|David Dahlin was born to tenant farmers, near Beresford, SD. School began for him in a one room rural school. When he was in the fifth grade he attended "town school" in Centerville. He graduated from High School as valedictorian. Plowing fields with horses taught Dahlin that he didn't want to do such work.
Dahlin worked his way through college in South Dakota and Medical School in Chicago. He served as an Army flight surgeon in Italy during World War II and came to the Mayo Clinic as a surgical resident in 1945. He became Department of Surgery Chairman in 1970 holding the post until 1981. <p>Dr. Dahlin's expertise in identifying bone tumors propelled him to distinction. He studied every bone tumor in Mayo's tissue registry file noting all it's distinguishing facts. In 1957 he published a book It was the most complete and definitive text on bone tumors ever published. <p>Dahlin's expertise in bone tumors brought him world renown in pathology circles and speaking invitations around the globe. At the same time he was extremely generous in sharing his knowledge and materials with others. He helped influence and further the careers of dozens of pathologists around the world, including Dr. Unni, heir to the vast bone tumor collection. <p>Dr. Dahlin retired in 1983, but still kept a hand in his profession, attending medical meetings and looking at cases every day. <p>Dr. Dahlin's dedication in pathology aided in establishing the Mayo Clinic as a specialized expertise.
|Home Town (Beresford, SD)|