The "Story" behind the Mayo Clinic's great reputation
Most everyone knows of the Mayo Clinic. The clinic gained world fame primarily because of a survival rate unheard of in the early twentieth century. Why?
Around this same time, the Mayo Brothers were becoming well known as superb surgeons. The prestigious Mayo Clinic resulted from the results of hypnotic anesthesia trance. A nurse named “Alice Magaw” was the nurse-anesthetist who assisted at all of the Mayo Brothers surgical procedures. At the time, the death rate from incorrect dosing of chemical anesthetics was higher than the death rate from the basic surgery.
This was true throughout America and Europe. Many sayings such as “The operation was a success but the patient died” and “If the operation doesn’t kill you, the doctor will” were not jokes when they originated around 1900. They accurately described the danger of chemical anesthesia of the time and the resulting high mortality rate.
In contrast, Alice Magaw insisted on using medical hypnosis for all anesthesias. Because of the prejudice against hypnosis among certain religious groups, this point was not mentioned or even acknowledged in the early days of the Mayo Clinic. However, after over 14,000 successful operations in which there was not one death from the hypnotic anesthetic, the Mayo Clinic had established itself as the safest hospital in America and possibly in the world.
Magaw A. A Review of Over Fourteen Thousand Surgical Anæsthesias. Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics. 1906;3(6): 795-99.
In Hypnotherapeutic Techniques: Second Edition the tenth chapter begins with this: "A century ago, Dr. Alice Magaw used hypnosis for more than 14,000 painless surgeries, and the then not-so-famous Mayo Clinic, without a single anesthesia-related death. At the time, the death rate was 1 in 400 from the use of ether, even at the nation's best hospitals."
You can read chapter 10 here >