Letter: Changes not what Mayo founders envisioned

Published 9:18 pm Friday, August 11, 2017

To: Dr. Jeffrey Bolton/Dr. John Noseworthy

I’m writing to you for consideration with regards to the proposed changes in the medical delivery system in Albert Lea.

I was born and raised in Albert Lea, the daughter of a very well respected physician who lived and worked there for 35 years. My father’s patients were a high priority in his life. He cared about them as his patients but also as fellow members of the same community. Dad acknowledged two distinct sides of practicing medicine: the art and the science. He recognized the importance of science but felt that the art part of the equation was even more crucial. And the art of medicine involved knowing his patients and their families. His belief exemplified what is now known as primary care. Dad knew then that primary care is essential to excellence in well rounded quality of care.

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One of my dad’s legacies is the fact that all four of his children chose careers in the medical and mental health care fields. We chose, as Dad did, to be part of a community in both the professional and personal sense. His grandchildren are following the same path. The art of medicine and its importance is continuing today in communities around the Upper Midwest.

I’m proud of the fact that my nursing education and clinical experience occurred in Rochester. I went to college there because of the reputation and expertise of the two hospitals. There were important people who received care, but a large number of the patients lived in Rochester and the surrounding area.

The doctors Mayo believed in primary care and the value of local medical practitioners and facilities. I believe that removing primary care with all the repercussions inherent in such a move is not what the doctors Mayo envisioned for their own legacies. Change is good, but not when the change negatively impacts an entire community.

Please consider thoughtfully and respectfully the value of the art of medicine as well as the importance of primary care in Albert Lea.

Jeanne Sherman

Watertown, South Dakota