A fellow at Mayo Clinic's Rheumatology Fellowship program in Rochester, Minnesota, examines a patient.
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At Mayo Clinic, many accomplished and well-respected physicians and surgeons from the areas of rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, vascular medicine, nephrology, pulmonary, neurology, endocrinology, dermatology, radiology, and orthopedic surgery work together as a team to provide the best possible care to patients with rheumatic diseases. These world-class specialists use the most advanced diagnostic tools and therapies to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.

Mayo Clinic’s staff of approximately 18 rheumatologists serves as dedicated teachers and mentors. Their rich and various backgrounds form a vast diversity of clinical expertise and research opportunities. 

The Rheumatology Fellowship in Rochester, Minnesota, is a two-year program offering two rheumatology clinical fellowship positions. There is an optional third year available for fellows in good standing in the rheumatology program who wish to pursue an academic career in research or education. Internal medicine residents at Mayo Clinic who are accepted into the Clinician Investigator (CI) Program Tract also are accepted (one trainee each year). As a trainee in the rheumatology fellowship, you'll have access to a broad and highly specialized training experience.

Highlights of the program include:

  • Comprehensive clinical experience to evaluate and manage the full spectrum of rheumatic diseases
  • Robust didactic curriculum designed to teach clinical skills, basic sciences, immunology, radiology and pathophysiology, and management of all common and complex rheumatic diseases 
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasonography curriculum intended to teach basic concepts and skills in ultrasound-guided arthrocentesis and soft tissue injections 
  • Participate in a 12- to 15-month research experience
  • Certificate and/or master’s level classes through the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) for fellows who participate in the optional third year of the fellowship
  • Participate in the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Healthcare Delivery for fellows who participate in the optional third year of fellowship
  • Elective opportunities in hand clinic, spine center, sports medicine clinic, pain clinic, metabolic bone clinic, dermatology clinic, nephrology clinic, EMG lab, pediatric rheumatology clinic, and vasculitis clinic
  • Teach medical students and internal medicine residents
A fellow in the Rheumatology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, views tissue sample with a microscope.

Your training experience

As a fellow at Mayo Clinic, you'll have access to robust clinical, educational, and research resources. You'll find support both inside and outside of the campus to promote physical and mental wellness and ensure your work/life balance.

Floranne Ernste, M.D.

Director's welcome

We offer a superb training experience for those who have a passion toward improving the lives of patients and advancing the field of rheumatology. Our unique training program provides you with vast opportunities to hone the clinical skills needed to successfully manage complex rheumatic diseases in the hospital and outpatient settings.


The program fulfills the training requirements as defined by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).


After successfully completing the fellowship program, you're eligible to take the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) subspecialty examination.

Program history

The first Mayo Clinic rheumatologist was Philip S. Hench, M.D., who came to Mayo Clinic in 1923. In collaboration with Dr. Edward Kendall, an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Hench was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1950 for his role in the discovery and application of cortisone treatment in patients who had rheumatoid arthritis.

The Rheumatology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, began in 1953. Since then, approximately 130 physicians have completed the training. Over half of our fellows have been accepted into academic positions following graduation. We anticipate that two fellows will complete this program each year.

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