There has never been a shortage of negative news regarding the U.S. healthcare system, and for good reason. I could write a whole book on the subject, just based on my own bad healthcare experiences. But this is a mere 400-word blog, not a book, and I would rather spend it on a positive note.
After suffering from painful digestive problems for far too long, and getting absolutely nowhere with local doctors, I finally took control of my situation and went to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. It was, hands down, the best healthcare decision I have ever made for myself.
Jacksonville is a six-hour drive each way from where I live and I have had to make several trips back and forth just since Christmas. But the high quality care and attentiveness I have received from the doctors and nurses at Mayo have more than made up for the cost and inconvenience of travel.
From my very first visit on Dec. 26 with my new gastroenterologist to my follow up visit with the colorectal surgeon this past Monday, I noticed a significant difference in the way patients are treated at Mayo compared to any other healthcare facility I have ever been to, which includes both civilian and military hospitals.
I was impressed by my GI doctor’s knowledge about inflammatory bowel disease and its effects on not just the digestive tract but the entire body. He was incredibly thorough in his evaluation and in his explanation of the diagnosis and treatment plan. When it became necessary to send me to one of the clinic’s colorectal surgeons for further treatment, he worked closely with the surgeon to coordinate my care.
Throughout my experience at Mayo I felt confident in the clinic’s team approach to patient care and I was treated like a human being rather than a number. It’s obvious that even the campus itself was designed with patient comfort in mind. In between appointments I took advantage of the outdoor plaza full of garden ponds, walking paths and fountains. And best of all, the entire campus is smoke free so nonsmoking visitors like myself can actually enjoy the fresh Florida air.
I am still frustrated that none of the doctors I saw locally took my medical condition seriously. But I am very glad I took matters into my own hands and went to Mayo. Finally I can eat food again without suffering painful consequences.