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Mayo Hall Ceiling

Mayo Hall Ceiling


Plummer 12 Library Main Room

One of the special architectural features of the of the Plummer  Library located in the historic 1928 Plummer Building is the carved and painted beamed ceiling in the main room, also known as Mayo Hall. Dr. Henry Plummer, for whom the second Mayo Clinic building was named, was an early associate of the Mayo brothers and was the chief architect of the 1914 clinic building, the 1928 building (now the Plummer Building) and Mayo medical record system. Plummer, who also designed the original library floor in the 1928 building, selected sixty prominent physicians and scientists to be memorialized on the ceiling beams of the reading room. After Dr. Plummer's death in 1936 and that of Will and Charlie in 1939, the names of the Mayo brothers were added to the ceiling. No documentation survives relating to Dr. Plummer's choice of the initial 60 names, although presumably he obtained input from his Clinic colleagues including Will and Charlie Mayo. With the addition of the Mayo brother's names in 1939, the ceiling includes 62 prominent physicians and scientists.

The combination of marble arches and double-height, painted beamed ceiling make the architectural space unique. The painted ceiling beams serve as a permanent display of the sixty-two names of notable medical men and women selected to represent the best of science and medicine from antiquity to the mid-1930's. A fishtailed merman and an eagle-winged griffin frame each name.

Click on a nameplate below, or simply scroll down, to find an image and brief biography of the significant contributions these men and women made to science and medicine. Attribution for the images can be found at the bottom of this page. Many of the scholarly published works mentioned in the brief biographies are available as original source materials in the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library. The biographies were written by Ruth J Mann, a former Mayo History of Medicine Librarian.


A fishtailed merman and an eagle-winged griffin frame each name

THOMAS ADDISON (1793-1860) was born at Long Benton, near Newcastle, England. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1815 and went to London to continue his studies at Guy's Hospital, where he was appointed assistant physician in 1824. He was a great teacher as well as physician, and acquired a brilliant reputation.

Addison will always be remembered for his 1855 "Essay on Disease of the Supra-renal Capsules" in which he announced a discovery of remarkable originality and importance: that these organs, not previously known to be the seat of any definite disease, were in certain cases affected in such a way as to produce a fatal malady, with well-marked symptoms, including a remarkable discoloration of the skin, now known as "Addison's disease."

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ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.) was born at Stagira, on the Strymonic Gulf, and hence called "the Stagirite".
This great Greek philosopher was the son of a physician, and was a student of medicine and biology, and made many important observations in natural as well as the metaphysical science.

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ASCLEPIADES OF BITHYNIA (124 B.C.) opposed the concept that morbid conditions are due to a disturbance of the humors of the body. He founded his therapeutic scheme on the efficiency of systematic interference as opposed to the healing power of nature. In his practice he used a regimen of fresh air, light appropriate diet, hydrotherapy, massage, clysters, local applications and sparing use of internal medication. 

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LEOPOLD AUENBRUGGER (1722-1809) was born in 1722 in Graz, Austria, the son of a well-to-do innkeeper. He received his doctor's degree from the University of Vienna in 1752. He was physician to the Spanish Hospital there, until 1762.

In 1761 he published his Inventum novum ex percussione thoracis humani ut signo abstrusos interni pectoris morbos detegende in which he described the result of seven years experience with a new method of physical diagnosis-percussion. He described the technique of percussion, which he performed "slowly and gently with the tip of the fingers brought close together and extended". He also described the sounds given by the normal chest as well as in hydrothorax, in cavities, in hydropericardium, and in cardiac enlargement.

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AVICENNA or IBN SINA (980?-1037) often called Prince of Physicians, was born in Afshena, Persia, the son of a tax collector. He was very precocious, and when he was only 18, his fame as a physician was so great that he was summoned to treat the prince Nuh Ibn Mansur. His therapy was successful, and he became more famous. He wrote poetry as well as books on all the sciences.

