J. Keith Mansel, M.D.
What attracted you to palliative medicine?
As a pulmonary and critical care physician, I previously experienced end-of-life issues with patients and saw a great deal of suffering in the ICU. I also went through my own pain experiences with spinal stenosis and disc disease; which gave me new insights into the lives of patients. Palliative care seemed a natural fit for me … blending my personal and professional backgrounds.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?
I completed my residency and fellowship at Mayo; and kept Mayo in high esteem, where the needs of the patient really do come first. My wife said the best thing I ever did was come to Mayo; and at the same time, it was the worst thing I ever did. What she means is that no other health care institution or practice could ever match the standards and values that were embedded in me at Mayo Clinic.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Palliative Medicine Fellowship unique?
Many things are unique. One truly unique feature is the breadth and depth of the faculty, who come from varied backgrounds and specialties - for instance, PM&R. This is an area in which I have little experience; I was able to learn about the way this discipline approaches patient care. Another "standout" is the close collaboration with the Mayo Pain Clinic … a great group that treated my wife and I as "one of their own."
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
Nothing really surprised me. I have been pleased that professionalism, collegiality and teamwork remain at the forefront for Mayo Clinic.
What is living in Rochester like for you?
My wife and I love Rochester and the upper Midwest. The people are nice and the work ethic is top-notch. We are empty-nesters; and it has been exhilarating to make a change at this time in our lives. Novelty sometimes is good.
What does your future look like right now?
I couldn’t be happier. I am remaining on staff - a circuitous route back after training here from 1979-1985. I hope my pulmonary and critical care background brings something unique to palliative care at Mayo Clinic. I went through some down time with my spine, so every day I can come to work and with no pain is a good day.