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 young Black woman wearing a face mask and a work apron as a waitress in a restaurant

Health disparity and effects of COVID-19 on racial, ethnic minorities
Oct. 30, 2020

A recent Mayo Clinic study looked at the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities.

"We found that environmental factors, especially systemic racism and problems with housing density, predispose these patients to having more chances of infection," says Dr. Aditya Shah, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert and one of the authors of the study.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Shah explains the research findings and discusses how clinicians can help bring awareness to health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies.

rush hour and crowds of people in a hurry

Digital tools help Mayo Clinic with contact tracing
OCt. 29, 2020

As positive cases of COVID-19 continue to spike across much of the country, the role of contact tracing to prevent further spread becomes more important. 

Contact tracing is the process of notifying people who have had close contact with people newly infected with COVID-19, to let them know they may have been exposed. When it comes to contact tracing, quarantining and isolation, timing is critical to prevent further infections.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Laura Breeher, a preventive medicine specialist and medical director of Occupational Health Services at Mayo Clinic, explains how digital tools were developed at Mayo Clinic to aid in contact tracing.

a white middle aged man wearing a mask and gloves delievering food to an older white woman, also wearing a mask, at her front door during COVID-19 pandemic

CDC updates close contact guidelines
Oct. 28, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidelines for defining close contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19. Previously, close contact was defined as occurring when someone was within 6 feet of an infectious person for 15 consecutive minutes. Now close contact includes people who were within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, as the CDC now advises that repeated, brief encounters also carry a risk of transmission. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, discusses the updated information from the CDC and the latest information from the Food and Drug Administration on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

a young man, perhaps a student, laying his head on his computer sleeping

How time changes affect our health
Oct. 26, 2020

As most of America prepares to “fall back” and end daylight saving time, many people welcome the extra hour of sleep. But how do time changes affect the body and sleep patterns? 

 On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist, discusses daylight saving time and offers sleep hygiene tips for dealing with time and season changes.

a white adult woman, maybe a mom, laughing and smilng with two white children as they make Halloween arts and craft activities

Safe Halloween activities during the pandemic
Oct. 23, 2020

Halloween is just around the corner. Usually, this means trick-or-treating, fall parties, and lots of candy and treats for children and families. But this year is different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Halloween festivities need to be adapted to protect those who are most vulnerable and slow the spread of COVID-19. 

This special edition of the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast features an #AskMayoMom episode, which is hosted by Dr. Angela Mattke, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Children's Center. Joining Dr. Mattke to discuss safe Halloween activities during the pandemic are Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Kelsey Klaas, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician.

a young woman in a kitchen, leaning over an open soup pot, smelling the aroma and preparing to take a taste from a wooden spoon

Resiliency during COVID-19 pandemic flu season
Oct. 22, 2020

As the COVID pandemic continues and flu season begins, staying healthy and finding ways to improve your immunity is important. 

"A resilient immune system is not just preventing, but constantly eliminating our exposures to background infections or inflammatory agents," says Dr. Anjali Bhagra, a Mayo Clinic integrative medicine specialist. "It allows your body to keep healing from inflammatory or infective triggers."  

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast Dr. Bhagra, whose research focuses on resilience, talks about the ways to build your immune system and how resiliency practices can help you cope with illnesses this winter.

image depicting the Covid-19-causing coronavirus.

COVID-19 trials pause over safety concerns
October 21, 2020

The race to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments continues, with multiple clinical trials now in the final stages of testing. While the research is moving rapidly, it’s not without challenges. Two different trials were paused recently over potential safety concerns. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, discusses current COVID-19 clinical trials. Dr. Poland also covers the possibility of reinfection with COVID-19, and the importance of getting a flu vaccination to protect yourself from influenza during the pandemic.

woman wearing a pink strapless shirt doing a breast self-exam

Clinical trial for ductal carcinoma in situ vaccine
October 20, 2020

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is an early form of a non-invasive breast cancer that begins as abnormal cells inside the milk ducts in the breast. It typically doesn't show signs or symptoms and it's estimated that up to 40% of cases eventually become invasive if not treated.

The current standard treatment is to perform a lumpectomy or a mastectomy in more extreme cases. Clinical trials are underway to determine if some patients with ductal carcinoma in situ might be able to avoid surgery. 

"In addition to considering proton therapy to target the cancer, Mayo Clinic is conducting a clinical trial that involves a vaccine that could boost immunity against the HER2 receptor," says Dr. Amy Degnim, a surgeon with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "HER2 is a protein that in some cases is on the outside of cancer cells and for women with ductal carcinoma in situ, these receptors are present in about 50% to 60% of the cases." 

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast Dr. Degnim, and one of her patients, Helen Gagoud, discuss receiving a ductal carcinoma in situ diagnosis and determining treatment, as well as the hopeful vaccine research at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Ting with research team, wearing face masks, viewing and talking about the large wall monitors displaying maps of the states on the coronavirus tracking tool

US coronavirus map — what do the trends mean for you?
October 19, 2020

As cases of COVID-19 rise in many areas of the U.S., it's important for people to have up-to-date information to protect themselves and their loved ones. Mayo Clinic has a tracking tool that features the latest COVID-19 data for every county in all 50 states, and Washington, D.C. The tool also features Mayo Clinic insight on how to assess risk and plan accordingly.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Henry Ting, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and health services researcher, discusses the COVID-19 tracking tool and other COVID-19 resources available from Mayo Clinic.

Mixed reality — where virtual reality and real life meet in the operating room
October 18, 2020

Mayo Clinic recently performed the first-ever shoulder arthroplasty procedure that used mixed reality technology in the United States. This technology provides surgeons with a 3D holographic view of the patient's preoperative plan, allowing the surgeon to visualize, rotate and interact with a surgical plan during the procedure. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon, explains how mixed reality technology helps put the surgical plan into action. 

Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo and Mayo Clinic have a financial interest in Wright Medical Group N.V., which developed the mixed reality technology.