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Musings from Mayo
  1. Jack P. Whisnant
  1. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Medical School & Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. E-mail: whisnant{at}


When I began my career in the Department of Neurology at Mayo in 1955, I was the 13th neurologist in the department. Although individual neurologists had special interests, every neurologist did essentially the same thing. Each neurologist saw outpatients in the clinic, took turns staffing one of the in-patient neurology services, taught residents in either setting, and may have had an interest in research but no formal time dedicated for that pursuit.

Now, among the 80 plus neurologists on the Mayo staff, it is unusual for any two to have the same kind of daily activities. Neurologists today see outpatients and teach residents, but only some attend a hospital service and only a few attend acute care services as their primary clinical responsibility. Although the number of procedures for clinical testing has greatly expanded, the big change has been the development of subspecialties in neurology. Mayo neurology currently has at

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