Segments in this Video

Mayo Clinic (07:34)


William Mayo, the local doctor in Rochester, Minnesota, and his sons helped treat the wounded from a tornado in 1883 with the help of the Sisters of St. Francis. Mother Alfred had a vision that they would build the greatest medicine center together. The Mayo Clinic has operated for more than 150 years following the principals of faith, hope, and science.

William Mayo (04:38)

Mayo was born into a middle-class family in England, but his father died when he was young. In 1846, he moved to America, where he worked as a chemist and studied medicine. He settled in Rochester, Minnesota and worked as a medical examiner for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Mayo's Rochester Practice (03:49)

After the war, Mayo developed a reputation as the best and most caring doctor. He studied medicine and submitted articles to medical journals. He began investing in new technology, which the Mayo Clinic continues today.

Mayo's Hospital Plans (05:32)

Mayo's sons, Will and Charlie, traveled and assisted their father from a young age. They both became doctors. After the tornado hit Rochester in 1883, Mayo agreed to open a hospital with the Sisters of St. Francis, who worked to raise the money for it.

St. Mary's Hospital (05:43)

Mayo and the Sisters called their hospital St. Mary's. He and his sons worked as doctors, while the Sisters worked as nurses.

The Mayo Brothers (02:51)

Will and Charlie took over their father's practice and role at the clinic. They performed all surgeries, but each developed a specialty. Charlie married Nurse Edith Graham, who was teaching the Sisters about nursing.

Individualism at the Mayo Clinic (04:41)

The Mayo Brothers, like their father, were agnostic but understood the importance of the Sisters' religious care for the patients. The Mayo Clinic still believes that the good of patient is more important than individual belief.

Collaboration at the Mayo Clinic (02:21)

In 1892, the Mayo brothers brought in numerous other doctors to the hospital. The doctors worked together to expand the hospital knowledge of medicine and ensure better patient care. The group approach is still used at the Mayo Clinic today.

The Mayos' Growing Reputation (06:31)

The Mayo brothers were not operating a formalized medical center until the end of the 19th century. Their office and St. Mary's Hospital had gained a reputation for being the most advanced in the country. The brothers studied and shared surgical techniques, which visiting doctors began calling the Mayos' clinic.

Modernization at the Mayo's Hospital (05:47)

In 1901, the Mayo brothers hired Henry Plummer, who specialized in blood diseases. He modernized their labs to increase research and standardized their records to ensure better care. Other physicians implement new and advance methods at the hospital.

Expansion at St. Mary's Hospital (04:47)

With the Mayo brothers' growing reputation, St. Mary's Hospital was forced to expand numerous times. Patients were being sent from around the world by 1905.

Nursing at the Mayo Clinic (03:46)

The Sisters of St. Francis bought the importance of being caring into nursing at St. Mary's Hospital. They created the culture of nursing that remains at the Mayo Clinic today. In 1906, St. Mary's Hospital opened a training school for nurses.

Healthcare in America (04:14)

The healthcare system in America is based on a customer service model. The Mayo Clinic uses a fair pricing model, similar to how the Mayo brothers would only charge people what they could pay.

Building the Mayo Clinic (04:07)

The Mayo brothers' new hospital, designed by Plummer, opened in 1919. The brothers were making large sums of money but put most of it back into the clinic or medical education programs.

Finance at the Mayo Clinic (07:32)

The Mayo brothers had the clinic be run by a board of governors to create a democratic environment. They made all positions salaried, so doctors made the best decisions for the patients. Researchers at Mayo made numerous important breakthroughs in the 1920s.

New Cures at the Mayo Clinic (04:39)

The Mayo Clinic has developed new technology to help control tremors. Research at Mayo is focused on getting a timely result for the patient.

Rochester and the Mayo Clinic (04:54)

Being a small city, Rochester had a strong sense of community. When the Mayo Clinic began bringing in more patients, the town built more restaurants and hotels to support them. The Mayo Clinic expanded again with a 17-story building that was the tallest in the state at the time.

Failures at the Mayo Clinic (07:28)

The Mayo Clinic's patient-first approach sometimes hindered its abilities to provide treatment. The clinic always treated patients of all races and invited minority doctors, but also allowed patients to refuse a doctor based on race. The first black physician was hired in 1979.

The Mayo Brothers Retire (06:54)

In 1928, Will Mayo noticed a tremor in his hand and Charlie had a minor stroke, which forced both of them to retire from surgery. The clinic suffered during the Great Depression as patient numbers dropped. The low numbers gave doctors more time for research, which led to numerous breakthroughs at the clinic.

The Mayo Brothers' Deaths (06:15)

In 1939, Will, Charlie, and Sister Joseph, the head of St. Mary's Hospital, died within months of each other. Many feared the clinic would go into decline, but it remained and grew.

Continued Work at the Mayo Clinic (08:42)

The Mayo Clinic has sponsored medical teams and built hospitals during wartime. They pioneered the use of CT scans and computers. The high cost of healthcare has made it difficult for the Mayo Clinic to keep its patient-first approach.

Credits: Ken Burns: The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope and Science (02:41)

Credits: Ken Burns: The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope and Science

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Ken Burns: The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope and Science

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This is the story of the renowned institution that has been called the “place for hope when there is no hope.” By combining the history of the institution with stories about present-day patients, the film makes an important contribution to discussions about our commitment to taking care of each other, about the role of money and profit in medicine, and about the very nature of healing itself.

Length: 116 minutes

Item#: BVL166895

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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