Henry Stanley Plummer: A Diversified Genius

William B. Bean, M.D.
Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(2):272-273. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620260132034.
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It does not take a very high order of experience or sophistication to realize that large institutions are likely to arise not only from the combination of purely fortuitous circumstances but from the drive, skill, capacity, and incentive of one or a few people. The Mayo Clinic is no exception. If one wishes to put his finger on the person who made it into the kind of structure it is now, surprisingly enough it was not the founding Mayo brothers, magnificent surgeons and inspiring teachers that they were. It was Henry Stanley Plummer. He was a frustrated engineer; his father having determined that he should go to medical school, he did. Apparently his heart was never primarily in caring for sick people as such. He probed into the reasons why people got sick. His work in thyroid disease is only now getting the recognition it deserves. He worked out arrangements,


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