Mayo Clinic dermatology resident in Arizona examining a patient

Graduate medical education in dermatology at Mayo Clinic

Page Content


Mayo Clinic's campus in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, offers a categorical program that combines the one-year Transitional Year Residency (PGY-1) with the three-year Dermatology Residency (PGY-2 through PGY-4). There is not a separate application for the preliminary year.

The Dermatology Residency prides itself in preparing well-rounded clinicians, capable of entering fellowships, academics or private practice. Through our affiliations with the dermatology residencies at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Minnesota and Florida, we share the academic didactic benefits and faculty resources of a large residency program, while maintaining the individualized attention and mentorship of a small group.

Program highlights include:

Mayo Clinic dermatology residents in Arizona looking into microscopes.

Your training experience

As a resident at Mayo Clinic, you'll have access to robust clinical, educational, and research resources. You'll find support both inside and outside of the campus to promote physical and mental wellness and ensure your work/life balance.

More about the curriculum

David L. Swanson, M.D.

Director's welcome

As a small program, the faculty members have close contact with the residents throughout their training. Together, they form a collegial team in a vibrant, enthusiastic, and supportive learning environment.

More from the program director

Video: The Arizona Experience


Video: The Arizona Experience


The Dermatology Residency fulfills the requirements for training as stated by the American Board of Dermatology and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.


After successful completion of the program, residents are eligible for certification through the American Board of Dermatology.

Program history

The Dermatology Residency in Arizona began in 2000. Two residents are anticipated to complete training in the program each year. Previous graduating residents have continued to fellowships in dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology or procedural dermatology, as well as academic careers or private practice.

Frequently asked questions (and answers)

What is the patient mix?

As a Mayo Clinic resident, you have exposure to a diverse patient pool of over 4 million people. The patient population at Mayo Clinic includes not only local residents, but also patients from across the country and around the world. A wide spectrum of pathology is seen ranging from common skin cancers to extremely rare forms of cutaneous lymphoma.

Valleywise Health Medical Center, located in the center of Phoenix, serves the indigent and underserved of Arizona with a diverse range of skin types and ages. As the regional burn center, Valleywise Health Medical Center also cares for patients requiring complicated day-to-day nursing skin care.

Phoenix Children's Hospital, also located in the center of Phoenix, is a primary pediatric hospital of the southwestern United States. The majority of patients, of all skin types and socio-economic backgrounds, come from Arizona and surrounding states.

What is the usual team structure?

The residents' high degree of direct responsibility for patient care is one of the greatest strengths of the Dermatology Residency at Mayo Clinic. At the Mayo Clinic site, residents treat patients in a continuity clinic setting. Patients are scheduled directly on resident calendars, and the patients identify the residents as their providers of dermatologic care. Faculty members supervise the residents and encourage them to take an increasing amount of responsibility for decision-making in the management of patients.

Residents continue to follow the same patients throughout the residency training, allowing close relationships and prolonged care. As any patient may be assigned, residents learn longitudinally to treat both common conditions, such as skin cancers, dermatitis and eczema, as well as complex disorders, such as cutaneous lymphoma, bullous disease, genodermatoses and neutrophilic dermatoses.

By the completion of residency, trainees have gained a tremendous amount of experience in directly managing the care of both common and complex dermatologic problems, and are very well-prepared for future practice.

Residents follow a more traditional format at Maricopa Medical Center and Phoenix Children's Hospital. At these off-site locations, patients are assigned to attendings' schedules, which are staffed by residents.

How do residents and faculty interact?

With the small, intimate size of the program, all faculty members have frequent interactions with residents. All faculty members work with residents in continuity clinics on a rotating basis. In addition, all faculty members treat patients under their own schedules, independent of residents.

As a unique opportunity, residents are sometimes scheduled for "mentor clinic," where they observe and learn in faculty clinics, without being involved in notes or orders. The numerous conferences and teaching sessions of the program also offer opportunities for continual interaction, discussion and exchange of ideas with the faculty.

What types of hands-on procedures will I experience?

Starting the first year of residency, all residents have their own excision clinic at the Mayo Clinic site, where they are the primary surgeons in outpatient excisions. Residents are further encouraged to act as primary surgeons in certain Mohs cases throughout their training, from the initial planning of the procedure to the final closure.

Throughout the procedures, the faculty members provide guidance and supervision. Through these means, residents gain progressive skills and confidence in simple and complex wound closures. Residents also perform procedures at Phoenix Children's Hospital (laser, excisions) and Valleywise Health Medical Center (excisions).

What is it like to live in Phoenix, Arizona?

With a population of over 4 million people, Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. Travel across the city is quick, as traffic is generally light, allowing easy access to nightlife, local attractions and sporting events.

Extensive hiking trails in Scottsdale and Phoenix are located within large nature preserves throughout the deserts and mountains of the community. Many of these trails are just a few minutes away from Mayo Clinic and offer a beautiful and easily accessible opportunity for hiking, running, biking, and exploring.

With the low cost of living, residents have a wide variety of living choices. While Phoenix is hot in the summer, roughly two-thirds of the year is quite temperate, making the area a popular wintering destination for outdoor activities and an overall great place to live.

More from Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education

Mayo Clinic resident checking heartbeat of teen patient

Choosing Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic campus in Phoenix, Arizona.
Campus and community

Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ

Group of consultant, nurse, and residents discussing case in hallway at Mayo Clinic.

Stipend and benefits