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Douglas Chyatte, M.D. (NS ’85)

Alumni Association Board Member

Professor of Neurosurgery
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Mayo Clinic Health System, Southwestern Minnesota Region

Residency: Neurosurgery, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
Medical School: Northwestern University Honors Program in Medical Education, Evanston, Ill.
Native of: Oak Park, Ill.

Why did you decide to pursue medicine?

I have always enjoyed the sciences and working with people. I decided to pursue medicine in high school largely because of a part-time job I had in a hospital laboratory.

Why did you train at Mayo Clinic?

When I looked into places to train, Mayo unquestionably had the best neurosurgery training program in the world. Mayo Clinic is unlike any other health care organization on the planet in terms of depth, expertise and organization.

My training at Mayo was a genuine boot-camp experience in a positive sense. I came to Mayo a medical school graduate and left a physician.

What valuable lesson did you learn at Mayo Clinic?

Spend a little extra time just listening to your patients and what they have to tell you. It’s simple to do, doesn’t cost very much and is one of the most effective things you can do.

How do you contribute to the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association?

When I trained in neurosurgery, the Rochester campus was Mayo Clinic. Now, Mayo spans a broad geography and diverse set of practices. To some extent, I represent the diversity that is now Mayo Clinic.

What do you do in your spare time?

For the last several years, I’ve been honing my skills as a private pilot. I gave back a little to the aviation community through volunteer service with the Civil Air Patrol and the Young Eagles program.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I seriously considered a career in astronomy before deciding on medicine.

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