Mayo Clinic family medicine residents at a casting and splinting seminar

Family medicine residents at a casting and splinting seminar

Mayo Clinic has an international reputation as a premier tertiary medical center, with patients traveling here for care from throughout the world. What you may not realize is that Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is also a major regional health care provider. The majority of its patients live within 150 miles and come to Mayo Clinic seeking treatment for a full range of common and uncommon problems.

Why should I choose to train at Mayo Clinic?

"I was drawn to the Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Residency because of its unique ability to provide 'small town' family medicine in a large academic environment. I've been privileged to work with world-renowned physicians who have a passion for teaching. I've also enjoyed the close-knit feeling of our continuity clinic in Kasson, where we see a wide variety of patients."

— 1st-year resident 

"Mayo Clinic has an electronic environment on the cutting-edge of technology. It's a great place to train, so you are ready for practice according to future practice paradigms."

— 2nd-year resident

"I thought that Mayo wouldn't even have primary care training since it's well-known for its specialty services. But the heart and soul of the clinic is primary care and community medicine, from the very beginning when Drs. Will and Charlie Mayo started the practice. The resident's clinic is down the road from the main campus and is the only primary care clinic for the community it serves. You will get the primary care training you need to be an excellent community physician."

— 2nd-year resident

"You will work side by side and learn from world-famous specialists in the morning, and then go out to the community clinic in the afternoon. It's really the best of both worlds for training."

— 3rd-year resident

What types of patients will I see in a week working in family medicine?

First of all, there is no average week. Here are some of the patients and procedures during a typical week for three residents:

  • Corticosteroid injections, including joint injections
  • Nail removals
  • Vaginal deliveries
  • Casting and splinting
  • Mole excisions
  • Circumcisions
  • IUD placement
  • Cryotherapy
  • Lumps and bumps
  • Incision and drainage
  • Vasectomies
  • Dermatological lesion biopsy and excision
  • Acute care procedures

What are the off-service rotations like?

"Phenomenal. You are learning from the experts in the field. I can't think of another program with stronger off-service rotations."

— 3rd-year resident

What types of elective rotations are available?

"The options for elective rotations are virtually endless. Residents can acquire additional training in many of the established rotations, which include podiatry, wound clinic-vascular medicine-thrombophilia clinic, pulmonary function lab, breast clinic, cast room, anesthesia, cardiovascular health, sports medicine, hospice, adolescent medicine, hand clinic, radiology and more.

In addition, rotation electives are available within Mayo Clinic Health System and at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Jacksonville, Florida, and Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona."

— 2nd-year resident

Are there training opportunities in international medicine?

"There is a well-established elective rotation in international travel medicine, during which you see patients for travel consultation, immunizations and evaluation of recently returned travelers with travel-related illness.

The Mayo International Health Program helps Mayo residents and fellows pursue elective rotations providing medical care to underserved international populations in well-planned and mentored settings. The program provides up to $2,000 in financial support to help defray travel and basic living expenses for those selected to participate."

— 2nd- and 3rd-year residents

Is there a research requirement?

"Yes. It is part of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements for family medicine. There is lots of support from faculty and other residents in getting the research component fulfilled, and there are varying levels of intensity in the specifics. For example, some residents submit a literature-reviewed answer for the Family Physicians Inquiries Network, while others are involved in research studies.

Each resident is also required to do a quality improvement project. We generally do this as an entire clinic, picking a different topic each year."

— 3rd-year resident

Do you get enough teaching? If so, does it come mainly from other residents or do the faculty teach as well?

"Teaching is certainly a strong point of the residency. Faculty give almost all of our lectures, and at the bedside, the faculty are almost always waiting there to give a pearl."

— 3rd-year resident

"Absolutely. There is abundant one-on-one teaching from both highly qualified faculty with a sincere dedication to teaching, as well as other residents."

— 2nd-year resident

What is there to do in Rochester?

"It is the great outdoors! The options are limitless."

— 3rd-year resident

"Lots! Rochester is a great place to live, with tons of outdoor activities readily available. The city has a fantastic paved trail that follows the river and extends north and south to two major trail systems. There are great mountain bike areas and empty, rolling country roads perfect for road biking. The city has many excellent parks and several nice golf courses (including a course two blocks from the downtown campus). The Mississippi River and some amazing associated state parks are a short ride away.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are easily accessible (just an hour's drive) for their excellent assortment of cultural activities and fine restaurants. Rochester has been selected several times as one of the top cities in America to live and work. Coming from the East Coast, I can also really appreciate how affordable it is to live here."

— 2nd-year resident

"Rochester is great for single people, families and kids. It's also easy to connect with other residents outside of work."

— 3rd-year resident

"Rochester is a perfect-sized community — small enough for a nice community feel, but large enough to find essential services. There is an amazing amount of diversity for a small town. It's great for families, and there are excellent public and private schools. It's a safe place to live with lots of outdoor activities."

— 1st-year resident

See the campus and community section for more about living in Rochester.

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