Great Living Cincinnatians
Frank H. Mayfield, M.D.
Awarded in 1980
When Dr. Frank H. Mayfield arrived in Cincinnati in 1937 to found the neurosurgery department at Good Samaritan Hospital, his reputation was already established. The first patient he had in the city was a woman who lived on Melish Avenue, and whose family physician had sent Mayfield a surgical patient when he was teaching and practicing at the University of Louisville. Mayfield had successfully removed a spinal chord tumor.
"Shortly after I got here, the same physician called and asked me to look at another patient of his," Mayfield recalled. "The doctor said, 'it looks like the same thing, doesn't it?' Well it turned out to be the same thing, but the point is people see what they look for; they look for what they know. The field of neurosurgery was so new, I was the only one in private practice who knew what to look for."
The 45 years since Mayfield's arrival in Cincinnati have seen immense advances in the field of surgical neurology, many of them instituted by the internationally known surgeon. Today the Mayfield Clip, designed by him to patch aneurysms, is used in modified forms by surgeons around the world. The Mayfield Headrest is standard equipment on operating room tables, and he is credited with helping to develop the automobile seat belt.
Mayfield retired as Director of Good Samaritan Hospital's neurosurgery department in 1978, and stopped performing surgery in 1981. He continued teaching, serving as a consultant and assisting in surgery.