He is especially remembered for his great Canon (Al Qaniun) the most famous medical textbook ever written, and used longer than any other work. Five hundred years after it was written, the Canon was a required textbook at the University of Vienna.

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FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626) Baron Verulam, Viscount St. Albans was a great English philosopher, lawyer, statesman, essayist and Lord Chancellor. The inductive method of investigation, described in his Novum Organum in 1620, which involves reasoning from a part to a whole, from the individual to the universal, and since referred to as the inductive method, was necessary for the development of modern science. Bacon's political career ended in disaster in 1621 when he was convicted of bribery and corrupt dealing in chancery suits, but his scientific reputation remains unblemished.

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WILLIAM BEAUMONT (1785-1853) was born in Lebanon, Connecticut. He studied medicine as an apprentice under Dr. Benjamin Chandler of St. Albans, Vermont. In 1812 after two years experience, he was granted a license to practice by the medical society of Vermont. Beaumont became an army surgeon. In 1822 he was stationed at Fort Mackinac when the French-Canadian voyageur, Alexis St. Martin was shot in the abdomen. The wound did not heal, but a large gastric fistula formed. Beaumont nursed, fed and supported St. Martin, and also performed many experiments on digestion. In 1833 he published the great classic: Experiment and observations on the gastric juice, and physiology of digestion.

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SIR CHARLES BELL (1774-1842) was one of six children of the Reverend William Bell, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church of Scotland. He and his brother John, a well-known surgeon and anatomist in Edinburgh, were both accomplished artists. In 1799 Charles was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons, and in 1806 moved to London, where he taught anatomy at the Great Windmill Street School. In 1836 he became professor of surgery at Edinburgh.

Bell was the author of many distinguished medical works, and has been credited with the discovery that the posterior roots of the spinal cord have a sensory function. However, some give François Magendie credit for this discovery. Bell demonstrated that the fifth facial nerve is both sensory and motor in function, and that a lesion of the VIIth facial nerve produces paralysis of the face, hence the eponym, "Bell's Palsy".

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CLAUDE BERNARD (1813-1878) was born in the French village of St. Julien in 1813. As a youth he worked in a pharmacy, but it was his ambition to become a dramatist. A Parisian critic, however, discouraged him, advising him instead: "you have studied pharmacy, study medicine, you will thereby much more surely gain a livelihood."

Bernard did study medicine, and became assistant to the great physiologist, François Magendie. The pupil went on to eclipse the fame of his preceptor, and became, perhaps, the greatest of all physiologists. His discoveries are many. Some of them being only fully understood and applied today. His three outstanding contributions were the demonstration of the role played by the pancreatic juice in digestion, his discovery of the glycogenic function of the liver, and the demonstration of the vaso-motor mechanism.

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MARIE FRANÇOIS XAVIER BICHAT (1771-1802) has been called "the father of descriptive anatomy". He was born at Thoirette in the Department of Jura, France. After studying medicine at Montpellier, Lyon and Paris, he was appointed physician to the Hôtel Dieu. He was interested in the pathological processes, and exhausted himself with hard work, performing more than 600 autopsies during one winter. This experience he transcribed in his classic books, the most important of which was Anatomie générale (1801), a detailed description of the tissues of the body in health and in disease. He stressed the importance of the systems of the body, and his work had a profound influence upon both pathology and clinical medicine.

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CHRISTIAN ALBERT THEODOR BILLROTH (1829-1894) more than any surgeon of his day, was responsible for development of modern surgery of the gastrointestinal tract. He was born on the Island of Ruegen, and studied at Greifswald, Göttingen and Berlin. He became famous as a teacher of surgical pathology and wrote an excellent treatise Die allgemeine chirurgische Pathologie und Therapie, (1863). His great surgical triumphs included the first resection of the esophagus (1872) the first resection of the pylorus for cancer (1881), and the first excision of the larynx.

