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Marvelous Mayo Clinic.

By far, the largest and most prestigious private-practice medical group in the world is the Mayo Clinic. As an alumnus of the ENT Residency and a former member of the staff, I have tried to return periodically for a visit. Our last trip to Rochester, Minnesota, was in December 2000, and I must report that the progress and growth were truly astounding and impressed your jaded editor and traveler.

The increase in the number and size of major buildings has almost completely changed the appearance of downtown Rochester. All the key buildings are connected by warm tunnels or sky bridges. Buildings now occupy whole streets, requiring significant detours to get around them. When we moved away from Rochester, the Mayo Building was 10 stories high. Within a few years, an additional 10 stories had been added. Now, the massive, new Gonda Building, provided by a grateful donor, is nearing completion. It will connect the Mayo Building with Methodist Hospital. Kerry D. Olsen, MD, a head and neck surgeon, is currently on the Board of Governors and is chairman of the executive committee overseeing the building of this state-of-the-art structure.

The Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery is headed, by Thomas J. McDonald, MD, a very skillful administrator and otologist, and includes 16 otolaryngologists. Four of these physicians do 97% of the head and neck surgery performed at the Mayo Clinic, four are in otology or neurotology, one does facial plastic surgery, one is a pediatric otolaryngologist, two do only medical ENT, two are in general ear, nose and throat, and two travel about the southern Minnesota area, offering general ear, nose and throat services. There are four audiologists with doctorate degrees and a team whose members hold master of science degrees. Additional staff are in facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Florida. There are 20 residents in training, four each for five years.

When I was a member of the staff, I recommended and strongly supported the development of a Mayo Medical School. A medical school was, indeed, established; it was first opened in 1972, and its first class graduated in 1976. The medical school is housed in the beautiful building that was formerly the Rochester Public Library. A dean and three associate deans oversee the school. A current class of 42 students was accepted from more than 4,000 applicants.

Every student must own a computer and be proficient in its use. Scholarships are available to provide total payment of tuition for 50% of the class and between 50 and 75% for the remaining class members. The facilities and opportunities available to these fortunate students are immense.

To me, the Mayo Clinic Library, one of the world's great medical libraries, is the clinic's most outstanding asset. Through dedication, teamwork, and outstanding administration, the Mayo Clinic has found the way to survive, prosper, and excel. I offer my congratulations.

JACK L. PULEC
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Publication:Ear, Nose and Throat Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2001
Words:481
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