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Internal Medicine Residency (Arizona)

Internal Medicine residents practice their skills in the lab.


The Internal Medicine Residency at Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona offers a fundamental, patient-centered training environment unlike any other.

As one of the premier tertiary referral centers in the Southwest, trainees see a fascinating variety of pathology, from bread-and-butter cases to rare conditions. Residents enjoy a balanced curriculum and a wealth of educational opportunities, renowned mentors, and personalized support. Small class sizes promote a culture of camaraderie amongst residents, fellows, and faculty – all within a medium-sized institution and all the benefits of Mayo Clinic.

Our internists graduate prepared to thrive in their careers in general or subspecialty medicine in both private practice and academic settings.

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As a resident, you’ll experience a curriculum that provides a strong core with outstanding opportunities for personal adaptation through ample research and elective time, coupled with the strong mentors and resources of Mayo Clinic.

Program highlights include:

  • Emphasis on academic and scholarly achievement
  • Internationally respected mentors for research and career planning
  • Support for publications, CME attendance, and travel to present work
  • A high faculty-to-resident ratio that allows you to learn directly from experts in internal medicine specialties
  • A state-of-the art Simulation Center for training in medical emergencies and procedures

You’ll also find a flexible rotation schedule designed to complement your learning experiences. Our program's affiliations with other Mayo campuses in Rochester, Minnesota, and Jacksonville, Florida, along with Maricopa Medical Center, Arizona State University, and Phoenix Indian Medical Center provide a diverse mix of patients, institutions, and experience.

The Phoenix and Scottsdale areas provide ideal weather in a growing and vibrant location.


The Internal Medicine Residency obtained accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in 1994. We have full, continued ACGME accreditation with commendation as of January 2014.


Graduates are eligible to take the American Board of Internal Medicine examination. Our graduates have a 91 percent pass rate overall since 1998.

Program history

Our first six residents began in 1995 and graduated in 1998. We have had 103 graduates, 69 of whom went on to subspecialty training. We are currently accepting 12 residents each year.

Frequently asked questions (and answers)

What is the patient population like?

The majority of patients come from Arizona, surrounding states and the Midwest. Most hospitalized patients are treated for common conditions, such as congestive heart failure, sepsis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary embolus.

In general, our patient population is an older population, often with a history of malignancy or organ transplant, making our residents proficient at handling complex decisions. Residents are also exposed to and treat rare diseases in nearly every field. Often, patients are referred to Mayo Clinic for evaluation by renowned experts, bringing complex cases from outside institutions to higher levels of care.

Ethnic diversity among patients is widely abundant, and underserved populations are encountered at Mayo facilities, on rotations to Maricopa Medical Center, and during opportunities at the sexually transmitted diseases and other free clinics.

How much autonomy will I have?

The intent of our Internal Medicine Residency is to produce proficient and competent physicians. Residents are directly responsible for their patients, and there is ownership and accountability in caring for each patient.

Our program relies on a team-based model to achieve these goals. On hospital wards, teams consist of two interns, a senior resident and a consulting physician. The intern evaluates the patient, then formulates and implements care management plans with the supervision and support of a senior resident and a consultant to provide top-level comprehensive care.

In the continuity clinic setting, each intern and resident is responsible for their own patient panel, directing comprehensive, ongoing care, again with supervision under consulting faculty. The level of autonomy incrementally increases as residents progress through training, and in the end, there is an exceptional balance of autonomy and independence, allowing our residents the opportunity to grow into competent and independent physicians.

What’s the work-life balance like?

Our residency program is moderately intense, providing a solid foundation that serves residents well in their future practice or fellowship. Residents and their families enjoy activities outside of the workplace afforded by the large Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix currently ranks as the fifth-largest city in the U.S., with 4.3 million people in the greater Phoenix area.

The city offers all of the cultural opportunities of a larger U.S. city, including access to professional sporting events, theater, arts, and various leisure activities such as shopping, golf and fine dining. Approximately 50 percent of our residents are married and often are raising a family. With a medium-sized program, residents are more than just colleagues — they are close friends, frequently interacting outside the work environment and reporting overall satisfaction with the work-life balance.

What is the dress code?

The dress code at Mayo Clinic emphasizes maintaining a professional appearance.

In the past, this has been synonymous with suits and ties for men and suits or dresses with hosiery for women. The dress code no longer has the stringent limitations that one may think.

Residents wear scrubs on appropriate inpatient services, and they wear a white coat instead of a suit jacket in many settings. For women, the requirement for nylons has been dropped, as long as the standard of a professional appearance is maintained.

Nellie Nafissi, M.D.

Meet our trainees

Program Director Janis Blair, M.D.

Meet the faculty

Mayo Clinic resident checking heartbeat of teen patient

Choosing Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic campus in Phoenix, Arizona.
Campus and community

Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ

Anesthesiologists performing a procedure on a mannequin

Stipend and benefits