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HERMANN BOERHAAVE (1668-1738) was born at Voorhout, near Leyden, The Netherlands. After receiving both a doctor's degree in philosophy and medicine, he began to practice medicine at Leyden, and became a professor of medicine and botany. He was the most famous European physician, and counted many famous people among his patients including Tsar Peter the Great.

His writings were very influential during the eighteenth century, but are little read today. His greatest contribution to modern medicine was perhaps the example he set for his many pupils of learning and teaching by the bedside, with his careful routine of making rounds each day.

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RICHARD BRIGHT (1789-1858) was the son of a wealthy banker of Bristol, England and received a good education with many opportunities to travel. Bright studied at Guy's Hospital in 1810, and in 1813 received his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh. After a period of travel, he began to practice in London, and was appointed assistant physician to Guy's Hospital, where he worked and taught for forty years.

In Reports of Medical Cases (1827) Bright pointed out the association between diseased kidneys, dropsy and albuminous urine and clearly defined the disease since known by his name. The beautiful illustrations added to the value of the work.

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AULUS CORNELIUS CELSUS (25 B.C.-50 A.D.) was a member of a noble Roman family, who wrote an encyclopedia to assemble the knowledge he collected. Although he was not a physician, the De re medicina contained many excellent descriptions of Roman medical beliefs.

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JEAN MARTIN CHARCOT (1825-1893) was one of the greatest neurologists. He was born in Paris, graduated from the University of Paris, and in 1862 became physician to the Salpêtrière. In 1872 he became professor of pathological anatomy, and in 1882 he was appointed to the newly established position of professor of nervous diseases where he created a great clinic of neurology.

He studied the pathological lesions in locomotor ataxia and described gastric crises and the trophic joint affections (Charcot's joint) in this disease. He differentiated the Aran-Duchenne progressive muscular atrophy from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and separated paralysis agitans from multiple sclerosis.

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BARON JEAN NICOLAS CORVISART DES MAREST (1755-1821) was born in the small French village of Dricourt in Champagne in 1755. He received his M.D. in 1785. In 1797, he was appointed professor of practical medicine in the Collège de France, the highest teaching honor in France. In 1806 he wrote the best treatise on cardiac disease of its time: Essai sur les maladies et les lesions organiques du coeur et des grow vaisseaux (1806), in which he classified heart disease on the basis of the anatomical structures involved-pericardium, heart muscle, endocardium and valves. He described with great accuracy mitral and aortic valvular lesions, and tricuspid stenosis.

In his second great work: Nouvelle methode pour reconnaitre les maladies internes, Corvisart translated Leopold Auenbrugger's Inventum novum and established percussion as a diagnostic method.

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SIR WILLIAM CROOKES (1832-1919) was born in London. His life was one of unbroken scientific activity, and his work extended over both chemistry and physics. He was the discoverer of the selenocyanides, thallium, the repulsion resulting from radiation. One of his contributions of great importance to medicine was his invention of the Crookes tube.

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WILLIAM CULLEN (1710-1790) was born in Hamilton, Scotland, and studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, where he received his degree in 1740. He built up a large practice in Edinburgh, but achieved his great fame because of his clear, forceful, and logical teaching. His Synopsis nosologiae methodicae (1769) in which he attempted to classify all diseases, and his First Lines on the Practice of Physick (1776-1789) had a great influence upon medical practice of his contemporaries. He was one of the most popular medical authors in colonial America.

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PIERRE CURIE (1859-1906) and MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE (1867-1934) are the most famous husband and wife team in the history of science. In 1898 they announced their discovery of radium, for which they received the Nobel prize for physics in 1903.

After Pierre's death in a tram accident in 1906, Madame Curie continued their important studies on radioactivity, and was the recipient of many honors, including the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1911.

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Wikipedia Marie
Wikipedia Pierre

NATHAN SMITH DAVIS (1817-1904) founded the American Medical Association in 1847, an association that did much to improve the standard of medical education and medical practice in the United States.

