Frequently asked questions about scheduling appointments at Mayo Clinic

Do I need a referral?

Mayo Clinic generally doesn't require a doctor's referral. But your insurance might. It's a good idea to check with your insurance company about coverage requirements. If you need a referral, we can help you with this process.

Even if a doctor's referral isn't required, getting one can help Mayo Clinic better determine what care you need.

Can I request a particular provider?

You may wonder if it's possible to see a specialist you have read about. Or someone who has been recommended by a friend or colleague.

Mayo Clinic can't honor all requests, but we try to when possible.

However, we won't grant requests for care team members based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, disability status, age or any other personal attribute.

We strive to create an environment where everyone in our diverse community feels safe and welcome and is treated with respect and dignity.

Appointment specialists are specially trained to match you with the provider or group that's the best fit for your diagnosis and your history.

If you'd like more information on our policies, contact the Office of Patient Experience at:

  • Jacksonville: 904-953-2019
  • Phoenix/Scottsdale: 480-301-4938
  • Rochester: 507-284-4988
  • Mayo Clinic Health System: 844-544-0036

Can I be seen for conditions other than my primary concern?

Mayo Clinic practices integrated medicine. That means providers across different clinical areas work closely together to assess more than one condition.

If you have a list of health concerns, include that information in your initial appointment request. That will help our appointment specialists best plan your visit.

How soon are appointments available?

That depends on your medical need and the area of practice you need to see. You might be able to see a provider next week, or you might have to wait 12 weeks or more. Generally, timely appointments are available for urgent problems.

Is there a waiting list?

Some areas have more requests for appointments than they have availability. When that happens, some departments do keep a waiting list. Other areas accommodate appointments with very little wait time. The best way to determine appointment availability is to request an appointment.

What is typically involved in the first evaluation?

A thorough examination is the first step in your visit to Mayo.

Your coordinating provider will start by reviewing your medical history. He or she will then order any necessary tests or additional consultations. These will be scheduled in a coordinated way, and you'll be given an easy-to-understand itinerary. After testing is complete, your provider will review results with you and make final recommendations.

Can I fit all of my appointments into a single week?

It depends on your medical needs. In general, medical evaluations can be completed within a week. Mayo Clinic aims to coordinate appointments and tests in concentrated blocks, to be respectful of your time.

Sometimes, your provider will recommend additional testing or consultations, which require more time. In some instances, your evaluation or treatment may require return visits. We encourage you to keep travel plans as flexible as possible.

Can friends or family members come to appointments with me?

Absolutely. Relatives and friends can be an important part of your support team and are always welcome at Mayo Clinic. During some exams and tests, they may be asked to stay in the waiting area.

Do I need to bring my medical records? Or does Mayo Clinic start from scratch?

We encourage you to bring any records related to the medical concern you want addressed. When you request your appointment, ask if your Mayo doctors will expect to see anything specific. Generally, plan to provide:

  • A letter from your local provider summarizing your medical condition
  • A list of the medications and dosages you're currently taking
  • Your immunization record
  • Copies of any medical record information from providers outside of Mayo Clinic
  • Any radiologic films, CDs, DVDs, videos or written reports related to your condition
  • Any pathology slides and written reports from relevant biopsies

If your local provider refers you to Mayo Clinic, he or she will likely submit your medical records for you. If you're visiting without a referral, ask your provider to share your records.

If additional files are needed once you arrive, Mayo will contact your provider. You'll be asked to sign a consent form to release your records.

Does Mayo Clinic ever close?

Mayo is closed on weekends and all major U.S. holidays. These include New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Of course, the hospital and emergency department are open 24/7.