Rachel D. Havyer, M.D.
- Consultant, Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine
- Assistant Professor of Medicine
- Population Health Scholar
What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?
For me, the driving force of being a clinician is relationships with patients and colleagues. I got to see the impact of these relationships in my studies in nursing and pursued medical school when I wanted to combine this with even more medical knowledge.
Pursuing primary care internal medicine and palliative medicine was natural for me, as it allowed me to foster deep relationships with my patients while working with many interdisciplinary colleagues to improve health and quality of life.
What motivated you to become a Population Health Scholar?
Developing curriculum for first-year medical students that involved population health provided my main motivation. As I taught the medical students about our current health care system and its faults, and had deep discussions about ways to improve our delivery of care through the use of an interdisciplinary team tailored to different needs of different populations, I decided that I needed to do more work in this area.
What is your focus as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?
Within the field of population health, I plan to work on many different facets of the intersection of primary care and palliative medicine. Initial projects will deal with the experience of informal caregivers as well as improvement of symptom control in the primary care population with chronic diseases.
How will your research improve patient care or impact public health?
My hope is that we can gain greater insights into the palliative care needs of our populations that are not being adequately addressed. Initially describing some of the disparities of symptom control as well as needs of caregivers can help us design interventions that will help impact the health and experiences of these people dealing with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses in themselves or loved ones.
Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?
I began at Mayo for medical school and chose to stay due to its commitment to team-based care with a supportive environment with immense respect for all colleagues. Such an atmosphere allows me to develop the relationships with colleagues and patients that enable me to have joy in my career while allowing for innovation in ways that we deliver care.