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PAUL EHRLICH (1854-1915) was born in Strehlen, a small town in Silesia. He received his medical education at Strassburg, Freiburg and Leipzig, where he received his medical degree in 1878. His first important contribution was his well-known stain for the blood, which demonstrated by the specific staining of the granules in the polymorpho-nuclear leukocytes the three primary blood types we recognize today, a great advance for hematology.

His work on immunity and toxins and systematic study of chemotherapy, particularly his study of the therapeutic effects of arsenical compounds in experimental syphilis, which resulted in his discovery of Salvarsan, or 606, in 1910, which was of fundamental importance in modern medicine.

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MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867) born at Newington Butts, Surrey, England, was one of the greatest experimental scientists of all times. He is best known for his work in electricity, the discoverer of electromagnetic induction. The magnitude of his contribution is shown by the list of scientific terms he introduced: electrode, anode, cathode, anion, cation, ion and ionization. His work with nitrous oxide was important in the history of anesthesia.

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GALEN (129 A.D.-199 A.D.) was a Greek born in Pergamon, Asia Minor in 129 A.D. He began his medical studies at the age of seventeen, but at the age of 33 went to Rome. He became one of the most famous physicians of all time. For 14 centuries his medical books were considered the most authoritative. He was an original thinker, and much of his work on anatomy, physiology and medicine merits admiration from an historical perspective.

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ROBERT JAMES GRAVES (1796-1853) was born in Dublin, Ireland where he obtained the M.D. degree in 1818. He was a fine clinical teacher, and as physician to Meath Hospital he reorganized medical teaching, insisting that medical students take charge of the patients and report the diagnosis. In 1835 he described in a paper published in the London Medical and Surgical Journal "a newly observed affection of the thyroid gland in females" since known as Graves' disease.

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SAMUEL DAVID GROSS (1805-1884) was born in Easton, Pennsylvania. He obtained the M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1828, at which institution he was called to the chair of surgery thirty years later. He was one of the most skilled and famous American surgeons of his time and wrote many authoritative works in his field. His Elements of Pathologic Anatomy was the first exhaustive treatise on the subject in English.

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WILLIAM HARVEY (1578-1657) was born at Folkstone, England and educated at Gonville, Caius College, Cambridge and at Padua. In 1615 he was appointed Lumleian lecturer to the College of Physicians. His first lectures were in a mixture of Latin and English. One entry reads: "W.H. demonstrates by the structure of the heart that the blood is constantly passed through the lungs into the aorta… He demonstrates by the ligature the passage of blood from the arteries to veins. Thus is proved a perpetual motion of the blood in a circle caused by the pulsation of the heart."

In 1628 he published his Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus, the establishment of knowledge of circulation of the blood, and the beginning of modern experimental medicine.

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HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ (1821-1894) was born in Potsdam, Germany near Berlin in 1821. He was very precocious, and showed unusual mathematical ability. He received his M.D. in 1842 from Berlin, where he was a student of a famous teacher of physiology, Johannes Müller. In 1847 he read his famous essay on the conservation of energy in which he showed mathematically that all forms of energy, such as heat, light, electricity, and chemical phenomena, can be transformed from one form to another but which are indestructible. In 1851 he invented the ophthalmoscope, Beschreibung eines Augen - spiegels zur Untersuchung der Netzhaut im lebenden Auge. He made fundamental contributions to physiological optics and physics and physiology of sound.

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HIPPOCRATES (460-375 B.C.) was born on Cos, an island just off the coast of Asia Minor. He belonged to the famous medical family of the Aesclepiades. During his life he was a very famous physician.

The Hippocratic Corpus, the most important group of medical works from classic Greece, contains many of his own works. He has been famous throughout the ages for his classic description of disease, his attribution of natural rather than divine forces as a cause of disease, and the high standard of professional ethics contained in the famous Oath.

