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Room full of students with faculty in OT standing in the middle of the classroom

Trainee experience

The Occupational Therapy Hand Fellowship at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is a full-time 54-week program. As a fellow, you will experience more than 1,500 hours of clinical practice and an additional 500 hours of individual mentored time from highly trained, board-certified and specialty-certified occupational therapists.

Didactic and laboratory education is integrated throughout the curriculum. Other curriculum content and directed learning activities include assisting with professional development, clinical mentoring and teaching occupational therapy students, and observing other medical specialty practices.

Requirements for fellowship completion include attending and presenting at journal clubs and educational Grand Rounds, as well as completing a final research project.

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this program are assessed constantly and changed as necessary to ensure the highest quality training.

Schedule and hours

As a fellow, you will work 44 to 50 hours a week. Schedules may vary from week to week and include:

  • Mentored clinical time
  • Didactics
  • Research
  • Learning and development opportunities, such as teaching, surgical observation and journal clubs

Independent learning and assignments may occur outside of this time frame.

Department and faculty

The Occupational Therapy Hand Fellowship is coordinated and taught by the clinical, scientific and technical staffs of Mayo Clinic. Faculty members are chosen for their commitment to teaching, as well as their clinical practice and research. Many are board-certified specialists or specialty certified by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

You have direct access to these individuals throughout your training, giving you the opportunity to learn directly from these experienced occupational therapists.

Visiting professors and lecturers

A hallmark of higher education excellence is the breadth and depth of information and experience provided to you by faculty and visiting experts. Each year, many prominent professors visit Mayo Clinic to lecture in their areas of medical and scientific expertise.

As a fellow at Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, you are encouraged to learn from these valuable resources by attending all relevant conferences, lectures and seminars prepared for students, interns, residents, fellows and consulting staff.


Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, and substantial research and education facilities. This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

As a fellow, you will spend the majority of your time at Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus.


The Occupational Therapy Hand Fellowship uses these evaluative tools:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Mayo Clinic's system of evaluation provides fellows and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct fellows who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities in student services through the Mayo Clinic School of Health Science.

Graduation and certification

Upon successful completion of the Occupational Therapy Hand Fellowship, you receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.

You will also have 1,500 hours of clinical experience that will count toward the 4,000 required hours to take the Hand Therapy Certification Examination from the Hand Therapy Certification Commission or work towards the Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation through the American Occupational Therapy Association.