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Within each rotation, a core of medical knowledge, patient care, professionalism, and practice improvement is taught through our electronic curriculum. The electronic curriculum is organized by the week for all rotations during your training and defines very specific objectives with links to online resources to help achieve these objectives.

Typical resources electronically linked for immediate access are landmark journal articles, key review articles, practice guidelines, evidence-based reviews, and treatment algorithms.

Clinical training

Within the "mentoring and mastery" model of surgical education at Mayo Clinic Arizona you will be the most senior resident on nearly all services, even as a first-year preliminary surgery resident.

You will operate with the faculty surgeon whenever he or she is operating and you will see outpatients whenever he or she is in clinic. This model provides you with an educational continuity from preoperative evaluation through operative techniques to postoperative techniques to postoperative care from day one of training.

Rotation schedule

The following is a typical rotation schedule for the PGY-1 preliminary resident:

General – Emergency Department 3 months
Vascular Surgery 1 month
General - Surgical Oncology 3 months
Colorectal Surgery 1 month
Urology 2 months
Trauma/Critical Care 2 months
Burn Surgery 1 month

Didactic training

Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups, and one-on-one instruction are an integral part of Mayo Clinic's Preliminary Surgery Residency Program. All residents are required to attend conferences each weekday. For example, you will participate in:

  • Basic science conference
  • Conferences in endocrine, pathology, radiology, GI, and more
  • Oncologic surgery
  • Evidence-based surgery conference
  • Morbidity and mortality conference
  • Laparoscopic lab
  • Surgical grand rounds

Board examinations

You will be required to take the written American Board of Surgery In-training Examination (ABSITE) during your preliminary year. Your status in the program will not be determined solely by your ABSITE results; however, a score greater than the 50th percentile is required.

Continuity of care

Work rounds are held on all services at least twice a day; teaching rounds are conducted with the supervising faculty daily.

A unique aspect of Mayo Clinic's program is the institution's physician schedule, which alternates each day between operative and non-operative responsibilities. This scheduling permits surgical services to function as a team in the hospital and in the outpatient clinic. It also allows you to participate in the total care of patients under the supervision of a faculty member.

Call frequency

As a PGY-1 resident, your call will be in-house every fourth or fifth night. You will average two of every three weekends off. You will have one day in seven free of all duty and will work no more than 80 hours per week.


To ensure you are acquiring adequate knowledge and developing your technical skills, your performance will be monitored carefully during the course of your residency. After each clinical rotation, you will be evaluated formally by your supervising faculty member. In addition, you will regularly evaluate the faculty to ensure that your educational needs are being met. Twice per year a summary evaluation incorporating the faculty evaluations, 360-degree evaluations, portfolios, videotaped procedures and all other evaluative tools will be given from the program director.

Career development

You will meet every six months with the program director to discuss your individual goals and plan your career. Mayo Clinic recruits many of its staff physicians from its own training programs. Thus, when you successfully complete the General Surgery Residency Program, job opportunities may be available at one of Mayo Clinic's group practices.