Louis B. Wilson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Louis B. Wilson, M.D. was the chief of pathology at Mayo Clinic from 1905 to 1937. Wilson is most famous for initiating the routine use of the frozen section procedure for rapid intraoperative diagnosis.[1]

Wilson received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1896.[2] After this, Wilson was the assistant director of the bacteriology laboratory at the Minnesota State Board of Health and an assistant professor of pathology and bacteriology at the University of Minnesota and lived in Minneapolis. Dr. Henry Plummer urged the Mayo brothers to hire a well-trained pathologist to develop the laboratories at Mayo Clinic and Dr. Wilson reluctantly agreed to move to Rochester, Minnesota for this position. On January 1, 1905, Wilson began working at Mayo Clinic as the chief of pathology and he initiated a new scientific way of doing things at St. Marys Hospital.[3] He systematized the processing of surgical and autopsy specimens and increased the number of autopsies performed at the hospital. Wilson began using a frozen section technique he created in 1905 and published a paper on his method in JAMA at the end of that year.[4][5] His technique proved lasting and has had a major impact in modern medicine.[6] He also initiated animal experimentation during those early years. In 1918, Wilson went overseas as the assistant director of the AEF division of laboratories and infectious diseases. Wilson and his chief, Col. Joseph F. Siler, greatly increased the number of laboratories in use. This exposed thousands of doctors to the use of laboratories in medicine and they returned home to demand laboratories in their hospitals. In the 1920s, Wilson married Maud Mellish and together they wrote the Sketch of the History of the Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Foundation anonymously in 1926. Wilson retired from the Mayo Clinic in 1937.


  1. ^ Gal, Anthony A. (2005). "The Centennial Anniversary of the Frozen Section Technique at the Mayo Clinic". Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. College of American Pathologists. 129 (12): 1532–1535. doi:10.1043/1543-2165(2005)129[1532:TCAOTF]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1543-2165. 
  2. ^ Clapesattle, Helen (1969). The Doctors Mayo. Rochester, MN: Mayo Foundation. p. 269. 
  3. ^ Mayo Clinic (2007). "Dr. Louis B. Wilson". Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Ferreiro, JA; Myers, JL; Bostwick, DG (1995). "Accuracy of frozen section diagnosis in surgical pathology: review of a 1-year experience with 24,880 cases at Mayo Clinic Rochester". Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 70 (12): 1137–1141. doi:10.4065/70.12.1137. PMID 7490913. 
  5. ^ Wilson, Louis B. (1905). "A method for the rapid preparation of fresh tissues for the microscope". JAMA. American Medical Association. 45: 1737. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510230037003c. 
  6. ^ Gal, Anthony A.; Cagle, Philip T. (2005). "The 100-Year Anniversary of the Description of the Frozen Section Procedure". JAMA. American Medical Association. 294 (24): 3135–3137. doi:10.1001/jama.294.24.3135. PMID 16380595.