Air travel to see a Mayo Clinic physician?

Posted by bryanbay @bryanbay, Sep 18, 2023

I'm on the west coast and in 2018 was diagnosed, by a neurologist, with idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. The condition has greatly impacted most aspects of my life and this year I began seeing a clinical psychotherapist to help me with depression. She recommends that I make plans to visit a Mayo Clinic location, maybe in Minnesota, to see a professional there. I'm wondering if anyone here has thoughts, they'd be willing to share regarding the practicality of a traveling medical visit because I'm unsure if it makes sense to see a Mayo Clinic physician who lives a plane flight away. Are there do's and don'ts that should be considered? and could they be shared here?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Neuropathy Support Group.

@bryanbay You could consider the Mayo Clinic Care Network if any of these hospitals would be more convenient. They have relationships to consult with experts at Mayo without the patient needing to travel to Mayo. I have heard that the main Mayo Neurology department can be overwhelmed with patient requests and have long wait times for appointments.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic/care-network/network-members

There is also the Mayo Clinic Health System that has locations in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa at smaller hospitals. It may be easier to get appointments there and of course you would need to travel. Here is the website and you'll have to search for providers. There may be Mayo trained doctors working at these locations.
https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/

I can understand traveling to find the right doctor. I did that when I needed spine surgery and came to Mayo as a patient. It made a difference for me because I couldn't find a surgeon locally to take my case.

Another suggestion I could make is to look at our discussion about Myofascial Release. In some circumstances, it may help if neuropathy has a physical issues with tissue tightness so it doesn't move properly. I do a lot of this MFR work myself. It's a form of physical therapy a little bit like yoga stretching or massage.

Neuropathy - Myofascial Release for Treating Compression and Pain
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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Hello bryanbay
If you are lucky enough to get accepted by Mayo in Rochester you will get answers.
My daughter was misdiagnosed locally at a medical center for tarsal tunnel syndrome. She could not walk. Mayo accepted her, made the proper diagnosis and did the proper surgery. They never give up. They all collaborate and they healed her.
I have unremitting neck pain and sadly was not accepted in ortho or pain management at Rochester or Jacksonville.
I hope you find helpful answers somewhere.
I am following Jennifer’s advice and starting myofascial release therapy this week. I have to travel beyond my own location but if it helps it will be worth it.

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@docb99

Hello bryanbay
If you are lucky enough to get accepted by Mayo in Rochester you will get answers.
My daughter was misdiagnosed locally at a medical center for tarsal tunnel syndrome. She could not walk. Mayo accepted her, made the proper diagnosis and did the proper surgery. They never give up. They all collaborate and they healed her.
I have unremitting neck pain and sadly was not accepted in ortho or pain management at Rochester or Jacksonville.
I hope you find helpful answers somewhere.
I am following Jennifer’s advice and starting myofascial release therapy this week. I have to travel beyond my own location but if it helps it will be worth it.

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It's worth the trip to get a competent diagnosis and treatment recommendation. It certainly was in my case, where I finally got a CIDP diagnosis after years of seeing doctors at teaching hospitals who didn't figure it out. I found the concierge service at Mayo very helpful in terms of helping with accommodations. Be sure to talk to them before making arrangements. Avoid O'Hare -- which should be easy in your case. And be sure to study a map of the Rochester campus so you don't get lost. But don't be intimidated by the travel to an unknown place. Best of luck to you.

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@jenniferhunter

@bryanbay You could consider the Mayo Clinic Care Network if any of these hospitals would be more convenient. They have relationships to consult with experts at Mayo without the patient needing to travel to Mayo. I have heard that the main Mayo Neurology department can be overwhelmed with patient requests and have long wait times for appointments.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic/care-network/network-members

There is also the Mayo Clinic Health System that has locations in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa at smaller hospitals. It may be easier to get appointments there and of course you would need to travel. Here is the website and you'll have to search for providers. There may be Mayo trained doctors working at these locations.
https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/

I can understand traveling to find the right doctor. I did that when I needed spine surgery and came to Mayo as a patient. It made a difference for me because I couldn't find a surgeon locally to take my case.

