In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

January 6, 2015

Thinking Like a Team

By In the Loop
Read time: 2 minutes

Team760When you work at Mayo Clinic, you get used to the idea of teamwork pretty quickly. It’s so deeply ingrained in the culture, it’s hard to avoid. You could almost start to take it for granted. Which is why it's nice when someone from outside of Mayo sees our brand of teamwork in action and reminds us how unique it is. And perhaps tells the world about it, as author Alana Muller recently did on her corporate networking blog, "Coffee Lunch Coffee."

In a post titled "Team Think," Muller shares her impressions of Mayo’s way of putting teamwork into practice, which she experienced while accompanying a family member to Rochester. "As soon as the team at Mayo learned of his symptoms, they mobilized!" she writes. After outlining the teamwork displayed in each step of her loved one’s care, she summed it up with this statement: “Five doctors were on my relative’s service. They visited him together, they studied his charts together, they made medical determinations together.”

While Muller notes that "Mayo takes this approach with all of its care," she gives a special shout-out to "the amazing" Ashok Patel, M.D., who led the care team. "The team debated in private and emerged in lockstep," she writes. "I’ve never seen anything like it in medicine, and it was something to behold." Muller says that team unity even spilled over into her request for a photo of Dr. Patel for her blog. "He responded true to form," she writes, by saying, "Sure! Let me get the team."

Muller ends her post by noting that she's "not interested in 'groupthink'" but is very much interested in "team think," which she describes as "gathering group input, engaging in healthy debate, digging deeper on issues to uncover important nuances that, once addressed, elevate the solution to produce a better and more effective outcome." And that, she writes, is exactly what she and her family members saw at Mayo. "The physicians practice medicine with a team spirit -- they engage like they are part of something larger than themselves. What a special experience."

You can help give us a special experience by sharing your comments and sharing this story via the In the Loop blog.

Tags: Dr. Ashok Patel, Patient Stories, Practice story, Teamwork

Who knew S&P had so much fun! They rocked the video! Great job! Made me “happy”

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