Alumni stethoscope donations – update 2021 – heartwarming messages for medical students

Most physicians recall when they received their first stethoscope and how “official” it made them feel. Many still have them close at home.

Since 2015, the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association has gifted stethoscopes to incoming students of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. Beginning in 2017, that includes medical students on the Arizona campus. We do this, in part, to create a sense of belonging to the rich history of Mayo-trained physicians.

Since 2019, stethoscopes have been funded by gifts from Mayo Clinic alumni. Alumni can “purchase” stethoscopes ($100 each) to be presented to first-year Mayo medical students by an Alumni Association representative at a special celebration during family weekend each year. Alumni who purchase stethoscopes for medical students will be recognized in an honor roll on the Alumni Association website. Alumni can include a brief message for the student receiving the stethoscope.

Mayo Clinic alumni are generous: in the last two years, they’ve purchased more than 600 stethoscopes for future Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students. The messages alumni send to include with stethoscopes are heartwarming, like these recent ones:

This instrument is for listening to the heart and lungs, but more important is to put it away and listen to your patient. You will get much more information without it than with it! Your compassion will teach you more than an instrument.  Eli Krigsten, M.D. (OR ’69), Phoenix, Arizona

This year you are beginning a long journey of hard work, sacrifice, and self-discovery. If you don’t forget that you started this journey to help others, you will find happiness and fulfillment.  Ronald Wenger, M.D. (S ’77), Madison, Wisconsin

Co-burn Poter, M.D.

I received my first and only stethoscope in 1972 when I graduated from Creighton University Medical School. I used it for 40 years as a pediatric cardiologist practicing at Texas Children’s Hospital until I moved to Mayo Clinic in 1984. Last year, I used that great old stethoscope to show my grandson how it worked. I hope you are able to use your stethoscope for many years to come. Co-burn Porter, M.D. (PD ’84), St. Paul, Minnesota



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