Medicine: Doctor Charlie

Last week an old man, fighting for breath, was wheeled into Chicago's Mercy Hospital. Five grave doctors hovered over his bed, took samples of his sputum to type the pneumococci that had attacked him, samples of his blood to type him for transfusions. They covered him with an oxygen tent, inoculated him with pneumonia serum, fed him the famed pneumonia specific, sulfapyridine. Mercy Hospital's Patient No. 1939-2468 was a very special case: he was the junior partner of America's most famous medical team—Dr. Charles Horace Mayo. As it does with the greatest efficiency for 80,000 patients a year in the great...