Your Tips on How to Get Off to the Best Start with a New Specialist

I’m looking for your best tips.
Starting a relationship with a new specialist can be daunting. You want to get off to a good start and ensure that you establish mutual respect and are able to develop trust. You want to know you’re in good hands. What is their expertise and experience? What research are they doing? Will they listen and consider your input?

How do you get off to the best start with a new provider? What suggestions would you tell a friend who is going to see a new doctor?

@jeanern01

I was found to have a rare congenital heart condition- Mayo is one of the few places in the country who has dealt with this condition.

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You will be in good hands, we have been there a lot. I did find the rates are better at the hotels after Labor Day, like anywhere. We stayed at extended stay because they have a weekly rate. We did not fly in so I have no knowledge of flights. However I did find food to be less than where we live on the west coast. It cost us 5600.00 to travel to and from, and stay for 4 months. Which is worth it for us to get my husband a stem cell transplant. Also Mayo charged less for the care than any of the big centers on the west coast. We got all the answers we needed and the doctors and nurses who cared for him were the best of the best.

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@egayle187

@adah….I'm glad to hear you've found another doctor for your son. Some doctors are as biased and pessimistic about mental challenges as the ordinary citizen. Your advocacy for your son will help others. Is there a rare disease support group where you can share your story?

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Yes there is a national rare disorder support group. It’s called mpssociety.org
Very very helpful.

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I have some points for the provider: take the new patient on time; don't interrupt when she's talking; make sure your receptionist greets the new patient promptly and smiles; tell the patient how to get in touch with you: phone, patient portal, FAX, never? This will help the patient know she made a good choice.

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@heartbreaker

I have some points for the provider: take the new patient on time; don't interrupt when she's talking; make sure your receptionist greets the new patient promptly and smiles; tell the patient how to get in touch with you: phone, patient portal, FAX, never? This will help the patient know she made a good choice.

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@heartbreaker So many good points! Some doctors are so frustrating, taking forever getting back to portal messages, etc. I plan to mention this to my PCP in October when I have an appointment. My doctors at MGH always respond promptly, but I can wait a week, even more, to hear back from my PCP.
JK

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@ees1

I’m in Pensacola, too, and going to Rochester Mayo nect month!! What are you going far if you don’t mind my asking. Thanks!!

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Meningioma, cavernoma,Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis and more!! Amtraking up and back. Want to meet and chat???

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I want to thank you all for the tips and guidance! I fly in to MN on Tues. Just have to call for shuttle arrangements could'nt decide between the two from the airport to Mayo. Stayinv at and Bed and Breakfast since I am traveling alone…still nervous. But, that is what has to happen. My hubby is with my kids. Thanks again!

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I know I’ve seen lists before but, of course, I can’t find them now. It’s me, not you!! I’m traveling to Mayo in Rochester next month via Amtrak, have reservations at the Kahler across from Mayo, and am getting organized for my appointments. I have a meningioma, a cavernoma, Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis, and other nice stuff. Want to be as efficient as possible to get the most from the appointments. I’m going to ask about how one might relate to the other, course of action, drugs? Diet? Genetics involved? I’d appreciate your help with my list of questions. Anything at all to learn from them as much as possible. Thanks, all!!

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Hi @ees1 you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing discussion that I believe you are referring to. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

I'd like to tag @auntieoakley and @debbraw as they may be able to get things started in give you tips for your visit and questions to ask your specialist.

Back to you @ees1 did the department you are seeing give you any suggestions?

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@ees1

I know I’ve seen lists before but, of course, I can’t find them now. It’s me, not you!! I’m traveling to Mayo in Rochester next month via Amtrak, have reservations at the Kahler across from Mayo, and am getting organized for my appointments. I have a meningioma, a cavernoma, Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis, and other nice stuff. Want to be as efficient as possible to get the most from the appointments. I’m going to ask about how one might relate to the other, course of action, drugs? Diet? Genetics involved? I’d appreciate your help with my list of questions. Anything at all to learn from them as much as possible. Thanks, all!!

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Thanks for the tag, Ethan McConkey. I would write down any and all questions I think of regarding all of these issues and how they relate to each other. Many of these may be answered before you ask, but those that aren’t, your doctor will take the time you need to ask. Be prepared to have whatever tests you need while you are there, they will give you an itinerary when you check in. I don’t know the particulars of your health, but in a complex medical issue there is always plenty of questions. You may ask any one at any of your appointments questions regarding that test or scan etc. Finally, when the recommendations are made, you get to help make decisions for your care. I also asked for any possible recommendations for doctors in area, and sure enough there was a great doctor a couple hours away who worked with Mayo coordinating care. I would never accept a doctor who was unwilling to coordinate with others again, after witnessing it first hand. This is where patients become more important than medical politics. I wish you the best, and please keep us posted during or after your visit. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask me, I will answer if I am able.

