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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > William James Mayo Quotes

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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.


Science Quotes by William James Mayo (9 quotes)


Experience hobbles progress and leads to abandonment of difficult problems; it encourages the initiated to walk on the shady side of the street in the direction of experiences that have been pleasant. Youth without experience attacks the unsolved problems which maturer age with experience avoids, and from the labors of youth comes progress. Youth has dreams and visions, and will not be denied.
— William James Mayo
From speech 'In the Time of Henry Jacob Bigelow', given to the Boston Surgical Society, Medalist Meeting (6 Jun 1921). Printed in Journal of the Medical Association (1921), 77, 599.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Age (137)  |  Attack (29)  |  Avoid (34)  |  Denial (13)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Direction (56)  |  Dream (92)  |  Encouragement (17)  |  Experience (268)  |  Initiated (2)  |  Labor (53)  |  Mature (7)  |  Pleasant (16)  |  Problem (362)  |  Progress (317)  |  Street (17)  |  Unsolved (7)  |  Vision (55)  |  Walk (56)  |  Youth (57)

Experience is the great teacher; unfortunately, experience leaves mental scars, and scar tissue contracts.
— William James Mayo
From speech 'In the Time of Henry Jacob Bigelow', given to the Boston Surgical Society, Medalist Meeting (6 Jun 1921). Printed in Journal of the Medical Association (1921), 77, 599.
Science quotes on:  |  Contract (8)  |  Experience (268)  |  Mental (57)  |  Scar (3)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Tissue (24)  |  Unfortunately (14)

Given one well-trained physician of the highest type and he will do better work for a thousand people than ten specialists.
— William James Mayo
From speech 'In the Time of Henry Jacob Bigelow', given to the Boston Surgical Society, Medalist Meeting (6 Jun 1921). Printed in Journal of the Medical Association (1921), 77, 601.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (131)  |  Diagnosis (61)  |  Physician (232)  |  Specialist (20)  |  Treatment (88)

Specialist—A man who knows more and more about less and less.
— William James Mayo
Modern Hospital (Sep 1939). [Also attributed to Nicholas Butler.]
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Specialist (20)

The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life, the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.
— William James Mayo
Concluding remark 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), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (58)  |  Disease (257)  |  Elimination (17)  |  Idea (440)  |  Life (917)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Need (211)  |  Physician (232)  |  Prevention (29)  |  Prolong (8)

The examining physician often hesitates to make the necessary examination because it involves soiling the finger.
— William James Mayo
Lancet (1915).
Science quotes on:  |  Examination (60)  |  Finger (38)  |  Hesitation (8)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Physician (232)  |  Soil (51)

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.
— William James Mayo
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), 163. As cited in epigraph to Thomas M. Habermann (ed.), Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Review (2006), Foreward.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Cloud (44)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Effort (94)  |  Glory (44)  |  Greater (36)  |  Horizon (13)  |  Ill (11)  |  Learning (174)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Moving (11)  |  Spur (4)  |  Tomorrow (29)

The stream of thought flows on but most of its segments fall into the bottomless abyss of oblivion. Of some, no memory survives the instant of their passage. Of others, it is confined to a few moments, hours or days. Others, again, leave vestiges which are indestructible, and by means of which they may be recalled as long as life endures.
— William James Mayo
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (20)  |  Bottomless (3)  |  Confine (9)  |  Endure (12)  |  Fall (89)  |  Flow (31)  |  Hour (42)  |  Indestructible (7)  |  Instant (10)  |  Leave (63)  |  Life (917)  |  Long (95)  |  Means (109)  |  Memory (81)  |  Moment (61)  |  Oblivion (7)  |  Passage (14)  |  Recall (7)  |  Segment (3)  |  Stream (27)  |  Survive (28)  |  Thought (374)  |  Vestige (4)

Unfortunately, only a small number of patients with peptic ulcer are financially able to make a pet of an ulcer.
— William James Mayo
Journal of the American Medical Association (1922).
Science quotes on:  |  Patient (116)  |  Pet (7)  |  Ulcer (2)  |  Unfortunately (14)



Quotes by others about William James Mayo (1)

As he approached the place where a meeting of doctors was being held, he saw some elegant limousines and remarked, “The surgeons have arrived.” Then he saw some cheaper cars and said, “The physicians are here, too.” ... And when he saw a row of overshoes inside, under the hat rack, he is reported to have remarked, “Ah, I see there are laboratory men here.”
The Way of an Investigator (1945, 1965), 207.
Science quotes on:  |  Doctor (100)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Physician (232)  |  Surgeon (43)


See also:
  • 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 Mayo - context of quote “The aim of medicine” - Large image (800 x 400 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)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail 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) -- Carl Sagan
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