Can't get an appointment: Any tips on what to do?

Posted by radiocity @radiocity, Jul 2, 2021

Over a year trying to get an appointment, Scottsdale/Phoenix. I have two issues that may or may not be related. 5 'regular' doctors and 2 years later reveals what are likely lumbar spinal issues, but none of them can account for an issue in my left abdominal area. Last Doc I saw sent referral to Mayo, April 2020. Mayo says 2-3 years to establish primary care. I asked for an appt (internal medicine, interns, anyone at this point) for a comprehensive physical, to basically start over, but I keep getting rejected. I don't understand.

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Hi @radiocity, how disappointing. It sounds like you’ve taken the appropriate steps to seek care at Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately Mayo Clinic has more requests for appointments than available openings, especially in primary care in Phoenix. Have you considered requesting an appointment at another Mayo Clinic location, for example in Rochester, Minnesota or Jacksonville, Florida?

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Hi @radiocity. I understand what you are feeling having experienced being denied myself six years ago. It was heartbreaking for me. But fortunately for me my referring doctor never gave up on me or gave up in getting me to be seen at Mayo. I am now and have been a Mayo patient for six years. If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing. GOD had a plan for me. HIS timing was perfect. The key is to never give up and have faith that things will work out.

I agree with @colleenyoung about trying another campus. Sometimes we have to travel long distances to find answers. I exhausted my options in my home state before reaching out to Mayo in Rochester MN. I live 4 1/2 hrs from Rochester, but would travel further if need be to get answers and care.

Wishing you all the best as you look for answers.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @radiocity, how disappointing. It sounds like you’ve taken the appropriate steps to seek care at Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately Mayo Clinic has more requests for appointments than available openings, especially in primary care in Phoenix. Have you considered requesting an appointment at another Mayo Clinic location, for example in Rochester, Minnesota or Jacksonville, Florida?

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I have not. The travel requirements would be prohibitive. Thank you Colleen.

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@nancy82415

Hi @radiocity. I understand what you are feeling having experienced being denied myself six years ago. It was heartbreaking for me. But fortunately for me my referring doctor never gave up on me or gave up in getting me to be seen at Mayo. I am now and have been a Mayo patient for six years. If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing. GOD had a plan for me. HIS timing was perfect. The key is to never give up and have faith that things will work out.

I agree with @colleenyoung about trying another campus. Sometimes we have to travel long distances to find answers. I exhausted my options in my home state before reaching out to Mayo in Rochester MN. I live 4 1/2 hrs from Rochester, but would travel further if need be to get answers and care.

Wishing you all the best as you look for answers.

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Thank you Nancy.

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@radiocity

I have not. The travel requirements would be prohibitive. Thank you Colleen.

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Colleen – my understanding is that Mayo is the place where people go (or are referred to) for issues that the 'typical' medical community can't figure out. I see multiple blogs where people go to Mayo for more 'common' ailments (no disrespect intended), and get in right away. Whatever I have is certainly beyond that. I know people that have had seemingly complex issues and get an appointment is days or weeks. I understand the comment about Primary Care, but I've been told that options exist prior to establishing PC, such as what I stated previously – internal medicine, or initial screening by interns. Just need to get it started. I can resume my quest with the external medical community, which will likely repeat the same results, hence my persistence. Thanks again.

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@radiocity have you tried to be seen at a teaching hospital that is close to you since the MN and FL Mayo locations are not a possibility?

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@nancy82415

@radiocity have you tried to be seen at a teaching hospital that is close to you since the MN and FL Mayo locations are not a possibility?

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I am unaware of this option, if related to Mayo. I've already considered going to a hospital and inquiring about self-admission, but as I eluded to previously, I'm not confident enough that they're going to do anything different than the things I've already tried. Thanks for the idea.

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@radiocity

I am unaware of this option, if related to Mayo. I've already considered going to a hospital and inquiring about self-admission, but as I eluded to previously, I'm not confident enough that they're going to do anything different than the things I've already tried. Thanks for the idea.

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Have you tried getting an appointment with a member of the Mayo Clinic Heath Care Network? I have attached a link I found on the Mayo Clinic website.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic/care-network/members
This maybe be an option if you cannot get an appointment at the AZ campus.

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@radiocity Have you actually been diagnosed with lumbar spine issues through imaging and an evaluation with a spine specialist? There are some conditions that mimic spine problems that are actually caused by a misaligned pelvis and overly tight hip flexors. If that is the case, a physical therapist can help, preferably one who does manual work, and not just putting you through a bunch of exercises. My PT does myofascial release which helps me a lot.

