Mayo Medical Laboratories introduces “Mayo Clinic Values in Focus.” Each month, this series will focus on two of Mayo Clinic’s values and feature quotes and stories from our founders that exemplify those values.
This month's featured values are Respect and Integrity.
“Each day, as I go through the hospitals surrounded by younger men, they give me of their dreams and I give them of my experience, and I get the better of the exchange.”
– William J. Mayo, 1931
Dr. William J. Mayo played a significant role in laying the foundation for the Mayo Clinic values of respect and integrity. He clearly exhibited a staunch respect for those around him and what they might bring to the table, a characteristic, which stemmed from his father William Worrall Mayo. As an immigrant bringing a diverse perspective and life experiences to the U.S., William Worrall Mayo was well-known for his equal treatment of all people and professionalism in practice. These traits may have been fostered even further still by his mentor John Dalton, a scientist who pushed the boundaries of his time by enrolling both boys and girls in his medical school.
No matter the origin, William J. Mayo’s emphasis on respecting others and his integrity in doing so set a profound example for those who followed him. He urged his colleagues to uphold these values as well, both as individuals:
“I would admonish you, above all other considerations, to be honest. I mean honesty in every conception of the word: Let it enter into all the details of your work.”
And in practice as an organization:
“Within its walls all classes of people, the poor as well as the rich, without regard to color or creed, shall be cared for without discrimination.”
His influence persists today as these values remain integral to Mayo Clinic’s standard of operations.
Today, these core values are defined as:
RESPECT: To treat everyone in our diverse community (patients, their families, visitors, and colleagues) with dignity.
INTEGRITY: To adhere to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and personal responsibility worthy of the trust our patients place in us.