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M.D. Program

Curriculum Overview

M.D. Students performing an exam in simulation lab during curriculum rotations.

Patient-centered and science-driven

Our curriculum for students pursuing an M.D. degree is unlike any other. It focuses on patient care and clinical experiences that expand your classroom learning, in addition to biomedical research that deepens your understanding of medicine.

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine has the highest ratio of patients to medical students anywhere in the world, making a variety of clinical experiences readily available.

Integration between topical presentations with clinical rotations

Our curriculum mixes classroom lecture with hands-on practice and clinical observation. For example, students completing the hematology course will be in the hematology clinic that week shadowing doctors and learning firsthand the content being presented in class.

Curriculum at a glance

Subject blocks

During Year 1 and Year 2, the curriculum is organized into subject blocks. Each block allows students to study one topic at a time for three to seven weeks.

Most blocks revolve around system and organ integration and address three fundamental principles: basic structure, basic functions and basic principles. In addition to studying the biology and chemistry of disease, students work through subject blocks called basic and advanced doctoring to become more familiar with patient interaction.

Selectives

Selectives are one- to two-week blocks of time that enable you to steer your education towards your interests. In total, students have up to 23 weeks of selective time during Year 1 and Year 2 to explore all facets of medicine and science across all Mayo Clinic training sites.

These self-directed experiences are designed into the curriculum for you to focus on research, global health initiatives, specialty training, and more. Whether you want to engage in an opportunity organized by Mayo Clinic physicians or structure your own learning opportunity, you'll get to be personally responsible for your growth and learning.

Clinical clerkships and electives

In Year 3 and Year 4, the majority of curriculum time is spent in clinical clerkships and electives. During Year 3, you'll rotate through seven core clinical clerkships. Year 4 brings subinternships and rotations.

Throughout clinical experiences, students often work one-on-one with Mayo Clinic clinicians and researchers who are renowned experts in their field. This maximizes learning experiences and provides unique opportunities to learn about the most fascinating areas of each medical specialty.

"Selectives of self-directed learning"

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"Selectives of self-directed learning"

Educational opportunities and advanced degrees

Student research

During your research quarter in Year 3, you’ll be exposed to the principles and process of biomedical research. You’ll work with a research project adviser to choose and facilitate a research project that explores an area of interest at a very in-depth level. You'll have ready access to Mayo's extensive research resources, including more than 6 million medical histories and dozens of well-staffed research core facilities.

Global health opportunities

We're dedicated to providing educational experiences beyond the walls of Mayo Clinic. You'll have several opportunities throughout the program to challenge yourself by working abroad in virtually every corner of the world. These programs allow students to improve health care delivery across the globe by reinforcing an exchange of ideas, research, and creative educational efforts and resources.

Global health opportunities are available throughout all four years of medical school through a variety of formats including organized trips specifically for medical students, trips organized by Mayo Clinic consultants, independent trip opportunities, among other global health and health disparities educational programs.

Certificate in the Science of Health Care Delivery

Through collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU), Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine has created an innovative curriculum, called the Science of Health Care Delivery, which focuses on six key topic areas throughout all four years of training.

Students will earn a certificate of completion in the Science of Health Care Delivery upon graduation and can pursue a master's degree in this area if desired.

Advanced and dual-degree opportunities

There are a variety of advanced learning programs that offer students the option to pursue an M.S. or a Ph.D. in a host of basic and translational sciences as well as M.P.H., M.B.A., and J.D. degrees. These programs are in collaboration with Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences or renowned universities worldwide. Scholarship subsidies are available.

Confidence in your technical abilities

Technically speaking, graduates are extremely well-prepared for their next steps. Our curriculum prepares you to confidently perform more than 30 specific procedures of technical skill by the time you complete the program.