Another suggestion I could make is to look at our discussion about Myofascial Release. In some circumstances, it may help if neuropathy has a physical issues with tissue tightness so it doesn't move properly. I do a lot of this MFR work myself. It's a form of physical therapy a little bit like yoga stretching or massage.

Neuropathy - Myofascial Release for Treating Compression and Pain
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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Thank you Jennifer, this is really good info to help me get started on the planning process.

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@jenniferhunter

@bryanbay You could consider the Mayo Clinic Care Network if any of these hospitals would be more convenient. They have relationships to consult with experts at Mayo without the patient needing to travel to Mayo. I have heard that the main Mayo Neurology department can be overwhelmed with patient requests and have long wait times for appointments.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic/care-network/network-members

There is also the Mayo Clinic Health System that has locations in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa at smaller hospitals. It may be easier to get appointments there and of course you would need to travel. Here is the website and you'll have to search for providers. There may be Mayo trained doctors working at these locations.
https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/

I can understand traveling to find the right doctor. I did that when I needed spine surgery and came to Mayo as a patient. It made a difference for me because I couldn't find a surgeon locally to take my case.

Another suggestion I could make is to look at our discussion about Myofascial Release. In some circumstances, it may help if neuropathy has a physical issues with tissue tightness so it doesn't move properly. I do a lot of this MFR work myself. It's a form of physical therapy a little bit like yoga stretching or massage.

Neuropathy - Myofascial Release for Treating Compression and Pain
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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A follow up question...Re:... "I have heard that the main Mayo Neurology department...", Is there a single main Mayo Neuro department? and is it located in Minnesota?

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@bryanbay

A follow up question...Re:... "I have heard that the main Mayo Neurology department...", Is there a single main Mayo Neuro department? and is it located in Minnesota?

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@bryanbay There will be neurologists at each Mayo location. The Rochester MN location is the largest with more specialists. I was seen in the spine center and the neurologist there was specialized in spine conditions and that consult was ordered by my spine surgeon. There is more information at this link for neurology:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/neurology/home/orc-20117057

When you are seen at Mayo, they will refer you to other specialists there as needed to diagnose and treat your issues and very efficiently. They usually get appointments done within a few days a or a week. If you're accepted for a different department, that may lead to a neurology consult. There are so many patients seeking help with pain from unknown causes directly in Neurology that it can be difficult to get an appointment if they are at capacity.

Our Connect Mentor @johnbishop is pretty knowledgeable about neuropathy issues and may have other suggestions. Do you have a diagnosis or direction for requesting an appointment?

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I have a diagnosis from a neurologist located here in the pacific northwest. I don't have directions for requesting an appointment at Mayo Clinic.

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@bryanbay Finding a doctor that will work with you on your individual case can sometimes be a long process. It seems these days, there is so much busyness, and overflowing patient appointments!

As @jenniferhunter mentioned, you could try someone within the Mayo Clinic Network. Seeing you are in the Pacific Northwest, here is the link for NorthBay Health in Northern California, perhaps an easier trip for you? https://www.northbay.org/ They are linked to Mayo Clinic and will collaborate with them. I see there are 3 neurologists, all accepting new clients.
Ginger

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@bryanbay

I have a diagnosis from a neurologist located here in the pacific northwest. I don't have directions for requesting an appointment at Mayo Clinic.

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@bryanbay If you do want to try for an appointment at any of the Mayo campuses, you may use this link to get started. Fill out the information and someone from Mayo will call you back.
http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63
I would also recommend looking at the insurance page to see if your insurance is "in network" at Mayo. It is easy to collect expenses because Mayo is pretty thorough about testing and consultations. https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/billing-insurance

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Why Minnesota there is a mayo clinic in Phoenix Arizona which is driveable from the west coast. Just make it a road trip spend a couple extra days on the road visiting places new to you good luck dave.

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