Unfortunately, when it comes to Lyme disease, Mayo Clinic does not enjoy the best of reputations. Many patients regard it as a poor option, where doctors are reluctant to step outside of the strict criteria laid out by the CDC and the IDSA guidelines for diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. Indeed, talk on Lyme disease forums for patients often involves express recommendations to avoid the Mayo Clinic for danger of spending both time and money on a wasted trip. Founded in 1910 by two brothers with an idea of a patient-centered clinic where doctors work as a team to diagnose and treat each individual, the Mayo Clinic is world-renowned for innovative patient care.
Mayo Clinic – Taking A Different Approach to Complex Cases
The clinic has a reputation for working with patients when other medical professionals have struggled to determine the extent of their illness and its cause. Complex, multifactorial cases are somewhat of a specialty at Mayo Clinic, where specialists in a number of fields see a patient over several days to combine their knowledge and insight for the patients’ benefit. With the Mayo Medical Laboratories operating within Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, there is a good chance that many patients will receive that elusive diagnosis for their illness and be able to work with the team of doctors to formulate a treatment plan. Over a million patients were seen in 2010 at Mayo Clinic, Lyme disease patients making up a small proportion of these. Many patients travel from states far away and some from outside the US following referral by their own doctor where local resources and expertise have been exhausted.
Are There Any Lyme Specialists at the Mayo Clinic?
However, the nearly 4,000 physicians and scientists, and over 56,000 employees working at Mayo Clinic do not appear to include any doctors who specialize in Lyme disease. There are anecdotal reports of doctors employed at Mayo Clinic claiming that their jobs are at risk should they actually diagnose Lyme disease in a patient, leading many patients to speculate that they will be dismissed after lengthy and costly investigations with an inaccurate diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or a somatoform disorder. Patients have even coined the phrase “Hold the Mayo!” to warn others against pursuing a diagnosis or treatment for Lyme disease at the Mayo Clinic. Many worry that by being told after investigation at Mayo Clinic that they do not have Lyme disease and/or common co-infections such as Bartonella or Babesia, no other doctor will dare to stand in opposition to the diagnosis. Thus, patients will find it increasingly difficult to track down a Lyme disease doctor willing to treat them and will also face problems with insurance coverage for their illness.
Mayo Clinic A Good Option for Patients with Heart Problems and Cancer
Mayo Clinic is recognized, even by many Lyme disease patients, as a preferred option for many suffering from heart disease or cancer due to their thorough methods and practice style. Travelling long distances from home to have suspected Lyme disease queried at Mayo Clinic may not be in patients’ best interests however, with many tales of disappointment and little trace of those happy with their treatment there. Other patients with complex illnesses of a chronic nature have had great results at Mayo Clinic however, and many report feeling optimistic about their future following their time there due to the focus that the doctors have on the power of both the body and the mind to improve symptoms of disease. Any patient with an unknown illness who has struggled to obtain a diagnosis and suspects that their emotional health is taking a toll on their physical state may find it beneficial to seek help at Mayo Clinic. Lyme disease patients may prefer, however, to locate a doctor more familiar with the condition with the help of Lyme disease support groups.
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