, education, and research."[3]

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Entrance to the Gonda Building in downtown Rochester.

In terms of revenue, Mayo Clinic is the state's second-largest non-profit organization, after health insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of Minnesota. In 2004, the organization took in US$5.6 billion. In terms of nonprofit funding the Mayo Clinic is the largest in Minnesota, with a 2006 income from donations of 266 million dollars.[citation needed] The education and research activities of the Clinic are funded in part by the net revenues of the clinical practice.

Statistics for 2004: 513,377 unique patients, 2,271,484 total outpatient visits, 130,093 hospital admissions, and 599,002 hospital days of patient care.

Mayo Clinic is significant in the way the medical physicians are paid. In most health care systems, medical doctors are paid based on the number of patients that they see. The more patients seen, the more a doctor gets paid. At Mayo Clinic, medical doctors are paid a salary that is unaffected by patient volume. Salaries are determined instead by the marketplace salaries for physicians in comparable large group practices. This allows the doctors to spend time with their patients and not worry so much about time constraints. Thus, the problem of financial incentives that normally exist for physicians and surgeons to do more procedures and operations is greatly reduced by this system.


Bronze of the Mayo brothers, "Dr. Will" and "Dr. Charlie", with the Gonda Building of Mayo Clinic behind them.

Mayo Clinic evolved from the frontier practice of Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his two sons, William James Mayo (1861–1939) and Charles Horace Mayo (1865–1939). Dr. William Worrall Mayo emigrated from Salford, United Kingdom to the United States in 1846 and became a doctor.

Dr. Mayo's two sons began their medical education at their father's side, observing and later by assisting their father on patient visits and with autopsies. "Dr. Will" (as he was known) graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1883 and "Dr. Charlie" graduated from Rush Medical College of Northwestern University in 1888. After graduation both returned to Rochester and joined their father's practice.

In 1883, an F5 tornado struck Rochester, causing a substantial number of deaths and injuries. Dr. W. W. Mayo worked with nuns from the Sisters of St. Francis to treat the survivors. After this, Mother Alfred Moes and the Drs. Mayo recognized the need for a hospital and joined together to build the 27-bed Saint Marys Hospital which opened in 1889; today, the hospital has 1,157 beds. In 1986, Saint Marys integrated formally with the Clinic. The Clinic also operates Methodist Hospital in Rochester, as well as hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona.

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The Mayo and Gonda buildings. The silver structure in front is one of Mayo's parking structures.

In 1892, Dr. Augustus Stinchfield was asked to join the practice by Dr. W. W. Mayo, who considered him to be the best doctor in town next to the Mayos. Once Dr. Stinchfield joined the practice, William Worrall Mayo retired at the age of 73.

Dr. Henry Stanley Plummer become a partner in the Clinic practice 1901. He is considered by many to be the "architect of the modern medical practice." He designed many of the systems which are now universally used around the world today, such as a shared, individual dossier-style medical record and an interconnecting telephone system. He was well known for his pioneering work on the diseases of the thyriod. While the Mayo brothers excelled as surgeons, Dr. Plummer is largly credited with establishing and developing the diagnostic and clinical aspects of the practice. Dr. Wilson was hired by the Clinic in 1907 - at Dr. Henry Plummer's urging - to establish research and diagnostic laboratories.

The Mayo Clinic founders and partners were the Drs. Mayo, Dr. Stinchfield, Dr. Graham, Dr. Henry Plummer, Dr. Millet, Dr. Judd, and Dr. Balfour. These partners shared in the profits of the private practice, while other staff were salaried. In 1919, this group created the Mayo Properties Association, and their private practice become a not-for-profit entity. The Mayo bothers, who had retained ownership of all the Clinic properties and furnishings, gave everything to this newly formed association. The integrated group practice has it roots firmly planted in this early partnership.

The Clinic's Plummer Building, was designed by the architectural firm of Ellerbe & Round, with considerable input from Clinic staff, and all under the guidance of Dr. Henry Plummer. At the time of completion in 1928, it was the tallest building in Minnesota outside the Twin Cities. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and has recently been undergoing an award winning restoration of its bell tower. The partnership between Ellerbe & Round and Henry Plummer was very close. The Ellerbe firm is the architect of record for the 1914 Mayo "Red" building, the 1922 Mayo Institute of Experimental Medicine, the 1927 "Plummer" building, the 1954 Mayo building, the new 2002 Gonda building, as well as the Rochester Methodist Hospital. The Mayo campus in Rochester occupies roughly three times the area of the Mall of America.

Of note, the Drs. Mayo helped found the medical school at the University of Minnesota with a two million dollar gift in 1917, and until the early 1970's, staff doctors were professors at the medical school. Later in 1972, the Mayo Clinic began its own medical school in Rochester. [4]

Today, Mayo Clinic is led by President and CEO, Denis A. Cortese, MD who makes $745,000 per year (FY ending 12/2005).

Public trustees include:


Rather than using the typical insurance and patient billing system, Mayo Clinic uses a comprehensive patient financial counseling system. Patients are appraised of costs and possible financial support that could come from their insurance companies. Fees are typically much higher than in a standard practice. However, Mayo Clinic explains on their website, and many patients have been quoted stating that the costs are well-mediated by this financial counseling system and by the benefits of the group practice in reducing their expected future health costs. Patients report non-typical experiences with Mayo Clinic physical exams and treatments, typified by long waiting lists for a first exam, half-day and full-day visits to the clinic, and being seen by two to ten doctors in one visit. Mayo Clinic is known for finding diseases missed by other doctors, sometimes long series of them over years or decades, often saving lives from detecting rare diseases and detecting cancers earlier than other practices would normally detect them.

Notable and famous patients

Rochester, MN Buildings

Jacksonville, FL Buildings

Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ Buildings

A virtual tour of some Mayo Arizona buildings is available here.[1]

See also


External links

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