• By Laurel Kelly

#FlashbackFriday 1975: Mayo Graduate School adds family practice residency

September 16, 2016

a 1975 photograph of Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota

This article first appeared in April 1975, in the publication Mayovox.

The Board of Governors last month approved establishment of a new Mayo residency training program in family practice and authorized Mayo representatives to seek capitation from the state of Minnesota in support of the program.

According to Mr. A. Russell Hanson of the Division of Education and Mr. Robert W. Fleming of the Division of Administrative Services, the program is expected to become operational July 1, 1976 — in time to accommodate members of the first class to graduate from Mayo Medical School. To date, 12 Mayo Medical School students have expressed interest in the specialty of family medicine and others plan to enter primary care specialties including general internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology.

Present plans call for a three-year program, with physicians taking their training both in and outside of Rochester. Each year, four doctors will be appointed to a Mayo-based program. Four more will enter a Mayo affiliated program of study situated elsewhere in Southern Minnesota.

In addition, discussions are in progress with officials at St. Francis Hospital, La Crosse, Wisconsin, concerning a possible affiliation there. This would add an additional 12 physicians to the program for a total of 36 residents in family practice training when the program becomes fully operational.

Funding for the program is expected to come from four sources: Mayo Foundation, private gifts and the federal and state governments.

A bill seeking limited financial assistance from the state has been drafted and submitted to the Minnesota legislature. The bill requests $12,000 per year for each physician enrolled in the program within Minnesota, to a maximum of 24 students.

Since such state support for a graduate medical education program would be unique in Mayo history, Mr. Hanson expanded on the family residency program, noting “it’s new and in a developmental stage. We don’t have a patient base at this point or an active staff teaching and seeing patients. All of this has to be developed.

“One out-of-pocket, direct, fixed cost that we can identify is the stipend of the resident, which would be $11,500 for the first year of training, $12,000 the second year and $12,500 for the last year — the same amount other resident physicians at Mayo receive.”

The program will operate within the Division of Family Medicine established at Mayo Clinic in January, 1975. Dr. Guy W. Daugherty, acting chairman of the division, will serve as acting head of the new residency program as well. Dr. Daugherty also will chair a Family Practice Residency Curriculum Development Committee, comprised in addition to Dr. Daugherty, of: Dr. Richard S. Sheldon (Obstetrics/Gynecology); Dr. Malcom I. Lindsay (Community Internal Medicine); Dr. Thomas H. Williams (Pediatrics); Dr. Maurice J. Martin (Psychiatry); Dr. Robert R. Thompson (Family Medicine) and Mr. Robert K. Smoldt (Administrative Services). In addition, those planning the program expect to invite family physicians outside Mayo to join the committee sometime soon.