In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

February 5, 2015

A Migraine Specialist Wish List

By In the Loop

Image of woman at desk with headache. Change is rarely easy. Or without anxiety. That perhaps holds doubly true for our health care. (Imagine ending a long-term health care relationship and agreeing you should start seeing other doctors.) So we were interested to read about the experience of Cyndi Jordan, a self-described patient advocate and migraineur, who recently documented her experience visiting a new migraine specialist and Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus for the first time, in a blog post she wrote for

She writes that she “said a silent prayer as familiar twinges of anticipation, anxiety, hope and apprehension danced in my stomach” as she enjoyed a cab ride to the clinic. To ease the transition, she had made a list of the things  she was looking for in a new migraine specialist. Among them were, a doctor who not only “specializes in migraines and headaches” but who also “gives forth a sense of really wanting to help.” Also, “a doctor who perseveres,” “exudes hope,” is a “team player.” And, one who “respects me as a person and is patient with me” and “lets me know that he/she isn’t going to give up on me.”

With those criteria in mind, Cyndi had arranged to see Todd Schwedt, M.D., a Mayo migraine specialist she’d met at an American Headache and Migraine Association conference. “I had a good feeling about him,” she says. And she says that good feeling was bolstered when, after arriving on campus, she saw a display with 13 words known well at Mayo Clinic: The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered. “How often do you see a statement like that emblazoned on the wall of the medical clinic into which you are walking?” she writes.

Things went from good to better. “Everyone I met, from receptionists to medical professionals, were friendly and helpful,” she writes.  And when Dr. Schwedt called her into his office, Cyndi writes that she was reminded of why she’d made the appointment in the first place. “He put me at ease immediately,” she writes. He also told her that there were indeed a number of things they could try to help free her from her migraines. “It was as if he had handed me hope on a silver platter,” she writes. “All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, and, as of this time, we are batting 1000 when it comes to my doctor wish list.”

There’s much more to Cyndi’s post, and you can read it all here. Then, be sure to share your comments below and share this story with others using the handy social media icons.

Tags: Dr. Todd Schwedt, Mayo Clinic Arizona, migraine, Patient Stories

I wished it was that easy, getting an appointment in Mayo. I have been suffering with migraines for 22 years and in 2010, was moving to Minnesota – I’m thinking GREAT! A place that I was able to get care, but alas, not the case. The Neuro wanted all 20 years of records from all doctors who have seen me. I was able to get most of it, except for 1 Neuro. He destroyed all my records because I hadn’t seen him in 10 years. He was the one who gave me most of the 50+ meds that I tried. I have a spreadsheet, listing all of them, but since I didn’t have that inforation, that wasn’t good enough, so I never got into Mayo to see the Neuro. I am still suffering and will continue to suffer, because of those two doctors. one, who didn’t keep my files and the second one who refuses to see me without those files…

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