The Mayo Clinic is a world-renowned medical practice operated by the Mayo Foundation , a not-for-profit organization based in Rochester, Minnesota. The first and largest facilities of the Mayo Clinic are also located in Rochester, but it also runs additional hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida and Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, the Mayo Foundation operates a number of smaller clinics and hospitals in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
The word "clinic" in the Mayo Clinic's name is rather confusing. Although the term normally implies a single small outpatient facility, and the Mayo Clinic did begin as such, it is now a comprehensive healthcare system in its home region of southern Minnesota (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. The old name appears to have been kept for historical and nostalgic reasons.
The Clinic frequently treats famous people from around the world. Well-known former patients include:
The 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 in 1850. During the American Civil War he was an examining surgeon for the Union enrollment board in Minnesota. In 1864, the Mayos moved to Rochester where the enrollment board was headquartered.
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 Chicago Medical College of Northwestern University in 1888. After graduation both returned to Rochester and joined their father's practice.
In 1883 a 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.