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Mayo Clinic's 'Singing Surgeon' Plays Farewell Concert In Rochester

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- "The Singing Surgeon" will wrap up residency at Mayo Clinic this week.

Dr. Elvis Francois, with Dr. William Robinson on piano, said thanks and goodbye to the Med City Wednesday night. The orthopedic surgery residents performed a free live concert at Forager Brewery in Rochester.

Dr. Francois and Dr. Robinson collaborated during their surgery residency at Mayo Clinic, going viral by offering uplifting songs online.

"You start to realize that surgery and medication can only go so far, and music really heals and touches people in ways medicine can't," Francois said.

As that chapter comes to a close, they wanted to say thanks, their way.

"Rochester, Minnesota was a place for us to work, and now it's become our home and everything we know," Robinson said. "Elvis and I have gained success with our music, but we're nothing without the origin, the roots."

Francois says they support they've received has been "incredible."

Mayo Clinic Singing Surgeon Dr. Elvis Francois and Dr. William Robinson
Dr. William Robinson and Dr. Elvis Francois (credit: CBS)

"It really has helped to amplify the message that music is medicine," Francois said.

People with reservations at Forager Brewery filled the patio at a distance. Others listened from just outside. Rochester residents Barry and Sharon Knapp were among the people who wanted to see the duo perform in person, before they leave Minnesota and go their separate ways.

"We enjoy their music, and we wish them well," Barry Knapp said.

Aiden Blackburn calls himself a frequent patient at Mayo. The 10-year-old is waiting for a kidney.

"Waiting and waiting and waiting, but it's coming," Blackburn said. "You've got to have hope. Music kind of gives me hope."

Aiden's mom, Ashley Dickinson, is also full of hope.

"We never thought we'd have a chance to see him live. We thought we're here, this is happening for a reason," Dickinson said.

And the doctors say that's what it's all about.

"Take a step back and realize that those small things, small acts of kindness go a long way," Francois said.

Dr. Francois next heads to Boston, and Dr. Robinson to Philadelphia to continue their training. They say they plan to keep making music together.

In April, the pair released a four-song album called "Music is Medicine," with the aim of raising money for COVID-19 relief.


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