Mayo Clinic has been educating allied health caregivers for more than 100 years.

The following highlights illustrate many events that have contributed to Mayo's development as a leader in health sciences education:

1840 - 1880

  • William Worrell Mayo emigrated from England and eventually became a family doctor in southern Minnesota. Two of his five children attended medical school and returned to join his practice. They pioneered the concept of a medical team working together, now known as group practice.


  • A tornado devastated Rochester. Dr. W.W. Mayo joined the Sisters of Saint Francis to care for the injured. From this collaboration came Saint Marys Hospital — now one of the largest teaching hospitals in the world.
  • Mayo's first health-sciences professional — Edith Graham Mayo — was trained as a nurse anesthetist in 1889.

1920 - 1930

  • In 1906, Saint Marys Hospital Training School for Nurses was founded. The Colonial Hospital Training School for Nurses was established in 1918. While neither school exists today, Mayo offers many nursing clinical, advanced and continuing education programs. A training program in dietetics was also started.
  • Doctors from throughout the world began to travel to Rochester to learn the innovative approaches to medical practice and surgery being developed by William and Charles Mayo — the Mayo brothers.

1930 - 1960

  • In 1936, the Mayo Physical Therapy Program was established, setting the standard for education in its field. Programs in clinical pastoral education and medical social service were begun to address patient care needs.

1960 - 1980

  • Health care underwent major transformations in clinical practice and technology leading to creation of Mayo programs in cytotechnology, nuclear medicine technology, occupational therapy, pharmacy services, recreational therapy, respiratory therapy and surgical technology.
  • In 1972, Mayo Medical School opened the doors to its first class of students.

1980 - 2000

  • Changes in health-care delivery led to new programs in medical laboratory technology, clinical neurophysiology, radiation therapy, radiography and diagnostic medical sonography.
  • In 1984, the Minnesota Higher Education Board approved Mayo Clinic as a degree-granting institution for M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.
  • The Nurse Practitioner Program, offered in partnership with Winona State University, was launched in 1994.
  • Mayo School of Health Sciences marked its 25th anniversary in 1998 with the creation of the Mayo School of Health Sciences Alumni Association.
  • Mayo School of Health Sciences flourishes as a leading provider of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate health sciences education.