Clinically Speaking

If someone says “I had to stop off at the clinic, I wasn’t feeling well,” I imagine they went to a small building with a few examining rooms.

If someone says “I’m a doctor at the Mayo Clinic” I think “holy shit, she’s top of her field. That’s a world-class medical facility.”


Fact! Clinical trials are not usually conducted at small clinics in strip malls.


Fact: When Ms. Pane was doing her clinicals, it was not at a small clinic in a strip mall.


Considering I have been to the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, I visualize a sprawling campus of top medical researchers. Unless someone prefaced it with something like “Minute Clinic”, where I might envision something else.

They were founded in 1921 and 1864 respectively. Look up the original definition of “clinic”:

1 : a class of medical instruction in which patients are examined and discussed

3a : a facility (as of a hospital) for diagnosis and treatment of outpatients

b : a group practice in which several physicians work cooperatively

Clearly aptly named for the time.

You have a point that smaller, cheaper “clinics” are more common now - but your incredulity that most people understand the prestige of the Mayo Clinic doesn’t affect the reality that most people do.


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