Referral Process

Referring a physician to Mayo Clinic

The first step is recognizing that a physician with performance issues may be experiencing an undiagnosed medical condition. Once the first call is made, Mayo Clinic staff will obtain information critical for an appointment and coordinate a pre-visit interview with the physician being referred. Mayo Clinic staff will also collect and review pertinent records, job descriptions and other data.

Based on the information gathered during the pre-visit interview, we will design a customized itinerary. We will contact the employer or referring personnel manager periodically with an update on the assessment if authorization is given. We will also send him or her a summary report of the medical findings. For individuals with conditions that preclude full return to work, we will provide recommendations for work restrictions and long-term vocational prognosis.

What employers and personnel managers need to consider

Supervision of physicians can be a challenging task. Doctors frequently may not obtain regular medical care or do so through brief contact with colleagues outside of the traditional doctor-patient model. Detecting performance declines may require very difficult and candid conversations but are critical in preventing safety issues to patients or co-workers in the health care environment.

Referring evaluations to colleagues practicing in the same facility or health system as the affected physician may:

  • Create awkward conflicts
  • Risk confidentiality breaches
  • Open the possibility of complex occupational medicine assessments being handled by physicians without expertise in occupational medicine

The Mayo Clinic Physician Health Center provides a place to refer these individuals in order to provide a nonconflicted, reliable resource to establish a return-to-work disposition.