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Respiratory Care Program (Minnesota)

Discovery Lab

Mayo Clinic respiratory therapist demonstrating a procedure to students on Discovery Lab day

Join us for an exciting day of discovery — learn about the unmasked heroes who are frequently mistaken for doctors or nurses.

The Respiratory Therapy Discovery Lab provides an opportunity for high school and college students to participate in hands-on simulated events to learn how respiratory therapists work with an interdisciplinary health care team to deliver patient care.

Using the latest innovative technology, students experience first-hand the opportunities, rewards and challenges of a career as a respiratory therapist.

Who are respiratory therapists?

Respiratory therapists are health care professionals whose responsibilities include patient assessment, disease management, delivery of personalized patient care, diagnostic evaluation, education, and rehabilitation of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system.


The half-day lab takes place at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. The lab schedule includes:

  • Hands-on activities, including high-fidelity simulation
  • Networking time with other students and Mayo Clinic staff
  • Tours of areas where respiratory therapists work
  • Advising about college requirements and the admission process
  • Interview and essay writing advice, because an interview and written essay are part of the admission requirements to the Mayo Clinic/University of Minnesota Rochester respiratory therapy program

Learning objectives

  • Learn about the rewarding career of a respiratory therapist
  • Gain direct exposure to the respiratory therapy profession
  • Learn the academic path for enrolling in an accredited education program