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Making the Most of a Visit to the Mayo Clinic

Updated on December 14, 2014
Bronze statues of the Mayo Clinic founders
Bronze statues of the Mayo Clinic founders | Source

When one mentions the Mayo Clinic, it’s the hospital recognized around the world. Ranked #1 overall hospital by U.S. News and World Report among countless other accolades, you can be sure to receive top notch quality care during your patient visit to the Mayo Clinic.

Patients of the Mayo Clinic report time and time again that the care they received some of the best care in their patient experience and that medical staff discover break through treatments and groundbreaking research every day.

Learn how to make the most of your visit to the Mayo Clinic below including how to prepare for your visit and what to expect. I also share my personal connection with the Mayo Clinic through my husband’s patient experience.

Major medical issues treated at the Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic tackles just about any medical issue out there. Below are just some of the major medical issues they treat:

Ear, Nose, Throat

Scheduling an appointment

Often patients arrive at the Mayo Clinic after exhausting many of their local medical resources, to seek a second, expert opinion, or to treat a complex issue. Because of this, patients most frequently begin their patient journey to the Mayo Clinic with a referral from their primary doctor.

You may find that getting an appointment right away may not go as expected. Because Mayo Clinic has many experts in their field, there are often long waiting lists of patients hoping to get an appointment.

Have you ever been to the Mayo Clinic?

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Here are some things you need to know before scheduling your Mayo Clinic appointment:

  • Staff prioritize appointments based on medical need, severity, and urgency of the issue.

  • Appointments are also prioritized based on Mayo Clinic’s ability to help.

  • Most urgent problems will receive more timely appointments.

  • Check with your doctor to know for sure if you need a referral or not.

  • Occasionally you can get in to see a medical professional without an appointment, but it is not recommended.

  • Wait times for appointments tend to be shorter during the winter months, so that is the most optimal time to try to schedule your visit.

Preparing for your medical visit

Bring prescriptions to your appointment
Bring prescriptions to your appointment | Source

Once you have your appointment scheduled, you can begin preparing for your visit.

Begin by gathering all necessary information that you want your Mayo Clinic provider to know about. Below is a list of information that may be needed:

  • Your insurance card

  • A copy of all prescriptions and supplements you are taking including your prescription bottles

  • A referral letter from your primary doctor

  • Former test results, x-rays, or recent medical records

It may help to call the clinic ahead of time to verify all of the information that the doctor you will be seeing may prefer that you bring.

Arranging your travel and accommodations

Downtown Rochester, Minnesota
Downtown Rochester, Minnesota | Source

Once you prepare all of your necessary medical information, you should plan out your travel and accommodations. You should know that Rochester, Minnesota can get quite cold and snowy in the wintertime. If you are from a state that does not get below 0 or see much snow accumulation in the winter, you should be sure to have a very warm coat, gloves, hat, etc. if you plan on traveling to Rochester in the winter.

If you plan on flying from out of state, you can arrange a bus shuttle from the airport to the Mayo Clinic or your hotel.

The Mayo Clinic is located right in the heart of Rochester in a very large downtown business district. There are many buildings, restaurants and hotels within walking distance from the clinic.

The two most popular hotels adjacent to the Mayo Clinic are:

  • The Grand Kahler Hotel

  • The Kahler Inn and Suites

What to expect during your visit

Consultation at the Mayo Clinic
Consultation at the Mayo Clinic | Source

When the day of your appointment arrives, rest assured that you are in good hands. The staff at the Mayo Clinic could not be more caring, gentle, expert, and completely focused on the good health of their patients.

Below are some things you can expect during your evaluation:

  • First, your doctor will most likely fully review your medical history and current condition.

  • Then, you should expect an exam with your Mayo provider.

  • Tests or consultations with other medical professionals may be ordered to get as full a picture of your issues as possible.

  • Once testing and all evaluations are completed, your Mayo doctor will make recommendations for your treatment and long term care plan.

  • Follow-up visits may be scheduled as needed.

Apart from your evaluation, the Mayo Clinic has a plethora of adventures to discover during your visit. Below are some of my favorite things the Mayo Clinic has to offer:

Glass art at the Mayo Clinic
Glass art at the Mayo Clinic | Source
  • A grand piano in the middle of the common area that anyone may play or simply enjoy the music from passers-by.

  • The underground shopping center with halls and halls full of unique shops filled with gift ideas, clothes, specialty foods, and unique items for yourself and your home. It’s a great way to fill the time between appointments and will give those traveling with you something to do while you see your medical staff.

  • The art. Art in the Mayo Clinic is abundant and almost everywhere you look. From sculptures and paintings to glass work and pottery, there is something to please every eye and create a welcoming atmosphere.

  • The restaurants and city of Rochester. You will not run out of things to do during your stay in Rochester. From restaurants in all price ranges and palettes, the city offers cuisine to satisfy every palette.