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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES (1809-1894) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is probably known to most for his clever, original literary works, such as The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table and his poetry. He was, however, a physician, receiving his M.D. in 1836, and a most distinguished and famous professor of anatomy and physiology at Harvard Medical School, later Dean, 1847-1853. His lasting medical fame comes from an epochal essay he wrote in 1848 on the Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever in which he pointed out that the disease was frequently carried by the physician from one patient to another.

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JOHN HUNTER (1728-1793) was also born at Long Calderwood, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He joined his famous brother William in London in 1748, where he helped him teach anatomy. The brothers disagreed on who should receive credit for some anatomical discoveries, and became estranged.

John became a famous surgeon as well as comparative anatomist and collector. He was a great teacher and attracted a group of brilliant pupils. His four masterpieces reveal the versatility of his genius: The Natural History of the Human Teeth, 1771; A Treatise on the Venereal Disease, 1786; Observations on Certain Parts of the Animal Oeconomy, 1786; and Treatise on Blood, Inflammation, and Gun Shot Wounds, 1794.

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WILLIAM HUNTER (1718-1783) was born at Long Calderwood, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He studied and worked with William Cullen in Glasgow and Alexander Monro in Edinburgh. Working later in London, he gave lectures in anatomy and began the practice of obstetrics, both of which made him famous. In 1774 he published the beautiful atlas Anatomia uteri humani gravidi tabula illustrata…The anatomy of the human gravid uterus exhibited in figures, a very famous anatomical work.

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EDWARD JENNER (1749-1823) was born in Berkeley, England. He became one of the favorite pupils of John Hunter, but decided against practicing in London. He returned instead to his native village as a country doctor.

In 1798 he published the classic: An inquiry into the causes and effects of the variolae vaccinae, a disease discovered in some of the western counties of England, particularly Gloucestershire, and known by the name of cow pox. This great contribution to medicine was received with some opposition, but Jenner's method was quickly adopted, and brought him world-wide fame. His discovery ranks with the greatest in medicine.

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ROBERT KOCH (1843-1910) was born in Klausthal, Hanover, Germany. He graduated at Gôttingen in 1866, and began his career as a country practitioner. In 1876 he demonstrated to Ferdinand Cohn of Breslau his work on the etiology of anthrax based on the development of the anthrax bacillus. In 1878 he published his important monograph on wound infections. In 1880 he was appointed to a position in the Imperial Health Office where in 1881 he developed a new method of obtaining pure cultures of bacteria by using a meat infusion mixed with warm gelatin, which hardened after being poured upon glass plates. This was a very important advance for bacteriology. In 1882, Koch discovered the tubercle bacillus. He also discovered tuberculin, which was not a cure of tuberculosis but proved to be of great value in diagnosis of the disease.

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RENÉ THÉOPHILE HYACINTHE LAENNEC (1781-1826) was born at Quimper in Brittany, France. He studied medicine first with an uncle at Nantes, and then went to Paris where he became a pupil of Corvisart and received his medical degree in 1804. In 1816 he invented the stethoscope. The first edition of his great classic De l'auscultation médiate was published in 1819, the second in 1826. Both contain important new information, and brought fame to the author. With the work of Laennec modern clinical medicine begins.

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ANTOINE LAURENT LAVOISIER (1743-1794) was born in Paris in 1743 and was executed on the guillotine as an "enemy of the people" in 1794. In 1775 he discovered oxygen. Lavoisier's discoveries in the field of respiration are comparable to those of Harvey on circulation. He is considered by some to be the founder of modern chemistry.

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ANTONIE VON LEEUWENHOEK (1632-1723) was born in Delft, The Netherlands. He had no scientific education but devised his own microscope, and made some important observations. In his more than 200 letters to the Royal Society he described bacteria, protozoa, the capillary circulation in the tail of an eel, spermatozoa, the striped character of the voluntary muscle and the structure of the crystalline lens.

