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Clinical training

You experience one-on-one training with both Dr. Michael Link and Dr. Jamie Van Gompel. Approximately 300 surgeries are performed during the training year, including open, endoscopic, and stereotactic surgeries. In addition, emphasis is on clinical decision-making, where you participate in clinical evaluation of patients for surgery.

Finally, opportunity for simulation in the cadaver, rat anastomosis and dry model labs is mandatory for refinement of the technical skills necessary for excellent patient outcomes.

Rotation schedule

Alternating rotations Link/Van Gompel and elective/lab

Option 1 

Link service 3 months
Van Gompel service 3 months
Lab/elective service 3 months
Dual Link/Van Gompel service 3 months

Option 2 

Van Gompel service 3 months
Link service 3 months
Lab/elective service 3 months
Dual Link/Van Gompel service 3 months

Call frequency

Currently no call is required (enfolded fellows continue to share in the chief call).


Opportunities may be available to take general neurosurgery call to eligible post-graduate fellows which would occur at one of the Mayo Clinic Health System institutions. Moonlighting should not interfere with the required learning and must not violate the work-hour rules of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or visa regulations.


Recurring conferences that require attendance include:

  • Grand Rounds (Monday)
  • Skull base conference (Tuesday)
  • Neuro-oncology work conference (Friday)

Research training

You are involved in ongoing research projects, both clinical and anatomical, to further academic training as well as clinical abilities. These projects are tailored to your future interests and designed to enhance recruitment of patients to your practice in the future.

Teaching opportunities

You are responsible for running the monthly skull base conference, have the opportunity to present at Grand Rounds and have day-to-day opportunities for resident teaching.

Unique opportunities

  • Daily access to Mayo Clinic's skull base cadaver lab
  • Moonlighting
  • Paid trip and vacation days


To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop the appropriate technical skills to meet program expectations, your performance is monitored carefully during the Neurosurgical Skull Base Oncology Fellowship. You are formally evaluated by supervising faculty members on a quarterly basis. In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty to confirm that your educational needs are being met.