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1999 America

The 50th anniversary of the Punch Club was celebrated with a special trip to visit our transatlantic urological colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH and the Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN organised, in his capacity as Honorary Club Secretary, by Mark Harrison. The trip took place between Sunday 5 September and Saturday 11 September.

The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH

After a flight from London Heathrow, with a brief stopover to change planes in Chicago, we arrived in Cleveland and were transported to the Ritz Carltonj Hotel in downtown Cleveland. Visitors to the Cleveland Clinic are usually accommodated in the hotel directly opposite the main hospital building (right) but, on this occasion, the entire hotel had been takentover by the Sultan of Brunei (and his staff) so that the Sultan could undergo his annual healthcheck at the Clinic !

The first Monday in September (our first "working" day in Cleveland) turned out to be Labor Day ... a federal holiday in the USA. The day was, therefore, spent on a guided tour of Cleveland on a Big Red Bus, followed by a tour of the hospital with the Glickman Chair of Urology, Professor Andrew Novick (who sadly died in 2008 at the age of 60). The security laid on for the Sultan meant that, at almost every turn, we were confronted by US Secret Service operatives and were banned from entering many public areas!

Later in the day, members and their parners visited the nearby Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, unexpectedly, also witnessed a spectacular airshow at a nearby airfield from the roof of the building.

The final full day consisted of presentations by the clinic staff, interspersed with brief live links from the OR where Professor Inderbir Gill was performing laparosopic surgery. Click here to view a list of all the presentations by Cleveland Clinic staff.

At the end of the day, following a reception at the Foundation House, we walked to the Fat Fish Blue restaurant, close to the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Below are thumbnails of Cleveland photos, courtesy of Wyndham Lloyd Davies. Click on any individual thumbnail to open it in the current browser tab/window. Use the "Back" button on your browser to return to this page:

The Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN

The arrivals hall in Rochester airport has more wheelchairs (provided by the Mayo clinic) than luggage trolleys.

Our taxi drivers pointed out that there were only two large buildings in the city, one was the Mayo Clinic and the other belonged to IBM - most residents of Rochester were employed in one or the other, whilst the remainder worked in the hotel & service industry !

Members and their partners checked into the Radisson Plaza Hotel, which has direct access from all levels to the Mayo Clinic.

Our first day was mostly spent in small groups, touring the wards and watching surgery. The day began, however, with a presentation of the Olmsted County long-term natural history study of BPH, given by Dr Michael Lieber.

On the first night, the clinic staff hosted a dinner for us in one of the "fraternity houses" on site.

A fascinating visit was arranged to the museum in the Mayo Clinic Heritage Hall, home to numerous mementos of the clinic and, in particular, a collection of hand-drawn cartoons depicting some of the original staff, including the Mayo brothers themselves. We were also shown the original system for transporting notes, X-rays and lab specimens throughout the hospital, still in use today despite having been designed & installed decades ago.

The final event was a reception of our own to thank the Mayo Clinic staff in the Radisson Plaza Hotel, following which we dined together in a small restaurant in the city, where the long wait for a table could only be overcome by patience or by volunteering to eat in the (empty) "smoking section" of the restaurant.

We departed Rochester for London, a little tired but well-educated and more than a little envious of what the best of American hospitals can offer.

Below are thumbnails of Mayo Clinic photos, courtesy of Wyndham Lloyd Davies. Click on any individual thumbnail to open it in the current browser tab/window. Use the "Back" button on your browser to return to this page:

If you have any images from this trip which you are prepared to see displayed, please contact the Web Editor by email

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