Frequently Asked Questions about Appointments at Mayo Clinic

How soon are appointments available?
Appointments at Mayo Clinic are prioritized on the basis of medical need. Availability depends on the nature and urgency of the problem and Mayo Clinic's ability to help (as determined by a Mayo Clinic doctor). Appointment requirements will vary depending on the specialty. Timely appointments are available for urgent problems.

Do you need a doctor's referral for an appointment?
Some specialty areas at Mayo require a doctor's referral, and some do not. Most insurance plans require a referral from a plan doctor in order to get access to Mayo Clinic. You should check with your insurance company or your doctor prior to seeking care at Mayo.

If I'm a member of a managed care plan, can I still get access to Mayo?
Yes. Mayo Clinic provides services for patients from many HMOs, PPOs and other managed care plans — and this number continues to grow. These plans have limitations or requirements for receiving care from providers outside of their network, so you need to check with your insurance company representative or your doctor prior to seeking care at Mayo.

Can I get into Mayo Clinic without an appointment?
If you choose to come and wait on site for an appointment opening, we will make every effort to see you. But you may have to wait for several days or a week or longer, depending on the number of appointment cancellations and the number of other people waiting for an appointment. Waiting time tends to be shorter in winter in Rochester.

If you are ill, ask to be seen immediately. A Mayo doctor will talk with you to evaluate the severity of your illness. The doctor's recommendation will determine how soon and in which area you will be scheduled for an appointment.

What is involved in a Mayo evaluation?
A thorough examination is the first step in most patients' visits to Mayo. In most cases, it is done as a part of the investigation of a specific medical problem. The patient's primary doctor will start by fully reviewing the patient's medical situation. The doctor will then order whatever tests or consultations with other specialists that he or she feels necessary, which are scheduled in a coordinated way. After all testing has been completed, the primary doctor will go over the results with the patient and make final recommendations. If you require hospitalization, you will be admitted to one of Mayo Clinic's hospitals.

How much time will my medical evaluation require?
The time required for a medical evaluation depends on your medical needs. Medical evaluations usually can be completed within three to six working days; however, additional testing or consultations may require more time. In some instances, your evaluation or treatment may require a return visit. We encourage you to keep your travel plans as flexible as possible. Please note that Mayo Clinic is not open on weekends or holidays.

What medical information should I bring with me?
Be sure to bring a complete list of the medications and dosages you currently are taking. (Your doctor also may ask to see your medications, so please have them available.) If possible, please bring a letter from your local doctor summarizing your medical condition. Copies of your medical record, including pertinent X-rays and other test results related to your current medical concerns also will be helpful. Please be aware, however, that Mayo Clinic doctors may find it necessary to repeat some of these tests to ensure the most accurate diagnosis possible.

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