Randolph Steer, M.D., Ph.D., member of Mayo’s first medical school class & Board of Trustees, donates 100 stethoscopes for new medical students

Randolph (Randy) Steer, M.D., Ph.D. (MED ’76), donated 100 stethoscopes for Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students — enough for incoming students on both the Rochester and Arizona campuses. He says he did it for a simple reason: to make the students happy.

Randy Steer, M.D., Ph.D., as a 1970s medical student and ping-pong tournament runner-up.

“This is the most complicated time I can recall in history,” says Dr. Steer, who was in Mayo’s first medical school class. “Medical school today has incredible demands and complications. These exceptional students represent the top of the top. I wanted to put a smile on their faces.”

Dr. Steer remembers when he received his first stethoscope almost 50 years ago. “I hope the new medical students will still have these stethoscopes in 50 years. I looked after mine and still have it, in part, because it’s a symbol of accomplishment. Getting my first stethoscope put a smile on my face.”

Happiness is paramount in Dr. Steer’s life today. When Mayo Clinic Alumni magazine spoke to him in 2017, he was living in Rancho Mirage, California; consulting for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics and medical devices companies; and serving on multiple boards of directors and advisory boards, including serving on the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees. He said he couldn’t imagine retiring.

Then life took a different path. Dr. Steer’s daughter, Dana, died at 42 of a heart attack. Dr. Steer and his wife, Alison, were devastated and wanted a change of scenery. They relocated to Roswell, Georgia. Their son, Christopher, and his wife moved from the Pacific Northwest to be near them. Dr. Steer quit consulting and retired from most boards he served on. He remains on the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, where he’s served for a decade.

Dr. Steer, pictured with his original stethoscope, provided a message to accompany the 100 stethoscopes he donated: Study hard, listen closely and enjoy!!!

“I’ve been fortunate to have had successes and have achieved almost all of my goals in the area of therapeutic drug development,” says Dr. Steer. “Life was so good, and I thought it would never change. I never conceived of not working. Then, suddenly, we tragically lost a loved one. I didn’t find joy in work anymore. Now, the things that give me joy are my wife, our son and his wife, close family and friends, and a few hobbies. Alison and I decided to donate the stethoscopes to bring joy to others while we’re alive.”

Learn about donating stethoscopes.


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