If you do find there actually is a spine condition, you could pursue being seen at Mayo for this if you arranged to send in your imaging that diagnoses it when requesting an appointment. I am a spine surgery patient and that is how I was accepted. They have to review imaging first to know if a surgeon can help. It also helped that 5 other local surgeons rejected my case and refused to operate on obvious spinal cord compression because they didn't recognized some unusual symptoms and couldn't connect it to the problem.

Here are the links. One is written for physical therapists, but you can take that to your doctor and get a referral for a PT evaluation. There is a provider search for MFR therapists on the MFR website which you will find in the first pages of the discussion.

Myofascial Release
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
https://mskneurology.com/identify-treat-lumbar-plexus-compression-syndrome-lpcs/

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@jenniferhunter

@radiocity Have you actually been diagnosed with lumbar spine issues through imaging and an evaluation with a spine specialist? There are some conditions that mimic spine problems that are actually caused by a misaligned pelvis and overly tight hip flexors. If that is the case, a physical therapist can help, preferably one who does manual work, and not just putting you through a bunch of exercises. My PT does myofascial release which helps me a lot.

If you do find there actually is a spine condition, you could pursue being seen at Mayo for this if you arranged to send in your imaging that diagnoses it when requesting an appointment. I am a spine surgery patient and that is how I was accepted. They have to review imaging first to know if a surgeon can help. It also helped that 5 other local surgeons rejected my case and refused to operate on obvious spinal cord compression because they didn't recognized some unusual symptoms and couldn't connect it to the problem.

Here are the links. One is written for physical therapists, but you can take that to your doctor and get a referral for a PT evaluation. There is a provider search for MFR therapists on the MFR website which you will find in the first pages of the discussion.

Myofascial Release
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
https://mskneurology.com/identify-treat-lumbar-plexus-compression-syndrome-lpcs/

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I have been diagnosed, via imaging and eval, with numerous herniated disks and bone spurs. Foot numbness for almost two years, left leg starting to weaken. Also have abdominal numbness and tightness/pressure. 2 CT scans, 3 MRIs, endless XRays. Three spinal injections, no relief. I've seen a neurologist and orthopedic surgeon, neither of whom could move forward with a comfortable degree of confidence. Had colonoscopy, all clear. Nobody even guesses at the cause of the abdominal issue so I'm hoping Mayo would 'start over'. Anyone I see at this point will want new images so not sure how far the old ones will get me. Thanks for the links, I'll look into these.

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@radiocity

I have been diagnosed, via imaging and eval, with numerous herniated disks and bone spurs. Foot numbness for almost two years, left leg starting to weaken. Also have abdominal numbness and tightness/pressure. 2 CT scans, 3 MRIs, endless XRays. Three spinal injections, no relief. I've seen a neurologist and orthopedic surgeon, neither of whom could move forward with a comfortable degree of confidence. Had colonoscopy, all clear. Nobody even guesses at the cause of the abdominal issue so I'm hoping Mayo would 'start over'. Anyone I see at this point will want new images so not sure how far the old ones will get me. Thanks for the links, I'll look into these.

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@radiocity My advice would be to get your most recent imaging and ask for it to be reviewed by a spine surgeon specifically for spine issues. If you get into Mayo for that, they will refer you to other departments as they see fit. I had surgery at Rochester and asked for a specific neurosurgeon there because his area of interest fit my needs. I had been turned down by several surgeons (not at Mayo) before contacting the Mayo surgeon, and he took me as a patient. It does not cost anything for a review of records as you probably already know. Because this is more specific and addresses if you would be a surgical candidate, you would be bypassing all the general requests for primary care. Do you want to consider other Mayo campuses? Initially, I didn't want to travel for spine surgery, but no local surgeon would help. Rochester is a 5 and a half hour drive for me, and worth it.

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@jenniferhunter

@radiocity My advice would be to get your most recent imaging and ask for it to be reviewed by a spine surgeon specifically for spine issues. If you get into Mayo for that, they will refer you to other departments as they see fit. I had surgery at Rochester and asked for a specific neurosurgeon there because his area of interest fit my needs. I had been turned down by several surgeons (not at Mayo) before contacting the Mayo surgeon, and he took me as a patient. It does not cost anything for a review of records as you probably already know. Because this is more specific and addresses if you would be a surgical candidate, you would be bypassing all the general requests for primary care. Do you want to consider other Mayo campuses? Initially, I didn't want to travel for spine surgery, but no local surgeon would help. Rochester is a 5 and a half hour drive for me, and worth it.

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Thank you, very helpful.

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