Your care experience

During your first visit to Mayo Clinic, you will usually be assigned to a Mayo Clinic staff doctor, who will coordinate your care. If your local doctor did not refer you to a particular Mayo Clinic doctor, the clinic will select a doctor to conduct your initial exam and decide which lab tests and other consultations may be needed. Your local doctor will be updated after your visit, if you wish.

We encourage you to bring a list of questions to discuss with your doctor and recommend that you meet alone for at least part of your initial visit to help develop an effective doctor-patient relationship. Consider having someone accompany you when you are receiving test results or follow-up instructions.

Teamwork

If your doctor decides that you should see other Mayo Clinic specialists, those appointments will be scheduled for you. Your doctor also may consult with other Mayo Clinic specialists behind the scenes. This team approach helps ensure that you receive all the expertise you need to find answers about your health problem.

Your team also includes those who may directly assist your doctor with your care, such as technicians, nurses, physical therapists and many others. These individuals have training and skills that allow them to perform specific roles on the patient care team.

Diagnosis and treatment

Your doctor will order diagnostic tests for you through a computerized system and you'll receive instructions on any necessary preparations for the tests. The majority of your lab tests will be performed and interpreted at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. The services of Mayo Medical Laboratories in Jacksonville and in Rochester, Minn., are available for highly specialized tests. This large lab is used by doctors throughout the world and provides a level of expertise not readily available in many communities.

The results of your tests will be quickly available in Mayo Clinic's electronic medical record, and in Patient Online Services. Your doctor will discuss them with you, along with results of other consultations and go over treatment recommendations. A report of your exam will be sent to you and your local doctor, if you wish.

Hospitalization

If you and your doctor decide that you need hospital care, you will be admitted to Mayo Clinic hospital on campus. If you are too ill to be examined as an outpatient at the clinic, you may be admitted directly to the hospital. Admissions are arranged by a Mayo Clinic doctor, usually in consultation with your local doctor.