• By Traci Klein

New Book “Caring for the Heart” Outlines History of Medical Specialization

March 12, 2015

Caring for the Heart bookROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic announced today the release of a new book, “Caring for the Heart: Mayo Clinic and the Rise of Specialization.” This historical book weaves together three important themes: major developments in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in the 20th Century, how Mayo Clinic evolved from a family practice in Minnesota into one of the world's leading medical centers, and how the invention of new technologies and procedures promoted specialization among physicians and surgeons.

“Caring for the Heart” (Oxford, Hardcover Original, 704 Pages, $39.95, ISBN: 9780199982356) is written for general readers as well as health care professionals, historians and policy analysts. Unlike traditional institutional or disease-focused histories, this book places individuals and events in national and international contexts that emphasize the interplay of medical, scientific, technological, social, political, and economic forces that have resulted in contemporary heart care. Patient stories and media perspectives are included throughout to help general readers understand the medical and technological developments that are described.

The book is written so that readers may pick and choose the chapters of most interest to them. Another feature of the book is that readers may follow the stories without looking at the notes. Those who are interested in delving deeper into the main topics will find references that offer greater detail and additional perspectives. The descriptions and interpretations that fill the book benefit from the fact that the author has been a practicing cardiologist and medical historian for almost four decades.

MEDIA CONTACT: Traci Klein, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email: [email protected]

This is mainly a 20th Century story, but it begins earlier — before there were physicians who were identified as cardiologists and at a time when medical specialization was just emerging in America. The final chapter, which addresses present-day concerns about health care costs, counterbalances earlier ones that might be read as celebrations of new technologies.

“Caring for the Heart” is available online and in retail outlets nationwide in hardcover and e-book formats.

Bruce Fye, M.D. retired recently as a cardiologist in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Mayo Clinic. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md. He completed a medical residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan before returning to Johns Hopkins for his cardiology fellowship. Selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, he also received a master's degree from the Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins.


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit mayoclinic.com or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

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