Page Content

Rotation Schedule


During the intern year, you have six months in non-orthopedic rotations and will be involved in a curriculum that focuses on orthopedic knowledge and surgical skills development. There will be protected time in your schedule to allow for ample time to develop these foundational skills.

During the six months of orthopedic rotations, you’ll rotate through adult reconstruction, foot and ankle surgery, orthopedic oncology, shoulder and elbow surgery, spine surgery, and sports medicine.

Rotation Length
General surgery/trauma 1 month
Surgical critical care 1 month 
Plastic surgery 1 month 

Physical medicine and rehabilitation

  • Spinal cord rehabilitation
  • Amputee clinic
1 month
Emergency medicine 1 month
Neurosurgery 1 month
Orthopedic surgery 6 months

Intern Skills and Knowledge Curriculum

The Intern Knowledge and Skills Curriculum encompasses both intern “skills” and intern “knowledge.” PGY-1 residents will be excused from service obligations each Monday from 3-5 p.m. The schedule alternates weekly with the knowledge portion of the curriculum one week, and the intern skills curriculum the other led by Dr. Ryssman. Our interns have found this to be a vital component of the program, both in building skills and in engaging with each other and the Mayo Clinic orthopedic family and culture. Upon entering the program each trainee is given access to OrthoBullets for the duration of the residency.  

Intern curriculum topics:

  • Splinting and casting
  • Operating room setup/positioning/etiquette
  • Soft tissue handling/dissection
  • Bone handling and orthopedic instruments
  • Fluoroscopy and x-ray
  • Arthroscopic surgical skills


During PGY-2, you spend six months on basic science, three months on the Orthopedic Trauma Service, and three months as a senior resident. Your assignments vary somewhat according to your needs and prior experience.

Through these rotations, under staff guidance, you’ll become increasingly familiar with orthopedic literature, care of orthopedic inpatients, surgical techniques, and the evaluation of outpatients — both in the clinic and the emergency room.

The six-month Orthopedic Knowledge and Skills basic science course includes didactic lectures presented by orthopedic staff members and faculty from allied fields, laboratory sessions, extensive reading, clinical conferences, and the opportunity to perform clinically relevant research.

Lecture topics include a broad spectrum of science related to the musculoskeletal system, such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomechanics
  • Immunology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Microbiology
  • Microvascular surgery
  • Molecular biology
  • Orthotics
  • Pathology
  • Physiology
  • Prosthetics
  • Rheumatology

These topics are reinforced with laboratory experiences such as anatomy (cadaver dissection), motor skills, and microvascular surgery laboratories. You also learn about orthopedic tools, instruments, and implants, and how they are used in trauma and reconstructive surgery.

This curriculum is intentionally focused on hands-on learning through daily labs to reinforce surgical anatomy and approaches through a spiral curriculum. This curriculum progressively builds on prior skills using simulation modules and regular teaching and assessments of residents. This includes over 70 training modules to reinforce the foundational skills of drilling, sawing, and soft tissue handling requisite for a mastery of orthopedic procedures, and multiple cadaveric dissections and surgical procedures in the Stabile 9 Surgical Skills lab.

Rotation Length
Orthopedic surgery/basic science course (junior resident) 6 months
Orthopedic trauma service (junior resident) 3 months
Senior resident 3 months

PGY 3-5

During the final three years of residency, you'll be a senior resident on all orthopedic specialty rotations. With graduated independence, you consult with orthopedic patients and participate in preoperative decisions, surgical procedures, and postoperative management at the hospital and outpatient clinics.

You’ll rotate in all of the subspecialty areas:

  • Foot and ankle surgery
  • Hand surgery, including microsurgery
  • Hip and knee reconstruction
  • Orthopedic oncology
  • Orthopedic trauma
  • Pediatric orthopedics
  • Shoulder and elbow reconstruction
  • Spine surgery
  • Sports medicine

You'll also have the opportunity to do elective rotations in your desired area of focus.

In addition, as a senior resident, you'll have the opportunity to spend three or more months on an off-campus rotation. Your options include:

  • Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida — gain experience in sports medicine and arthroscopy
  • Nemours Children's Clinic within Wolfson Children's Hospital at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida — a large, academically-oriented pediatric practice that provides experience with both trauma and elective orthopedics
  • Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Minneapolis, Minnesota — rotate at a busy pediatric surgery center in the nearby Twins Cities metropolitan area
  • R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland — exposure to a large academic trauma center

Mayo Clinic funds the authorized additional expenses for your travel, housing, car rental, and licensure fees. Our residents consistently rate these rotations very highly.