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Dr William J. Mayo and the Patient-Physician Relationship

      During his long career in surgery, Dr William J. Mayo, the elder of the famous Mayo brothers, maintained a special interest in medical education. His views on certain aspects of the subject can be found throughout his extensive writings. The following excerpts from an article entitled “The Social Training of the Surgeon and Physician,” published in the March 30, 1932, issue of Proceedings of the Staff Meetings of the Mayo Clinic, provide insight into his views on the importance of empathy in the patient-physician relationship.
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