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THOMAS LINACRE (1460?-1524) was born at Canterbury, England. He received his medical degree from Padua in Italy and then returned to England to teach Greek and practice medicine at Oxford. He was tutor and physician to Prince Arthur and Henry VIII. He was a great scholar as well as physician. One of his major contributions to medicine was his persuading the king to establish the Royal College of Physicians of London.

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JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912) was born in London, and in 1844 entered University College, London. He received his M.D. degree in 1852. Impressed by the surgery of Professor Syme of Edinburgh, he became his resident house surgeon, and later married Syme's daughter. In March 1865 the development of antiseptic surgery began when he first employed carbolic acid in the treatment of a compound fracture.

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CARL LUDWIG (1816-1895) was a native of Witzenhausen, Germany and graduated from Marburg in 1839. This great physiologist developed a well known theory of the secretion of urine, and in 1847 invented the kymograph, an indispensable instrument of physiological research. He is also remembered through the contribution of his more than 200 students.

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FRANÇOIS MAGENDIE (1783-1855) a great physiologist and precursor of Claude Bernard, was born in Bordeaux, France in 1783. His major physiologic contributions included the development of methods of experimental physiology in France, study of deglutition and the mechanics of the digestive tract, determining the properties of the cerebrospinal fluid, and study of the mechanics of circulation. His greatest contribution (which he shared with Charles Bell) was the proof that the anterior spinal nerves are motor and the posterior, sensory in function.

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CHARLES HORACE MAYO (1865-1939) was born in Rochester, Minnesota. In partnership with his brother, William J. Mayo, he began the group practice of medicine and surgery which resulted in the formation of the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. He received the degree of M.D. in 1888 from Northwestern University and in 1889 from New York Polyclinic. He was recognized as a leader and held the following offices in professional organizations: American Medical Association - President, American College of Surgeons - President, American Surgical Association - President. He was recognized internationally for surgery, especially surgery of the thyroid.

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WILLIAM JAMES MAYO (1861-1939) was born in LeSeur, Minnesota. In partnership with his brother, Charles H. Mayo, he began the group practice of medicine and surgery which resulted in the formation of the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. He received his M.D. degree in 1883 and an M.A. degree from the University of Michigan. He pursued an M. A. at the New York Postgraduate Medical School. He served in the following leadership roles in his profession: Minnesota Medical Association - President, American Medical Association - President, American College of Surgeons - President, American Surgical Association - President. He gained international fame in surgery, especially surgery of the gastrointestinal tract.

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JOHN MAYOW (1643-1679) native of London, was one of the very distinguished group of England scientists at Oxford, who were instrumental in founding the Royal Society. His great work Tractatus quinque medico-physici quorum primus agit de sal-nitro, et spiritu nitro-aereo (1674) showed that there was a particular constituent of air, which also supports a combustion and is contained in nitre, which he therefore called "nitro-aerial spirit", the portion of the air which the animal absorbs during respiration.

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SILAS WEIR MITCHELL (1829-1914) was born in Philadelphia. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1850. During the Civil War he studied nerve injuries in Turner's Lane Hospital in Philadelphia, and his observations were recorded later in the very important neurologic work Injuries to Nerves and Their Consequences, 1872. Pathological states which he described include causalgia (1864), erythromelalgia (1872), post paraplegic chorea (1874). He also advocated treatment of disease by the rest treatment, described in his monograph Fat and Blood (1877).

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GIOVANNI BATTISTA MORGAGNI (1682-1771) was born in Forli, Italy. After he received his medical degree at Bologna, where he was a favorite pupil of Valsalva, he was appointed to the faculty at Padua, where he remained all his life. He had a most distinguished career, received many honors, and wrote many important books. His greatest contribution, however, was not published until 1761 when he was 79 years of age. De sedibus, et causis morborum per anatomen indagatis libri quinque consists of a vast array of pathological findings, well arranged and indexed, each preceded by a minute history of the disease, the symptoms present, the treatment employed, and finally a discussion of the relationship between the clinical picture and the autopsy findings. It was the beginning of the science of pathology.

