Mayo Clinic Q&A

From complex or serious conditions like cancer and heart disease to the latest news on research and wellness, Dr. Tom Shives and Tracy McCray ask the questions and get easy-to-understand answers from Mayo Clinic experts.

Most Recent Episodes

Illustration of coronavirus

What is viral shedding?
Aug. 12, 2020

When a person is infected with a virus, the virus multiplies in the body and can be released into the environment through sneezing, coughing or even speaking. This release is called "shedding" and viral shedding is how COVID-19 is spread from person to person. How long a person who has COVID-19 will shed virus is still unknown.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, discusses viral shedding and why asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 are a big concern.

a young white boy looking serious and thoughtful carrying school books and a backpack

Back-to-school recommendations
Aug. 10, 2020

Whether in person, online or a hybrid model of education, families and school districts are planning for how to safely teach students during the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter which plan is chosen by communities, this school year will be challenging. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic, discusses how students, teachers and staff can use public health measures already in place to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus and reduce community spread of COVID-19.

Will there be an at-home test for COVID-19?
Aug. 7, 2020

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration paved the way for commercial developers to create at-home COVID-19 tests. While no test is yet approved for home use, a fast and cheap test could encourage people to test themselves routinely before going to work or school. Real-time results would enable infected people to self-quarantine right away, keeping asymptomatic people from infecting others. "It fits with the modeling that’s been done where if you can test frequently enough that you could actually start to dampen down, if people would quarantine, you could dampen down cases. And that, as you know, would be huge," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland discusses the science behind at-home testing for COVID-19. Dr. Poland also shares the status of vaccine research trials, including how healthy adults can enroll in the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

medical illustration of stem cells for bone marrow transplant

Bone marrow transplant
Aug. 05, 2020

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure that infuses healthy blood-forming stem cells into your body to replace your damaged or diseased bone marrow. Bone marrow transplants may use cells from your own body (autologous transplant) or from a donor (allogeneic transplant). Bone marrow transplants can benefit people with a variety of both cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign) diseases.

On this episode of Mayo Clinic Q&A, Dr. William Hogan, director of the Mayo Clinic Bone Marrow Transplant program, discusses bone marrow transplant.

a young Caucasian woman up late at night, in the dark, wiping her eyes and on a computer looking tired, sleepy, sad, stressed, anxious

Delegate, delete, do — How to integrate work, home life
August 3, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, teleworking has become a way of life for many. As the physical boundaries between work and home blur, work-life balance can be a challenge. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Adam Perlman, director of Integrative Health and Wellness at Mayo Clinic in Florida, offers helpful strategies for managing daily stresses during COVID-19. One plan of action? Delegate, delete, and do.

rush hour and crowds of people in a hurry

Herd immunity, antibodies and COVID-19
July 31, 2020

The concept of herd immunity has sparked debate about whether it would control the spread of COVID-19. Herd immunity happens when a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease, meaning spread from person to person is unlikely.

So what is known about immunity and COVID-19? On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar, a Mayo Clinic hematologist and researcher, discusses how the body works to fight off disease.

a close-up of a young woman who has lost her hair due to cancer treatment

Cancer Center patient navigators
July 29, 2020

Cancer. It's a word that nobody wants to hear. It's a difficult diagnosis that can leave you and your family members scared and confused. Finding guidance along the journey can help.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Jeri Lensing and Angela Young discuss the important role of patient navigators at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

a medical illustration of orange coronavirus with a dark blue background

COVID-19 update with Dr. Greg Poland
July 24, 2020

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, covers the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Poland gives an update on progress towards a vaccine for COVID-19, discusses therapies for treating the virus and shares research on how effective face masks and physical distancing are in fighting the spread of the disease.

physician using telemedicine

Telemedicine in the emergency department
July 22, 2020

During the COVID-pandemic, we've heard a lot about telemedicine. While still a relatively new concept, advances in technology have made telemedicine a reality in hospitals, clinics, even the E-R.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, emergency room physician Dr. Christopher Russi and physician assistant Erin Mason will explain how Mayo Clinic is using telemedicine in the emergency department.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
July 15, 2020

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As a baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. Ava Weitl, now a first grader, was born with HLHS. She had her first heart surgery the day she was born. Now she is part of pioneering research at Mayo Clinic.

On this episode of Mayo Clinic Q&A, Ava and Dr. Timothy Nelson, director of the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome at Mayo Clinic, will share her story.