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

How contact tracing can fight the spread of COVID-19
April 16, 2020

Contact tracing is a used to slow community spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Contact tracing is the process of finding and reaching out to the people who have been in contact with an infected person. Then close contacts of a person who might have COVID-19 can be isolated or quarantined to lessen further spread of the virus. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, explains contact tracing and discusses other current news related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Critical care units prepare for COVID-19
April 15, 2020

An intensive care unit (ICU) is a special unit in a hospital where patients who are very ill can be under constant supervision by their health care team. The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed ICU and critical care units in hot spots where the virus had spread widely.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Daniel Brown, director of critical care medicine at Mayo Clinic, discusses how critical care units have prepared for COVID-19.

Understanding COVID-19 testing
April 14, 2020

There are two types of tests for COVID-19, and it is important to understand the difference. The first type, a diagnostic test, is used to find out if you are actively infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. This test typically is done as a nasal swab. The second type of test is a serologic test to determine if you had a recent infection of SARS-CoV-2 and now have antibodies against the virus. This test is done through a blood sample. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, explains the need for two different tests and how they will help move recovery from the pandemic forward.

an out of focus blurred picture of an emergency ambulance crew

Emergency medicine in the time of COVID-19
April 13, 2020


Emergency medicine is a specialty that prides itself on a mantra: anyone, anything, anytime. The COVID-19 pandemic has put emergency health care providers and first responders on the front lines, fighting the spread of the virus and caring for critically ill patients.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Annie Sadosty, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, discusses when patients should come to the emergency room, how to safely care for people with COVID-19, and how teams at Mayo Clinic are collaborating during the pandemic.

a pregnant woman with her partner, husband, father of baby placing his hands on her stomach in the shape of a heart

Pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic
April 10, 2020

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Because SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus, researchers are still learning how the virus affects the body. And this raises questions for pregnant women. Can COVID-19 affect pregnancy? Is breastfeeding safe? How can a pregnant woman protect herself from the disease?

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, will discuss COVID-19 and pregnancy.

News briefing with Dr. Poland
April 9, 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 discusses why the U.S. has reached its deadliest week during the pandemic, and how clinical trials and vaccine research are underway to prevent future outbreaks.

Cardiac risks of off-label drugs to treat COVID-19
April 8, 2020

A study published recently in Mayo Clinic Proceedings details information about potential cardiac side effects when using off-label drugs to treat COVID-19. Off-label means the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat a different condition. Some of the off-label drugs being used to treat COVID-19 have a risk of sudden cardiac arrest and death. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Michael Ackerman, a Mayo Clinic genetic cardiologist and director of the  Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory, explains how heart monitoring is important to identify at-risk patients.

CDC recommends wearing cloth masks in public
April 7, 2020

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that Americans wear wearing cloth masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The CDC considers cloth masks an additional, voluntary public health measure.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic COVID-19 expert, explains the difference between medical masking and public masking, and discusses the proper way to put a mask on and off to prevent the spread of disease.

COVID-19 update
April 6, 2020

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

Dr. Poland discusses antibody testing, immunity, and how the scientific and research communities are collaborating to fight this disease.

The ‘unprecedented challenge’ of fighting COVID-19
April 2, 2020

The ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily burdened front-line health care providers. "Our nation and our medical community is facing an unprecedented challenge," says Dr. Elie Berbari, chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mayo Clinic. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Berbari discusses how Mayo Clinic is minimizing exposure to staff, while providing safe and compassionate care to patients.