William and Charles Mayo: Their Influence on American Medicine
He involved his sons in all aspects of his work: whether he needed help giving ether to remove a tumor or dressing a wound. The two boys were immersed in healing and, like their father before them, they never strayed from their calling to become doctors.3,4
W illiam James Mayo (1861-1939), the eldest son, was born on June 29, 1861. He was a quiet, intelligent boy and these traits carried him throughout his amazing career. His aptitude for observation and his patience guided him toward forceful advocacy of new surgical concepts. He went to medical school at the University of Michigan and graduated in 1883. After receiving his degree, he returned home to help his father in an extensive practice. The same qualities also applied to the youngest Mayo son. Charles Horace Mayo (1865-1936) was born on July 19, 1865. Charles was the jovial, personable son. In 1888 he received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School.5'8 The Mayos decided that he should not go to the University of Michigan, because they felt that it was important to be exposed to different theories. After finish ing his studies in medicine, Charles returned home to join the family practice, which had become increasingly busy with three physicians. They all had good reputations, but were increasingly frustrated with the prevailing individuality in the practice of medicine.