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Mon, Jan 15 8:00am

Connecting through Secure Messages

By Mayo Clinic Chest Surgery Team, @mayoclinicchestsurgeryteam

Patient Online Services HomepageYour Thoracic Care Team can always be contacted when you have questions about your care.  One easy way to ask a non-emergency question is to use secure messaging through Patient Online Services.

Once you are a registered Mayo Clinic patient, it is easy to set up a Patient Online Services account.  Go to and click “Create your account” to begin the process.

Once you have your account, you can send a secure message  to communicate with your team.  This is basically an email service that lets you message your care team securely, keeping your health information private. Secure messaging can allow you to:

  • Seek clarification about your plan of care
  • Ask follow-up questions about lab results
  • Relay updates on your health status

When you write your question, please be as specific as possible.   Provide the information your care team will need to give you the best answer possible. Your clear, concise message will help your team answer your question.

Our goal is to respond within two business days though, depending on the question, you may get your response sooner.

Once your care team sends you a response, you’ll receive an email letting you know that you’ve received and answer.  You’ll need to log in to Patient Online Services to read that message.

Secure messaging is a quick, convenient way to get your non-emergency medical questions answered. It helps you stay in touch with your care team and get the care you need post surgery.


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Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 24, 2018
Posted by @friendofmayo, Sun, Jul 22 9:48am

I wrote a message to my doctor via the secure messaging of the patient portal eight days ago, and still have not received a response. Is this typical, or did I do something wrong?

Posted by @hopeful33250, Sun, Jul 22 1:49pm

If I were in your situation, @friendofmayo, I would be inclined to call the office and ask if the doctor had received your message or not. Could be a clerical error, or someone on vacation, etc. but you should check to be sure.

Being your own advocate is important always!

I would like to hear from you again and know if you finally got your message through.


Posted by @colleenyoung, Sun, Jul 22 8:57pm

Hi @friendofmayo
That is an abnormal amount of time to not have received a response. It is possible that your message didn't go through or that it got overlooked unintentionally.

I might suggest you:
a) resubmit your message on the patient portal
b) contact patient online services using this form

You will need your Mayo Clinic patient number to complete the form.


Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 24, 2018
Posted by @friendofmayo, Thu, Jul 26 9:38pm

Yes, thank you! I sent my message again and this time I received a very thoughtful reply from my doctor in two days. I would suggest that anyone trying to message their doctors via the patient portal might use the "non-urgent medical question" setting rather than "visit follow-up question". It was when I used the latter that I received no reply. The former has always worked for me, and I am very edified by the doctors who reply so graciously and quickly. Perhaps there is a "bug" in the online services…?

Posted by @lisalucier, Tue, Aug 7 8:55am

Hi, @friendofmayo,

Since you mentioned these experiences with portal messaging to your Mayo Clinic physician, I reached out to the Mayo Clinic patient online services team. This is what they said:

Your care team normally will respond to secure messages within 2 businesses days or sooner. From a technical point of view, the subject line doesn’t affect how or when the provider receives your message. When a patient sends a message, the message goes to what’s called an Inbasket. From there, the messages are sent to the appropriate person, who then reads and responds to the message. We’re glad you ultimately received a thoughtful reply from your doctor. If you do have other questions or concerns about Patient Online Services, please reach out to us by using the form located at

Posted by @hopeful33250, Fri, Jul 27 7:16am


I am glad that you were so successful in communicating through the patient portal. It has always worked well for me. I use the "non-urgent medical advice" option as well.

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