Cleveland Clinic vs. Mayo Clinic: 5 key comparisons, 2 amazing institutions

Cleveland Clinic and Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic are lauded as two of the highest-performing health systems in the country. Both systems command extensive networks of facilities and physicians, regularly earn prestigious awards and are run by renowned CEOs.

Both are world-class institutions that are having a tremendous impact on healthcare in the U.S. But when stacked up side-by-side, how do Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic compare?

1. Leadership

Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, MD, joined Cleveland Clinic in 1975 and has served as president and CEO since 2004. Here are five other things to know about him.

  • He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and complete his clinical training at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital and Brook General Hospital in London.
  • Before joining Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Cosgrove was a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and served in Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam as the Chief of U.S. Air Force Casualty Staging Flight. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal.
  • In 1989, Dr. Cosgrove was named chairman of the department of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. Under his leadership, the clinic's heart program was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the best in the country for 10 years in a row. 
  • President Barack Obama offered Dr. Cosgrove the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs amid the VA waitlist controversy and resignation of former secretary Eric Shinseki in June 2014. However, Dr. Cosgrove declined the offer to remain at Cleveland Clinic.
  • Dr. Cosgrove has published nearly 450 journal articles, book chapters, the book The Cleveland Clinic Way: Lessons in Excellence From One of the World's Leading Health Care Organizations and 17 training and continuing medical education films. He has performed more than 22,000 operations and has 30 patents filed for developing medical and clinical products used in surgical environments.

John Noseworthy, MD, first joined Mayo Clinic in 1990. He held a variety of positions within the organization before he was named president and CEO in 2009. Here are five other things to know about him.

  • Dr. Noseworthy served as chair of Mayo Clinic's department of neurology, medical director of the department of development and vice chair of the Mayo Clinic Rochester executive board.
  • He is a board-certified neurologist specializing in multiple sclerosis and he has served as editor-in-chief of Neurology, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
  • Dr. Noseworthy earned his medical degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada, and completed neurology residencies and fellowships at Dalhousie University, University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, and University Hospital in London, Ontario.
  • He came to the U.S. to complete research fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • In 2014, Twin Cities Business named Dr. Noseworthy "Person of the Year" for his success in launching what will become the state's largest-ever development project — the transformation of downtown Rochester into a destination medical center. The aim of the plan is for patients and visitors to Mayo Clinic's facilities, as well as the staff and physicians working there, to find city amenities attractions comparable to the health system's competitors in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland and Los Angeles.

2. System size

Cleveland Clinic. Since welcoming its first patients in February 1921, Cleveland Clinic has expanded its reach through affiliations and acquisitions. Here are three other things to know about its size.

  • In addition to Cleveland Clinic's main campus, the health system currently operates 10 regional hospitals, more than 90 Northern Ohio outpatient locations (including 18 full-service Family Health Centers), Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada in Toronto, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which is currently under construction.
  • Cleveland Clinic has 3,262 physicians and scientists and 4,450 hospital beds systemwide. In 2014, the clinic had 5.9 million total visits
  • The clinic's main hospital campus houses 1,400 hospital beds, one-third of which are for intensive care. It has 100 operating rooms and seven hybrid surgical suites, administrative offices, research labs and educational facilities.

Mayo Clinic's main campus, which houses 1,132 hospital beds, is located in Rochester, but the clinic also runs hospital facilities and medical officers across the Midwest as well as Florida and Arizona. Here are three other things to know about its size.

  • The Mayo Clinic Health System is a network of clinics and hospitals serving more than 70 communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Georgia.
  • The health system first came to Jacksonville, Fla., in 1986. According to its most recent report, the 214-bed Mayo Clinic Hospital there has 470 staff physicians and scientists, 322 residents and 4,315 allied health staff. In Arizona, Mayo Clinic serves more than 100,000 patients each year. The health system operates a number of facilities in Scottsdale and Arizona. Between facilities in the two cities, there are 505 staff physicians and scientists, 217 residents and fellows and 5,007 allied health staff.
  • Across all of its locations, 1.3 million people from all 50 states and 143 countries received care from Mayo Clinic in 2014. The system had a total of 4,200 staff physicians and scientists, 2,400 residents, fellows and others and 52,900 allied health staff.

3. Academic medicine

Both Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic are academic medical institutions.

Cleveland Clinic had 1,757 residents and fellows in training in 2014, and provided 70 accredited training programs. Cleveland Clinic's Lerner College of Medicine had 160 students enrolled in 2014.

The health system boasts the world's largest continuing medical education program, which includes internal and external leadership training. In 2014, it received $168 million in total grant and contract revenue for research, including $98 million in total federal revenue.

Mayo Clinic's Mayo Medical School had 216 enrolled students in 2014 and 54 graduates. Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education trains resident physicians in 271 residency and fellowship programs, representing nearly all medical specialties. In 2014, there were 1,665 students enrolled and 676 graduated.

In the same year, Mayo Clinic received $923 million in education and research funding, $428 million in funds from the government, foundations and industry and $495 million in Mayo Clinic funds and benefactor gifts.

Mayo Clinic also contains the Mayo School of Health Sciences as well as the Mayo School of Continuous Professional Development, which had 87,143 physician and 40,473 nonphysician participants in 2014.  

4. Key financial statistics

Cleveland Clinic reported a net surplus of $183.8 million for second quarter of fiscal year 2015, down from $235.4 million during the same period in 2014. Its operating income at the end of the second quarter of FY 2015 was $127.8 million, up from $78.9 million in the second quarter of FY 2014. Total expenses for Cleveland Clinic in the second quarter amounted to $1.47 billion, up slightly from $1.44 billion in the same period of the year prior.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, Cleveland Clinic reported a $467.5 million operating surplus on $6.7 billion in revenue, compared to an operating surplus of $294 million on $6.5 billion in revenue in FY 2013. Cleveland Clinic's total revenue in FY 2014 was $6.7 billion, up from $6.5 billion in FY 2013.

Mayo Clinic posted a net surplus of $237 million on revenue of $2.57 billion for the second quarter of FY 2015, compared to a net surplus of $337 million on revenue of  $2.42 billion in the same period of the year prior. Its operating income was $154 million for the second quarter of FY 2015, down from $192 million for the same period in fiscal year 2014. Total expenses for Mayo Clinic in the second quarter were $2.4 billion, up from $2.2 billion in the comparable period of FY 2014.

Mayo Clinic reported operating income of $834.3 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2014, a 36.3 percent increase over its operating income of $612.1 million the previous year. Mayo's total revenue for FY 2014 was $9.8 billion, up from $9.4 billion in FY 2013.

5. National rankings

Cleveland Clinic's main campus was ranked as the No. 1 hospital in Cleveland and Ohio by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-16 Best Hospitals rankings. It is nationally ranked in 14 adult specialties, including No. 1 in cardiology and heart surgery, No. 2 in gastroenterology/GI surgery, nephrology, rheumatology and urology, No. 3 in diabetes/endocrinology, gynecology, orthopedics, and pulmonology and No. 6 in ophthalmology.

It is also nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties, including No. 14 in pulmonology, No. 17 in neurology/neurosurgery and No. 20 in cancer, gastroenterology/GI surgery and orthopedics.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester is the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota and is nationally ranked in 15 adult specialties and 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report's 2015-16 Best Hospitals ranking. Mayo Clinic earned a No. 1 national ranking in diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology and urology.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Mayo Clinic No. 13 in the nation in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery, No. 14 in pediatric urology, No. 18 in pediatric cancer and No. 20 in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery.


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