Physician and fellow examining images in breast oncology

Graduate medical education in surgery specialties at Mayo Clinic

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The management of breast disease requires an in-depth knowledge of not only surgery but also breast imaging, pathology, reconstructive surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.

The one-year Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is designed to enhance your knowledge and surgical skills in the management of benign and malignant breast disease.

As a fellow, your training experience includes:

  • Proficiency with common breast surgical procedures, including nipple-sparing mastectomy, oncoplastic techniques, and axillary dissection
  • Classifying and evaluating mammographic abnormalities
  • Understanding the indications, techniques, complications, and training in the performance of image-guided breast biopsy
  • Familiarity with indications for and interpretation of breast MRI
  • Understanding basic techniques of gross breast specimen evaluation and tissue processing, recognition of basic breast pathology, and knowledge of pathologic prognostic factors
  • Counseling patients on treatment options for the local therapy of breast cancer
  • Proficiency with common breast surgical procedures, with emphasis on oncoplastic techniques
  • Evaluating breast problems in a clinical setting
  • Understanding the indications, complications, techniques, results and biology of breast irradiation
  • Understanding the indications, results, complications and basic biology of systemic therapy for breast cancer
  • Understanding the biology, evaluation and treatment of benign breast disease
  • Evaluation of patients with familial breast cancer syndromes and the impact on treatment in benign and malignant disease
  • Performance of two clinic research projects with presentation at regional and national meetings


In an effort to standardize the breast fellowship training curriculum and make the application and acceptance process more structured, the American Society of Breast Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Oncology have developed comprehensive guidelines for training breast fellows.

This fellowship follows the established training guidelines and is approved by the Society of Surgical Oncology.

Program history

The Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship was established in 2005 and trained one fellow each year between 2005 and 2016. We began training two fellows per year beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, and increased to three fellows per year beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year.

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