Three sites, but only door

By Jeff Hansel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — People who work at Mayo Clinic anywhere in the country have the potential to transfer to locations throughout the country.

Some, like Bruce Kall of Rochester, take their expertise from site to site by leaving home temporarily from time to time.

On April 11, Kall was in Jacksonville helping to set up the stereotactic neurosurgery center, which is used for procedures like placing deep-brain stimulators.


Kall is an example of the cooperation between all of Mayo’s sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona and Arizona, said Cliff Romme, chair of the Department of Support Services in Jacksonville.

When someone has specialized expertise, he said, they share it.

Kall also helped when staff moved into the Mayo hospital in Phoenix.

"Twenty years ago you didn’t see any computers in the operating room," he said. "When I started 25 years ago, the computer was the size of a refrigerator and the hard drive was the size of a dish washer."

Now, computers are ubiquitous in the operating room.

"It was kind of eerie being in a hospital about a week ago with no people," Kall said.

But by the time he checked back April 11, the day before the hospital opened, activity had flourished.

Some Mayo staff who "transfer" are more similar to returnees.


Dr. Zbigniew Wszolek said his career has taken him to many places. He visited the Arizona campus of Mayo on a two-week rotation during his clinical neurophysiology fellowship in Rochester. That helped when he accepted a position at Mayo in Jacksonville many years later after career moves elsewhere.

"Having the previous experience with Mayo and having been trained, I guess, was helpful both for myself and the institution, because they were buying the ‘known’ entity. And, for me, I guess I was too," he said.

Others who transfer are simply following where their careers lead.

Dr. Gordon Deen completed his residency in Rochester. Then he joined Mayo Clinic in Arizona about eight months after it opened. He spent a dozen years there.

After chairing the department of neurology, he spent time in the Navy and ended up back with Mayo in Florida. He has stayed for the past eight years.

"We try to have it so the experience for the patient is the same whether they’re in Arizona, Rochester or Jacksonville," Deen said.

His experience in all three locations gives him an institutional memory shared by many Mayo staff who for one reason or another have worked at more than one site.

"It gives me an advantage at least knowing what resources are available," Deen said.


When he encounters a unique and complex medical problem in Jacksonville, he might remember someone in Rochester or Scottsdale with special knowledge.

"That’s one of the nice things about Mayo, if you just have a question you can just pick up the phone and call somebody or e-mail them," Deen said. "I think the surprising thing, to me, is how Rochester continues to grow. My hat’s off to them that they’ve continued to grow the practice."

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