Center for Humanities in Medicine

The Center for Humanities in Medicine supports Mayo Clinic’s primary value, the needs of the patient come first, by integrating the arts and other expressions of human culture into the healing environment.

The Center engages interconnected communities of patients, families, staff, learners, and the public to promote the artful and compassionate delivery of healthcare. Humanities in Medicine activities are open to Mayo Clinic patients, staff, visitors and community members and are made possible by the generous donations of grateful benefactors.


Mayo Clinic Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanites in Medicine


Music Performances

Mayo Clinic patients, visitors, and staff have numerous opportunities every week to enjoy varied musical selections performed by both local and visiting musicians.

  • Rosemary and Meredith Willson Harmony for Mayo Concert Series
    • The Rosemary and Meredith Willson Harmony for Mayo Concert Series is a weekly music program sponsored by Mayo Clinic Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities in Medicine, initiated through the generosity of Rosemary and Meredith Willson (the "Music Man.")
    • Concerts are performed every Monday from 12:10 to 1 p.m. at various locations. Indoor concerts are broadcast on patient channel 10.
  • Music is Good Medicine
    • Concerts are performed on the first Thursday of each month in the Gonda Building-Geffen Auditorium, featuring Mayo Clinic staff sharing their talents as a "give back" to patients and employees.
  • Music of the Rochester Carillon
    • Concerts are performed every weekday on the historic Rochester Carillon, the only carillon owned by a medical center in the world. Selections range from classical favorites to pop and jazz standards, and highlight the diversity of Mayo Clinic staff, patients, and visitors.

Visual Art Exhibitions

Art from around the world — photography, pottery, paintings, drawings, sculptures — that encourages quality of life at all stages of living is featured throughout the Mayo Clinic campus, both in permanent installations and special exhibitions.

Theater and Dance Events

Live theater or dance performances to inspire, teach or address universal human issues are held regularly and are open to all members of the Mayo Clinic community.


Participants have an opportunity to reflect, interact and express themselves through varied methods and coping techniques such as art, creative writing, music and relaxation in one of Mayo Clinic's many free humanities workshops. Topics include:

  • Literature and medicine
  • Medical improv
  • Creative renewal techniques.


Renowned speakers in medical ethics and the arts focusing on numerous topics are frequent visitors of Mayo Clinic.

Bedside Programs

This series of programs engages professional artists directly with patients, exploring the transformative, healing power of the arts. Visual artists, writers, musicians, and music therapists are available to visit patients in their rooms for private instruction or performances. For information about scheduling and availability, contact the Mayo Clinic Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities in Medicine at 507-284-5266.


Courses are available to the Mayo Clinic community to encourage involvement in the humanities in group settings. Past courses have included:

  • The Human Elements: a Series in the Healing Arts
  • Telling the Patient’s Story
  • Humanities for the Physician in Training
  • Creativity for the Physician in Training
  • The Practice of Narrative Medicine
  • Selected Independent Research Topics in Humanities


Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota affiliates with community partners who help us achieve our goal of integrating the arts, history and ethics in the medical environment, supporting the Mayo ideal that the needs of the patient come first. Our Rochester community partners include:

Additionally, the Mayo Clinic Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities in Medicine is a member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.