The Three “P”s of Mayo–Patient-centered, Physician-led and Collaborative Partnership

Last week I attended the Mayo Clinic’s Annual Social Media Summit in Rochester. What most impressed me had nothing to do with the conference. On Tuesday afternoon before the Summit began I toured Mayo Clinic. It was supposed to be for an hour but lasted more than two because our group, consisting of one doctor and nineteen PR professionals, was so interested in the information being fed to us. I don’t know why the publicity folks were so intrigued, but for me Mayo’s philosophy of “patient-centered, physician-led” care hearkened back to a time when the patient-physician relationship was inviolate. It was stimulating to realize that my instincts of how medicine is best-practiced are right on target.

My myopic opinion regarding the fragmentation of healthcare sees the destruction of the patient-physician relationship by multiple entities, who are primarily interested in a piece of the economic pie, as central to our healthcare mess. At Mayo, no project moves forward unless there is a physician who champions it and it is the physician’s responsibility to ensure that every project is dedicated to improving some aspect of patient care. Physicians are salaried so they spend the time necessary to care for patients and are not incentivized to increase the numbers of patients seen or do procedures to enhance the bottom line. 

Every person I met who worked for Mayo reiterated the importance of putting patient care and comfort first. It was incredibly refreshing. The Mayo logo emphasizes a patient-first policy as well. I’d seen the logo multiple times but somehow never thought about what the three shields represent. Our tour guide explained: Patient care, research and education. The educational aspect was obvious as we walked multiple floors of patient care areas. I noticed no TVs in patient waiting rooms but many had computer screens where patients could learn about their conditions. It is a refreshing and calming atmosphere without the cacophony of media noise. There is art everywhere. Waiting rooms are spacious and well-lit. Meditation rooms and educational spaces abound. 

Children’s waiting area


Mayo has always represented excellent healthcare in my mind. Patient reports that come to me after a visit there are extraordinary due to the extent of the integrative care the patient experiences from multiple medical disciplines coming together. I expected to be impressed. I did not realize I would also be reassured. Putting patients first is what I’ll continue to strive to do, despite insurance interference, governmental policies or EHR dysfunction.


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One thought on “The Three “P”s of Mayo–Patient-centered, Physician-led and Collaborative Partnership

  1. Re patient care first: I have seen this in practice here in Melbourne, Australia. The St Vincents group have some of the best practice nurses and doctors I have come across since my own early days of nursing in the 60 s and 70 s.
    We have a very special relationship with our specialist. We trust our neurologist, cardiologist, neurosurgeon, haematologist to do their best and, if they don’t know, will call in another specialist they have trust in. The nursing care is excellent, even from the fresh graduates, who are mentored till deemed competent to the hospitals standards. There are other hospitals here in this state that I won’t ever go near again. It was one of the deciding factors when we left our home of 34 years in a rural city to move to the big smoke when it became evident we would need ongoing credible medical and hospital care as we grow older. All experiences there had been negative and had my nursing standards of care up in arms. Mayo has just moved up my list of credible hospitals.

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