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Research Training

Orthopedic research laboratories are established in biomechanics, biochemistry and cell biology, cartilage metabolism, microvascular surgery, and molecular biology. During your residency, you learn research methodology and complete at least one research project. Statistical support is available on the orthopedic floor and through the Department of Health Sciences Research.

Mayo Clinic orthopedic researchers have long been involved in advances to alleviate suffering from musculoskeletal disorders. Problems identified in the clinic are taken to the laboratory for study, and the results are then translated back into clinical practice. Mayo orthopedic investigators, many of them active clinicians, conduct basic research in 10 laboratories and perform clinical trials and other clinical research in virtually every aspect of musculoskeletal pathology. More than 20 doctors and scientists in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery receive research funding, with about $7 million in annual funding. Research involves laboratory research, clinical trials, and other clinical research in virtually every aspect of musculoskeletal pathology.  

During the 2018-2019 academic year, our program had 119 resident presentations at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), Orthopedic Research Society (ORS), Mid-America Orthopedic Society (MAOA), Minnesota Orthopedic Society (MOS), and other specialty societies. Also, during that time, our program published 162 resident publications, of which 72 were resident first-author publications.

During the 2019-2020 academic year there were 128 resident publications with 51 of those with residents as the first author. There were 86 resident presentations accepted during the academic year; however, due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19 only allowed 33 of those to be presented before March 2020.

While the program only requires one first-author publication, the vast majority of residents complete substantially more.

Master’s Research Program

If you choose to participate in the Master’s Research Program, you exchange six months of clinical training during your second year for basic laboratory training under the guidance of a full-time orthopedic surgery staff member and a Ph.D.-level researcher. This allows you to earn a master's degree within the five-year residency program without having to extend your training. The degree requirements include preparing and carrying out a research project, writing a thesis, and passing written and oral examinations. 

Clinician-Investigator Training Program

The Clinician-Investigator Training Program is an integrated, comprehensive educational experience for trainees interested in pursuing a research-based career within a robust clinical practice.

Clinical and translational research training

Mayo Clinic provides a variety of services to all Mayo investigators and study teams. Learn more about opportunities in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS).

Mayo Clinic Total Joint Registry and Orthopedic Research Office

The Total Joint Registry is the world’s largest database of its kind, with greater than 150,000 records and data spanning more than 50 years. The data used in research projects has resulted in dozens of publications annually, book chapters, and presentations. It is supported by five full-time employees. The Total Joint Registry and Orthopedic Research office provide services and resources to assist with:

  • Project support from start-up to close
  • Consenting
  • Development of patient recruitment material
  • Data extraction/abstraction
  • Requesting, organizing, and retrieving biospecimens
  • IRB and biospecimens support/submission
  • Regulatory support
  • Publications/manuscript support


A perk of the outstanding research output of our department is the opportunity to present this research regionally, nationally, and even internationally. Travel to present original research at these meetings is paid for by Mayo Clinic and is an incredible opportunity to see the country, network with the orthopedic community, and most importantly, expand our residents' knowledge level.

Commonly attended meetings include: