Friday, October 6, 2017

Journey to the Mayo Clinic

A few months ago, I came across the Mayo Clinic in my research. The Mayo Clinic, in case you don't know, is a nonprofit medical research group. The largest location is in Rochester, Minnesota. The institution has a three part focus: patient care, research, and education. I had heard stories online of people who had gone to the Mayo Clinic when they had exhausted all other options, and often had pain or symptoms that they could not effectively treat or diagnose. Some of these people even left with a diagnosis. At the time, I did not feel that I was quite ready to pursue this avenue, as I'm sure it is expensive, and Texas is a long way from Minnesota.

It was Time

However, after a series of disappointing appointments and procedures, and a lack of progress, my mom and I decided this week that we were ready to begin the process of applying to the Mayo Clinic. My mom began by simply calling the number on their website for the Minnesota appointment office. This first call was just to find out more about the process. Let me just say as a side note, everybody we have spoken to so far at the Mayo Clinic has been incredibly efficient, helpful, and kind. She explained to my mom the general process of applying for an appointment at the Mayo Clinic, and what our next steps should be to have the best chance of success.

Starting the Process 

The next time we called this number, my mom and I sat down together. We went though a list of my issues. We explained my symptoms, previous testing I have had done, the results of procedures I have had, and a brief history of my health for the past few years. After going over this information, we decided that since I don't know exactly what specialist or division would be best equipped to handle my medical issues, that we would start with general Internal Medicine appointment. Here, an internal medicine doctor will evaluate my concerns and order tests or consults form other specialists once he or she has seen me and my medical records. This way we don't start out with a gynecological appointment, and then find out my problem is gastrointestinal, for example. The woman on the phone tells us that our stay will last in approximately 5-7 business days, and the staff will try their best to schedule my appointments in that time frame. At the end of the phone call, she sends me an email with a link to an online form. The form will ask for further detail and information about my symptoms, how they have been evaluated thus far, and the results of those evaluations. The form also asks what my goals are for my visit to the Mayo Clinic. We were told to call back if we had any issues, and that the form would take 3 business days to be evaluated. Finally, after the form had been evaluated, we would receive a call to tell us whether or not my request for an appointment had been granted.

I would love to document this process and share my journey with you. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you yourself have any experience with the Mayo Clinic!

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