5¢ Doctors Mayo
Issue Date: September 11, 1964
City: Rochester, MN
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 10 1/2 x 11
U.S. #1251 honors the Mayo brothers, who founded the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. The stamp pictures James Earle Fraser’s statues of Dr. William and Dr. Charles Mayo in surgical gowns. Printed in green, the symbolic color of medicine, the stamp also shows the staff of Aesculapius, a symbol of healing.
The Founding of the Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic evolved in stages, beginning with the practice of Dr. William W. Mayo and his two sons, Dr. William J. Mayo and Dr. Charles H. Mayo, in Rochester, Minnesota. This practice flourished, and in 1914, the sons built their own medical center in Rochester. Due to their great success, which meant a large number of patients, and the vast increase in medical knowledge, William and Charles Mayo added more doctors to their staff.
Some of the new doctors focused their attention on specific tasks, such as laboratory work or diagnostics. This medical center was the beginning of what has become known as the “group practice.” As William Mayo said, “Individualism in medicine can no longer exist.” “It (has become) necessary to develop medicine as a cooperative science: the clinician, the specialist, and the laboratory workers uniting for the good of the patient.”
Thus the Mayo Clinic introduced the concept of medical specialties, including orthopedics (1912), neurology (1913), thoracic surgery (1915), dermatology (1916), and pediatrics (1917). This concept of medical treatment resulted in many innovations, including having the patient’s medical records in a single file, which is made available at each treatment.
In 1919, the Mayo brothers turned over their practice, and the majority of their life savings, to a not-for-profit, charitable organization that maintains the Mayo Clinic. More than five million people have been treated at the Mayo Clinic, which today includes three clinics and four hospitals. These facilities employ 25,000 doctors, scientists, nurses, and health workers united to serve patients. This makes the Mayo Clinic one of the world’s largest medical centers.