Surgeons in the operating room

Graduate medical education in surgery specialities at Mayo Clinic

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Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, offers a dynamic and robust five-year categorical General Surgery Residency. During your training, your responsibilities increase with your experience, capability, and performance.

Unique program opportunities include:

  • Learning about and performing both common (such as gallbladder, hernia, and appendix) and complex (such as liver, pancreas, stomach, and aorta) procedures in a one-on-one setting with Mayo surgeons.
  • Having direct access to Faculty members that, in addition to caring for patients in their clinical practices, are committed to teaching and facilitating the growth of medical knowledge. Our faculty members are recognized leaders in their fields, who publish more than 300 papers each year and give more than 200 presentations annually.
  • Participating in rounds each morning as part of a small team working with one staff surgeon. During rounds, new patients are presented, inpatient management is reviewed, and teaching sessions are held.
  • Writing all orders and being responsible for managing your patients throughout your residency.
  • Participating in the Surgical Olympics which evaluates General Surgery interns on surgical skills and knowledge
  • Outstanding research opportunities

Integrated Community and Rural Surgery Track

The Integrated Community and Rural Surgery Track combines the academic excellence of Mayo Clinic residency with a robust community and rural surgical experience within Mayo Clinic Health System. An emphasis on surgical breadth within general surgery and surgical subspecialties allows a qualified candidate to confidently practice in a community, rural, or international setting after successful completion of the residency.

If you have an interest in community or rural surgery, come take a look at our program. We have a lot to offer and are looking for motivated, driven students who want to help build a program with incredible resources.

General Surgery Residency faculty conversing in the hallway at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

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

John Stulak, M.D.


The General Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is accredited by the ACGME and is approved for 10 categorical positions each year.


Every resident who successfully completes the General Surgery Residency is eligible for certification through the American Board of Surgery.

Program history

While surgery instruction and teaching dates back to the earliest days of Mayo Clinic, the General Surgery Residency formally began in 1915, when the Mayo brothers created the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

The program became accredited by the American Board of Surgery in the 1950s and by the forerunner of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in the 1970s. Since that time, hundreds of residents have completed their training in general surgery at Mayo Clinic.

Frequently asked questions (and answers)

We receive greater than 1,500 applications each year (of which greater than half are for preliminary surgery), and we interview approximately 50 applicants for 10 categorical positions, 10 applicants for rural track position, and approximately 60 applicants for 12 preliminary positions.

Can I apply to both categorical and preliminary general surgery programs?

Yes, you can apply to both programs.

How many positions will your program offer in 2023-24?

9 general surgery positions
1 rural track position
12 non-designated preliminary positions

Do you take international medical graduates in your program?

Yes, we have international medical graduates in both our general surgery and preliminary programs.

Do you require previous USA experience?

No, it is not required to have previous USA experience.

Do you have a time limit on the number of years out of medical school?

Yes, you must have completed medical school within 5 years of the time you are applying.

Do you have minimum USMLE score requirements?

Yes, You must pass all exams on the first try.

Do you sponsor visas?

Mayo Clinic and the General Surgery residency program sponsor J-1 visas only. NO exceptions will be made to this policy.

When is the application deadline and when are interviews?

The application deadline is October 1.

Interviews are Dec. 1-2, 2022 and Jan. 5-6, 2023.

How can I apply?

All applications are processed through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). 

Do I have to be ECFMG certified at the time of application through ERAS?

The certification process should be started at the time of application and completed by the time the Rank Order List is submitted to the NRMP (approximately mid-February). If you are not completely certified by that time, your name will automatically be dropped from the Rank Order List by NRMP. 

How many letters of recommendation do you require?

Three letters are required.

Do you offer an observership?

No, we do not.

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