Rachel Freeman

Mayo Clinic Labs @Work

Thousands of people in hundreds of different roles work at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Mayo Clinic Labs @Work offers a glimpse behind the scenes into this busy reference laboratory, featuring staff from throughout the organization talking about what they do and why they do it.


What brought you to Mayo Clinic, and how long have you worked here?

My first introduction to Mayo Clinic came from a client perspective. Prior to joining, I worked for a local hospital laboratory that referred to Mayo Clinic Laboratories (MCL). I was trained to cover weekends and prepare samples to ship to MCL. When the client site specimen processing position with the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP) opened in 2019, I jumped on the opportunity.

Rachel Freeman


What’s your current role and what does a typical workday look like for you?

I am a referral specialist at the client site supporting quality assurance. To start my day, I check biological samples to ensure they meet requirements for testing before shipment to the laboratory. I work with MCL and the client to resolve questions, connect providers with resources, and monitor interface errors between Mayo Clinic and client systems.


How do you think your work benefits providers and patients?

In my role, funnel testing really helps with consistency. I serve as a liaison between the client and the laboratory, which gives me the opportunity to make sure both are getting the tools and information needed to serve patients. Because I’m familiar with the process, I catch a lot of errors before they become an issue. This helps patients and clinicians get answers faster.


Is there anything about you or your job that others might find surprising?

As a teenager, I wanted to work in interior design. At one time, I almost made a switch to pursue the arts, but while in school I was captivated by a biotech and genetics class. It changed my entire outlook, and I knew I wanted to help people. I can’t imagine doing anything else, but I keep my eye on Architectural Digest.


Which part(s) of your job is the most challenging, and why?

I live and work in a rural part of Oregon, at least three hours in any direction to the nearest city. The health care system I work for services the eastern half of the state, with some patients traveling hours for care. In my role, it’s critical to collect the right test correctly for accurate and rapid results. If I don’t, there may be significant delays in patient care.


What gives you meaning and purpose in your work?

Each specimen has a patient behind it, and I love being part of the bigger picture to help people get the care they need. Since I’m based in my hometown, I go to work every day proud that I support my community and ensure they receive the best health care.

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