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WILLIAM THOMAS GREEN MORTON (1819-1868) was a native of Charlton, Massachusetts. He is supposed to have graduated from the Baltimore College of Dentistry, but no record of a degree being granted to him has been found. He became interested in anesthesia when he practiced with Dr. Horace Wells, and conceived the idea of ether inhalation. This he demonstrated at an operation performed by Dr. John C. Warren, at Massachusetts General Hospital, October 16, 1846. The news spread swiftly, and ether anethesia was accepted quickly.

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FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE (1820-1910) was born into a wealthy English family. She became appalled by the poor nursing conditions in England and decided to devote her life to the reform of nursing. In 1854, Miss Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses took charge of a huge unsanitary barrack hospital at Scutari. The care she was able to give to the sick and wounded soldiers of the Crimean War made her a national heroine, and she was able to accomplish many of her goals.

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SIR WILLIAM OSLER (1849-1919) was born in Bond Head, Canada. He received his M.D. in 1872 from McGill University in Montreal. He first taught physiology at McGill, then clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and then became professor of medicine in the newly founded Johns Hopkins Medical School. In 1892 he published his popular Principles and Practice of Medicine, which went through eight editions during his lifetime. He was elected and served as the second President of the Medical Library Association from 1901-1904. He concluded his teaching career by becoming Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford in 1905. Osler achieved fame as a teacher, investigator, author, scholar, and bibliophile, and is remembered by his students and their students with great admiration and love.

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THEOPHRASTUS BOMBASTUS VON HOHENHEIM, called PARACELSUS (1493-1541) was born in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. One of the most controversial figures in medicine, he is either called a ridiculous charlatan, half-baked theorist or an honest man who was a great physician and a staunch fighter for what he considered the truth, who by his empirical observations of nature helped establish the experimental basis of science and medicine.

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AMBROISE PARÉ (1510-1590) was born at Bourg Hersent, a little village near Laval in the province of Maine, France. He was apprenticed to a barber surgeon in Paris in 1532, and soon became surgeon to the largest hospital in Paris, the Hôtel Dieu. He then became a military surgeon, and in his first battle experience, found that it was not necessary to treat wounds with boiling oil, thus saving much suffering.

Paré had a most illustrious career, but he is remembered for his writings, which were in the vernacular, and well illustrated. The pictures of artificial hands and legs, etc. are particularly interesting today. He invented many new surgical instruments, and revived the Greek method of podalic version in difficult labor.

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LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895) was born in Dôle, France, the son of a tanner. He received his bachelor of science degree from the College of Besançon in 1840. He received his doctorate in 1848, for interesting work on the crystals of tartaric acid. He made many fundamental contributions. Pasteur finally disproved the theory of spontaneous generation, and proved the germ theory of disease. His practical methods of controlling silkworm disease, anthrax, chicken cholera, and the diseases of wine and beer brought immense financial gain to France. He also developed a successful treatment for rabies

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WALTER REED (1851-1902) was born in Gloucester County, Virginia and received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1869. He entered the Medical Corp of the U.S. Army in 1875. During the Spanish-American War he was made chief of the commission to study the origin and spread of typhoid fever in army camps, which concluded that the flies were the most important carriers of disease. In 1900 he was appointed chief of the Yellow Fever Commission, and with Dr. James Carroll, Dr. Jesse W. Lazear and Dr. Aristide Agramonte, proved that yellow fever was transmitted by the bite of the stegomyia mosquito.

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WILHELM CONRAD RÖNTGEN (1845-1923) was born in Lennep, Rhineland and received his early education in Holland. He studied in Utrecht and Zurich, where he received his Ph.D. degree. In 1885 he went to Würzburg as professor of physics and director of the institute of physics. Here he discovered in 1895, the Röntgen Rays-one of the greatest discoveries in physics and a discovery of great value to medicine.

