Mayo Clinic Q&A

From complex or serious conditions like cancer and heart disease to the latest news on research and wellness, host Dr. Halena Gazelka asks the questions and gets easy-to-understand answers from Mayo Clinic experts

Most Recent Episodes

a slightly out of focus image of a hospital hallway with emergency staff walking quickly pushing a gurney with an injured patient

Opioid overdoses and saving lives with naloxone
Jan. 18, 2021

Naloxone is a potentially lifesaving medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid medicine. It can be easily administered to those who overdose. Many who are battling the opioid epidemic would like to see naloxone made more readily available.

Dr. Halena Gazelka, host of the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, is also chair of Mayo Clinic's Opioid Stewardship Program Subcommittee. She is a strong advocate for breaking the stigma of opioid use disorder. 

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gazelka talks with Dr. Bonnie Milas, an anesthesiologist and critical care physician from the University of Pennsylvania. They discuss naloxone, the opioid epidemic and the tragic loss of Dr. Milas' two sons to opioid overdoses.

Innovation is transforming patient care in Florida, beyond
Jan. 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed medical research and patient care to new levels. High-volume testing for COVID-19, researching convalescent plasma and monitoring patients at home are just a few of the challenges met by Mayo Clinic in Florida in 2020. 

Dr. Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida, says they also are looking ahead as the campus continues to grow. He highlights the Lung Restoration Center, the Discovery and Innovation Center, the BioBusiness Incubator and the integrated oncology facility as examples of accelerated programs.

In the this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Thielen expands on the culture of innovation on the Florida campus and what the future holds for the practice.

From left, Dr. Halena Gazelka and Dr. Gregory Poland are vaccinated for COVID-19.

Expert updates on COVID-19 vaccines
Jan. 13, 2021

The U.S. rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is reportedly ramping up with news that nearly all available doses will soon be released to the American public.

"The new COVID-19 variants are traveling quickly, and this is a warning that we need to take precautions," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.

Dr. Poland says these new variants are a consequence of an RNA virus being transmitted from human to human. "Even after we get our vaccines, we still need to wear masks out in public. We still need to maintain physical distancing. And we still need to wash our hands until about 80% of people get their COVID-19 vaccines," Dr. Poland emphasizes.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland goes into detail about the COVID-19 vaccines, including "sterilizing immunity," testing for antibodies after receiving the vaccine, the possibility of booster doses in the future and much more.

a medical illustration of cervical cancer

Screening can catch cervical cancer early
Jan. 11, 2021

HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer. And during January, Cervical Health Awareness Month, women are encouraged to receive the HPV vaccine. They also are encouraged to schedule a screening that can find precancerous conditions of the cervix.

HPV infection and early cervical cancer don't cause noticeable symptoms, so regular screenings can detect changes in the cervix that might lead to cancer.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Kristina Butler, a gynecologic oncologist and co-chair of the Gynecologic Disease Group at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, talks about good cervical health and the importance of the HPV vaccine for protection.

a diverse group of school aged children, tweens, wearing face masks and carrying backpacks, walking together with several feet between them

COVID-19, vaccines and children
Jan. 8, 2021

Around the world, COVID-19 vaccinations are underway, but only in adults. Pfizer's vaccine has been authorized for ages 16 and up, while Moderna's vaccine is currently authorized for ages 18 and up. Vaccines are generally tested in adults first to ensure they are safe for pediatric trials. Both Pfizer and Moderna now have clinical trials underway to study the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in children. 

This edition of the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast features an #AskMayoMom episode hosted by Dr. Angela Mattke, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Children's Center. Joining Dr. Mattke to discuss COVID-19, vaccines and children are Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases physician, and  Dr. Emily Levy, a Mayo Clinic pediatric critical care and infectious diseases expert. Dr. Levy also discusses multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, also known as MIS-C.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and

Additional COVID-19 vaccine links:

a Mayo Clinic physician, a white woman, speaking with a patient, a woman perhaps Latina, via telemedicine on a computer with Xray images

Looking back and moving forward with patient care during COVID-19
Jan. 6, 2021

Battling the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be challenging, especially for health care workers across all levels of patient care.

"People came together in adversity, responded and synergized to create a situation where we not only survived, but thrived within this challenging environment," says Dr. Conor Loftus, chair of Mayo Clinic outpatient practice. 

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Loftus talks more about that synergy, how health care teams were innovative and how telemedicine is meeting the needs of patients.

a woman slicing and cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables on a kitchen counter

Healthier eating to kick-start the new year
Jan. 4, 2021

As the new year kicks off, many people renew or begin a commitment to improving their health. Often, that starts with healthy eating, and this year it might include kicking bad habits developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Mayo Clinic, offers nutrition tips and suggests small changes that can lead to better eating habits and help you shift to healthier eating in 2021.

Regenerative medicine offers an alternative to hip replacement
Jan. 3, 2021

Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure that is necessary when the hip joint is worn or damaged. But what if the joint replacement could be avoided? Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine is pioneering alternatives for some patients.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Rafael Sierra, an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic, discusses regenerative medicine alternatives to hip replacement, which is now available for some patients.

close up on a bottle of prescription drugs and hydrocodone pills falling out of it

Opioid crisis worsens during COVID-19 pandemic
Jan. 1, 2021

Stress, isolation and limited access to resources are fueling rising rates of substance abuse and overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic. While coronavirus has been the focus of so much attention this year, the opioid crisis has continued unabated and has even worsened. More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid related deaths, according to the American Medical Association

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Tyler Oesterle, a psychiatrist and addiction expert at Mayo Clinic, discusses opioid use disorders and treatment options, including virtual medicine available during the pandemic. 

Mayo Clinic Laboratories researcher checking specimen tubes during COVID-19 research

COVID-19 weekly update
Dec. 30, 2020

2020 has been a year consumed by COVID-19, from first news of the virus in the U.S. in January to vaccines rolling out in December. Scientists, health care providers and the public have gained new knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases and virus transmission, and COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, looks back at what has been learned in 2020, and forward to the possibility of controlling COVID-19 in 2021.