While many people become anxious or nervous before medical appointments, try to put yourself at ease as much as possible. Once you arrive, you will find that the Mayo staff will always keep your wellbeing at heart.

Mayo Clinic Patient Success Story

Personal experience at the Mayo Clinic

My husband began his patient experience at the Mayo Clinic in 2007 when he was referred to see Neurologist Dr. Andrew Engel. For 27 years, he was misdiagnosed as having Muscular Dystrophy, but treatments were not improving his symptoms of breathing issues, poor muscle strength, and lack of energy. His local primary physician suggested seeing a specialist at the Mayo Clinic to see if they could offer a proper diagnosis and better treatment plan.

After arriving at the Mayo Clinic, his neurologist advised that Muscular Dystrophy was not a correct diagnosis. They performed muscle biopsy to confirm that he in fact had a form of Congenital Myasthenia Syndrome (CMS), a very rare neuromuscular disorder.

After 27 years, the Mayo Clinic offered my husband a correct diagnosis and proper treatment plan, and correct medication that has not only allowed him to maintain his health, but improve his strength, energy, and overall quality of life.

Since that initial diagnosis, we have traveled to Rochester, MN several times for annual check-ups and have built trusting relationships with all of the medical staff there.

My husband largely credits the Mayo Clinic for:

  • Correctly identifying a proper diagnosis.

  • Offering him an accurate treatment plan.

  • Giving him his strength back.

  • Improving his quality of life.

  • Slowing the progression of his condition.

  • Building lasting relationships with medical staff.

Mayo Clinic entrance
Mayo Clinic entrance | Source

Personally we have seen the life changing work that the Mayo Clinic offers their patients through the selfless work that the nurses, doctors, and staff do each and every day. We hope that if you are thinking about booking an appointment with the Mayo Clinic, or are looking for an alternative treatment plan, that you find the same kind of life-altering care that the Mayo Clinic provides.

Have you been a patient at the Mayo Clinic? Share your own patient experience in the comments!

Are you thinking about or planning your first visit the Mayo Clinic? What attracted you to their medical care or what are you hoping to get out of your visit/experience? Leave a comment, below!


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    • Diana Majors profile image

      Diana Majors 

      13 months ago from Arkansas

      I have finally gotten an appointment for autonomic dysfunction problems and I'll be going to Rochester, MN in 2 months. I'm beyond excited for the opportunity to learn what is happening with my body! Your article is very helpful to prepare myself for what to expect! Thank you!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      If anyone has advice on how to get into the Mayo clinic, I'm desperate for it. I've been denied twice now after my primary care doctor referred me. The first time a couple of years ago they told me that I should be able to get the care I need where I live. I tried to explain that even though I had been seen by many doctors here, they don't communicate with each other and we still didn't have an explanation for the health decline that began 3.5 years ago. My health has gotten so bad that I'm now on disability and it is killing me to feel so useless. This time the denial from internal medicine just said they don't have room for me because of so much demand.

      While we finally do have a better understanding of why my health declined so precipitously, we don't have a comprehensive treatment plan to get me better. I've had lupus and Sjogren's syndrome for decades that have been fairly well managed. What we finally figured out a few months ago is that the autoimmune diseases have attacked my nervous system. I have small fiber neuropathy and autonomic dysfunction. It's now a process of finding the right combinations of treatments to halt the progress and potentially reverse some of the nerve damage. I'm fortunate that I have never had liver or kidney problems so we're not restricted really, on what we can try.

      But the rheumatologist does not work with the neurologist that doesn't work with the gastroenterologist, that doesn't work with the cardiologist, that doesn't work with my pain management specialist, and all of them are slow to get results and reports to my primary care doctor. Also, I'm convinced that a large part of the problem is that I'm on way too many medications. I take 14 different prescriptions a day and I'm only 43 years old. I believe they have affected my mental state and ability to focus severely. But none of the doctors really has advice on how to start reducing the meds or figuring out which ones might be interacting badly and actually causing more problems.

      I desperately need to work with a team of doctors to put together a comprehensive treatment plan, that includes getting me off narcotics and a lot of other medicine. Please, does anyone have advice on how to be seen at Mayo? Every week that does by without a good treatment plan is another week I'll be on disability.

    • Chantelle Porter profile image

      Chantelle Porter 

      3 years ago from Chicago

      My son had his corneal transplant at Mayo and the care has been wonderful. I'm so glad they could help your husband. I wish we could get all of our care there.

    • WheelerWife profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi AliciaC - thanks for the comment! Yes, Mayo Clinic really is a fascinating place. Thanks for stopping by!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I visit the Mayo Clinic website frequently, but I've never read about the physical establishment before. This is an interesting hub that contains some surprises. I never knew that the Mayo Clinic had an underground shopping center! It's good to hear that the clinic is helping your husband.


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