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@auntieoakley

Thanks for the tag, Ethan McConkey. I would write down any and all questions I think of regarding all of these issues and how they relate to each other. Many of these may be answered before you ask, but those that aren’t, your doctor will take the time you need to ask. Be prepared to have whatever tests you need while you are there, they will give you an itinerary when you check in. I don’t know the particulars of your health, but in a complex medical issue there is always plenty of questions. You may ask any one at any of your appointments questions regarding that test or scan etc. Finally, when the recommendations are made, you get to help make decisions for your care. I also asked for any possible recommendations for doctors in area, and sure enough there was a great doctor a couple hours away who worked with Mayo coordinating care. I would never accept a doctor who was unwilling to coordinate with others again, after witnessing it first hand. This is where patients become more important than medical politics. I wish you the best, and please keep us posted during or after your visit. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask me, I will answer if I am able.

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@anuntieoakley, This is very thoughtful. I was especially shocked by the fact that there are doctors who are unwilling to coordinate with others. My first experience with that kind of behavior was when the local surgeon said, if you choose Mayo, don't come to me for aftercare, I don't want to have to clean up someone else's mess. Hmmmmmmm……………

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@artscaping

@anuntieoakley, This is very thoughtful. I was especially shocked by the fact that there are doctors who are unwilling to coordinate with others. My first experience with that kind of behavior was when the local surgeon said, if you choose Mayo, don't come to me for aftercare, I don't want to have to clean up someone else's mess. Hmmmmmmm……………

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@artscaping Obviously a very insecure doctor. Glad you got rid of him.
JK

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@artscaping

@anuntieoakley, This is very thoughtful. I was especially shocked by the fact that there are doctors who are unwilling to coordinate with others. My first experience with that kind of behavior was when the local surgeon said, if you choose Mayo, don't come to me for aftercare, I don't want to have to clean up someone else's mess. Hmmmmmmm……………

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@artscaping Oooooh, that was an unprofessional thing for the local surgeon to say! I was very lucky when living in Los Angeles County, that my two specialists often conferred with each other, although they were not in the same medical group. Between them, they have guided me along my current path. Thanks to a member here reaching out when asked, I was able to connect before my move to a well-respected, Mayo Clinic trained specialist a couple of hours away, whom I will see for the first time tomorrow. He has agreed to take my case and has communicated with my former hematologist-oncologist.
Ginger

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@cacoon6

I want to thank you all for the tips and guidance! I fly in to MN on Tues. Just have to call for shuttle arrangements could'nt decide between the two from the airport to Mayo. Stayinv at and Bed and Breakfast since I am traveling alone…still nervous. But, that is what has to happen. My hubby is with my kids. Thanks again!

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@cacoon6 and @ees1, as you prepare for your visits to Mayo Clinic, Rochester you may be interested in reviewing the discussion in the Visiting Mayo Clinic group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/traveling-to-mayo-clinic/

Loads of tips, advice and ideas on what to expect.

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@artscaping

@anuntieoakley, This is very thoughtful. I was especially shocked by the fact that there are doctors who are unwilling to coordinate with others. My first experience with that kind of behavior was when the local surgeon said, if you choose Mayo, don't come to me for aftercare, I don't want to have to clean up someone else's mess. Hmmmmmmm……………

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@artscaping
I had a nearly identical conversation with a Dr. on my local team while pursuing an experimental combined surgery/kidney transplant at Mayo. He was absolutely convinced I would come back as a cobbled together mess. Fortunately my instincts were right and my Mayo surgery was such a success that my cautious local doc is now referring other patients for the same surgery combo. I think he had seen a few bad cases come back to him and didn't want the same thing for me.
On the flip side I have struggled with my Mayo experience on the "back end" of transplant. The "team" approach lacks the ability for any one person to know you and your journey. I tried to get around the system and scheduled my visits with the same Dr. after transplant but succeeded for only a short while, now I get who ever has an opening on their schedule. The post transplant teams and nurses especially are overwhelmed with hundreds of patients cases and it's almost impossible for them to know you as a person.

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I had a local doctor who didn’t play well with others, I had not thought much about it until my husband got multiple myeloma and another local doctor said if he went for a second opinion to a cancer center or Mayo not to come back. That is when I decided the politics of health in our area was fostering this. Then we went to Mayo and found out what it was like to have care that actually cared about the patients and not just keeping every medical dollar in the local system. This is why I now seek out doctors that are willing to coordinate with others, even if it means a bit of driving.

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