Mayo Clinic Values in Focus: Teamwork

Mayo Medical Laboratories introduces “Mayo Clinic Values in Focus.” Each month, this series will focus on Mayo Clinic’s values and feature quotes and stories from our founders that exemplify those values.

This month's featured value is Teamwork.

“No man [one] is big enough to be independent of others.”
– William Worrall Mayo

Dr. William Worrall Mayo (center) inspired his sons, Dr. Charlie (left) and Dr. Will.            -Mayo Clinic

William Worrall Mayo’s recognition of the importance of working with others, and his readiness to do so, set the foundation for the Mayo Clinic value of teamwork. In 1883, when asked to join Mother Alfred Moes in establishing a hospital to provide needed care for the community, it was this willingness to collaborate that led him to agree, thereafter permanently changing Rochester’s health care landscape.

Mayo and Mother Alfred each made their way to the U.S. as immigrants in the mid-1800s, and while the paths they took to Rochester and the experiences they brought with them differed, their value of collaboration was shared. Their teamwork in running the hospital, with Mayo and his sons as physicians and the Sisters of Saint Francis serving as nurses and staff, set in motion a new way to care for patients.

“Collaboration and teamwork would be essential if the hospital was to run smoothly.”
– William Worrall Mayo

Mayo made sure to convey the significance of collaboration to his sons as well, with William J. Mayo recalling, “[Our father believed] the important thing in life is not to accomplish for one’s self alone, but for each to carry his share of collective responsibility.” From the influence of their father’s teachings, the Mayo brothers and their colleagues evolved how medicine was practiced at the time, creating the beginnings of care provided by teams of specialists placing the needs of the patient first.

This approach has evolved further still today, maintaining teamwork as integral to Mayo Clinic’s patient care.

Today, this core value is defined as:
TEAMWORK: To value the contribution of all, blending the skills of individual staff members in unsurpassed collaboration.

Molly Dee

Molly Larsen is the Web Content Coordinator at Mayo ClinicLaboratories. She is responsible for internal and external communications pertaining to the website and information technology, as well as editing content on She has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015. Outside of work, Molly enjoys working out, reading, Harry Potter trivia, and spending time with her family and friends, including Seamus, the labrador/mastiff puppy.