Getting an appointment at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN or JUST GO

by Fran Fox on January 9, 2010

Over the past several years we have made the 700 mile trip here to Rochester, Minnesota many times.  When it came to a health problem that was sudden and severe, we just got in the car and drove north.  Mayo Clinic does not necessarily advocate this approach of just showing up; nevertheless, I have done it many times.  You run the risk that you may have to wait a few days, but in the last 20 years of JUST GOING we have never waited more than one day to get in to the Mayo Clinic.  You can, — and I even suggest – that you call for an appointment first if your condition is not pressing.  Using this method, your wait for an appointment can be lengthy: sometimes from a few weeks to even a few months.  That is why I advocate the “JUST GO” approach for issues that require immediate attention.  And sometimes just having the resolve to “GO TO MAYO” is reason enough to seize the moment and “JUST GO”. With the “JUST GO” approach, the worst thing that can happen is that Mayo relieves your concern of the seriousness of your or your loved one’s condition.

Although you may not have an appointment, when you arrive you will be seen to evaluate the urgency of your condition.  If it is urgent, you will be seen immediately.  Please be sure that if you follow the “JUST GO” method and your situation is severe, that you first make sure you do not have a medical emergency while you are traveling without professional medical assistance. If that is the case arrange for medically equipped transport. With my father’s situation, we utilized an air ambulance service to transport my father (see the “My Story” tab above). This air ambulance service was completely covered by our medical insurance, and a medical team flew with my father in an airplane that was equipped with all the modern medical equipment found in a standard hospital Emergency Room. But, other than this one time, we have always just jumped in the car and drove.  I always made sure I knew where the hospitals were along the way and that we were confident it was and safe to drive.

To call for an appointment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota simply call 1-507-284-2111 and a friendly Mayo Clinic person will patiently answer all your questions, guide you through the process, and make your appointment.  If you utilize the “JUST GO” approach, then grab your map or GPS unit and head to Rochester, Minnesota. There are always cancelations and Mayo works hard to fit your appointment in.  The only way to take advantage of these cancelations is to be here!  You will be seen much sooner if you “JUST GO” than if you wait for a scheduled appointment!

If you arrive at night and the situation is urgent, go directly to Saint Mary’s Emergency Room (one of the two Mayo Clinics hospitals).  Here is a Google map straight to Saint Mary’s Hospital: From here at Saint Mary’s, the staff can treat you and start the seamless process to begin obtaining all your Mayo appointments. Alternatively, if you arrive during normal business hours, then head to the Mayo Gonda Building and check in at the Appointment Desk. Simply tell that them you are arriving without an appointment. They will get things started for you. Here is a Google map to Mayo’s Gonda Building:

I am a big fan of the “JUST GO” method of coming up here.  But it does carry some risks in regard to safe travel and the possibility of a delay between the moment you arrive and the date of your appointment. You also need to be ready to deal with your medical insurance company.  Be ready to be tough with those guys. They are used to pushing people around and they certainly worry more about the money than your health. Do not be afraid to call your state Insurance Commissioner. You will be amazed how often they change their attitude once they know you are talking to the Insurance Commissioner’s office.  Please watch for this blog soon for more information on dealing with your insurance company.

Please click on the TIPS TO PRINT tab above or just click here:

Please send me an email if you have any questions on Mayo Clinic or Rochester, Minnesota.
Email me at

If you have read this and have any comments I would love to hear from you! Email me!

Update 04/9/2013: Here is the latest statement from Mayo Clinic on coming without an appointment, this “official statement” is actually more optimistic than previous Mayo Clinic “official statements”:   If you choose to come and wait on site for an appointment opening, we will make every effort to see you. But you may have to wait for several days or a week or longer, depending on the number of appointment cancellations and the number of other people waiting for an appointment. Waiting time tends to be shorter in winter in Rochester.If you are ill, ask to be seen immediately. A Mayo doctor will talk with you to evaluate the severity of your illness. The doctor’s recommendation will determine how soon and in which area you will be scheduled for an appointment.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: