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Who said: “I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
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Thumbnail of William James Mayo (source)
William James Mayo
(29 Jun 1861 - 28 Jul 1939)

American surgeon , who, with his brother Charles, ran the Mayo Clinic founded by their father, William Worrall Mayo.


William J. Mayo
“The aim of medicine”

Illustrated Quote - Large (800 x 400 px)

“The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life, the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.”
— William J. Mayo
National Education Association: Proceedings and Addresses (1928).

More William J. Mayo quotes on science >>

William J. Mayo gave an address to the National Education Association at their Annual Meeting in Minneapolis during the first week of July 1928, the year he retired from surgery. He spoke to the educators about the “Aims and Ideals of the American Medical Association.” The education of medical students was included in his topics, as well as the practice of medicine for the benefit of the patient.

Mayo introduced his talk by saying:

“Early medicine was satisfied largely by an appeal to the emotions, and sickness and health were supposed to be controlled by the gods.”

Toward the end of his address he referred again to the role of religion in modern medicine, reminding not to

“underrate the value of religion as the universal comforter in times of physical or spiritual stress, but to the mass of the people, religion has the same potency that it has had for two thousand years.”

He then closed by defining the “Aim of Medicine,” echoing the title of talk:

“The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life, the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.”

Another statement seen quoted elsewhere, which comes from this address is:

“The glory of medicine is that it is constantly moving forward, that there is always more to learn. The ills of today do not cloud the horizon of tomorrow, but act as a spur to greater effort.”

Text by Webmaster with quotes from address, 'The Aims and Ideals of the American Medical Association', collected in Proceedings of the 66th Annual Meeting of the National Education Association of the United States (1928), 158-167. (source)


See also:
  • Science Quotes by William James Mayo.
  • 29 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Mayo's birth.
  • William Mayo - context of quote “The aim of medicine” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • William James Mayo - context of quote “One well-trained physician” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • William James Mayo - context of quote “One well-trained physician” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • William James Mayo - context of quote “The glory of medicine” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • William James Mayo - context of quote “The glory of medicine” - Large image (800 x 400 px)

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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