Sure, Mayo Clinic has gotten its share of big-picture press lately—another prestigious Best Hospital in the Nation designation, the sizable worldwide coverage of their cutting-edge work on COVID-19 research.

But sometimes — when it comes to living in the home of Mayo — it’s about the little things.

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The time I got to call a woman featured in the magazine to ask her about a bump on her neck.

A few years ago, I got a call from a regular Rochester Magazine reader — and Mayo endocrinologist.

“There’s a photo of a woman in this issue,” they told me. “And I’m concerned that a bump on her neck could be indicative of a thyroid issue. I really think you should call her and ask.”

Calling a stranger — a woman I had met once — to ask about her neck shape is not something that normally comes with the job of magazine editor.

I made the call. At one point during our conversation, I may or may not have blurted out something like “Anyway! I think you have a pretty neck!”


The woman, for her part, was gracious and thankful. Classy, even.

“I do, in fact, have a thyroid issue that Mayo diagnosed about five years ago,” she told me. “I am just stunned by the thoughtfulness of that individual who called you. What an eye for detail!”Later that night, when I got home, I breathlessly explained to my family how I had just saved someone’s life.

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The time my son got hit in the throat on a baseball field.

Spoiler alert: He turned out fine.

When son Henry was 9 and playing second base in a youth baseball game, a line drive dipped under his glove and hit him directly in the throat.

Henry’s coach was a general practitioner, an opposing team’s coach was an emergency room nurse (who had a medical bag in her trunk), and a parent in the stands was an ear/nose/throat specialist.

Henry, lying there in the infield, was getting better treatment than he would have at many ERs in the world.

The time the choir director treated someone during a concert. While not missing a beat.

It’s not just Mayo. Olmsted Medical has phenomenal medical professionals as well.

For nearly 30 years, Rick Kvam has been the artistic director of Honors Choirs of SE MN. And the Choral Arts Ensemble.

Oh, he’s also an emergency room doctor at Olmsted Medical Center.

A few years ago, during one of the big Honors Choirs’ performances, one of the singers collapsed onstage. There was a doctor in the house. Conducting the choir.

Dr. Kvam immediately walked to the young man and tended to him — baton still in hand — until it was clear everything was fine.

He didn’t miss a beat.

Steve Lange is the editor of Rochester Magazine. His column appears every Tuesday.