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BENJAMIN RUSH (1745-1813) was born in Byberry, Pennsylvania. He received his medical training at the College of New Jersey (Princeton). He was one of the most famous and influencial physicians in the American colonies, and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. His reputation today is lessened by his treatment of bleeding and purging in yellow fever, but his Medical Inquiries and Observations upon Diseases of the Mind (1812) based on his personal observations of mental patients at Pennsylvania Hospital was the first American textbook on psychiatry and remained the only one for 70 years. He noted the role of heredity, injuries and malformation of the brain, diseases of the body, drugs in the production of mental diseases, and advocated humane treatment of the insane.

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OSWALD SCHMIEDEBERG (1838-1921) was born in Laidsen, Courland and received his doctor's degree at Dorpat in 1871. One of the greatest of modern pharmacologists, he isolated digitoxin from digitalis, and studied the effects of many drugs on circulation.

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MICHAEL SERVETUS (1511-1553) was born at Tudela, Spain. He studied medicine and law, but his main interest was theology and philosophy. He was persecuted for his beliefs by both Catholics and Protestants, and was in exile for all of his adult life. He was burned at the stake for heresy in Geneva.

His name is remembered in medicine for his almost incidental description of pulmonary circulation.

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JAMES YOUNG SIMPSON (1811-1870) was born in Bathgate, Scotland. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and received his M.D. degree in 1832. In 1840 he was elected professor of midwifery in the University of Edinburgh. On January 19, 1847, Simpson introduced ether anesthesia into his obstetrical practice, but because of its disagreeable qualities, soon sought a substitute. On November 10, 1847, he read a paper before the Edinburgh Chirurgical Society describing his use of chloroform anesthesia. This method gained great popularity, and Simpson much fame when Queen Victoria received chloroform anesthesia during the birth of her eighth child in 1853.

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JAMES MARION SIMS (1813-1883) was born in South Carolina. He received his M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1835. In 1852 he published a paper announcing the cure of a vesico-vaginal fistula by an original method. This was greeted by incredulity at first but was then accepted. He is considered to be the founder of gynecology in the United States.

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THOMAS SYDENHAM (1624-1689) was born at Wynford Eagle, England in 1624. He entered Oxford in 1642, but left to join the Parliamentary Army. After the Civil War he continued his medical studies at Oxford and abroad.

He is called the English Hippocrates because he wrote descriptions of disease unrivaled since the time of Hippocrates. He recorded important observations on dysentery, scarlet fever, scarlatina, measles, chorea minor, small pox, gout and rheumatism.

He was also like Hippocrates in that he had great faith in the healing powers of nature and had a guiding principle, "What is useful is good."

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ANDREAS VESALIUS (1514-1564) was born in Brussels in 1514-5. He studied medicine in Paris, and Lorwain; and then taught anatomy at Bologna and Padua. In 1544 he became court physician to Emperor Charles V.

Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, published in Basel in 1543, is the first modern book on anatomy and one of the landmarks in the history of medicine.

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RUDOLF VIRCHOW (1821-1902) was born in Schievelbein in Pomerania. He studied medicine at the University of Berlin, and was one of those who were taught by Johannes Müller. Virchow's contributions to medicine are immense. His most important work was published in 1858, the classic Die Cellularpathologie, one of the great books of medicine, in which he presented his view "of the cellular nature of all life-processes, both physiological and pathological…" He stated his famous dictum: "Every cell from a cell" and that every "pathological form has its physiological prototype." This book caused a revolution in medical thinking.

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BLANK NAMEPLATE There is not documentation about why Dr. Plummer chose the initial 60 names, or why  three nameplates were left blank.  However, the belief is that after Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie’s names were added, the decision was made to leave the last nameplate blank to show that medicine is an evolving science, and that there will always  be another great discovery to be made.  

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