Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education

Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education

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Contact Information

City
Rochester
State/Province
Minnesota

Program Information

Residents per class
10
Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program

User reviews

4 reviews

Overall rating 
 
8.8
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0  (4)
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.5  (4)
Operating Experience 
 
9.0  (4)
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0  (4)
Research 
 
9.8  (4)
Residents 
 
8.8  (4)
Lifestyle 
 
8.8  (4)
Location 
 
4.5  (4)
Overall Experience 
 
9.8  (4)
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(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
8.2
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
8.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
8.0
Lifestyle 
 
8.0
Location 
 
2.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

Mayo

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Chairman Dr Berry (joints) seemed like a nice guy that knew the residents and was approachable. PD Dr Hanssen (joints) was supposed to be hard to get along with, but I got along great with him. He seems demanding but fair (also stepping down this year). Asst PD Turner (Foot and Ankle) seemed like an all around nice guy, and he will be PD starting next year. Otherwise, this is the Mayo Clinic and there are top names in every field. They seemed to get along with and know the residents pretty well. There were a few attendings that seemed like residents didn't like working with, but that is to be expected anywhere.
Didactics / Teaching
I only saw the morning didactics on joints, hand, and upper extremity. They were all cases from the previous week presented by residents and fellows, where all of the attendings then chimed in on the topics that the cases brought up. Thought they were excellent and educational. Program has 6 months of afternoon protected time in PGY-2 for basic science didactics and labs. I thought this was a great way to get everyone orthopedic education before they hit many of their rotations, residents that I met really liked this.
Operating Experience
This is the big question with Mayo I think. From what I saw I think the residents were pretty good and got their hands dirty regularly. Each resident does 3-month rotations with an attending, so they do more the longer into the rotation that they are. Three or four of the chiefs this year are going directly into private practice, which makes me think they are very happy with their operative training. Also, your PGY5 year contains 9 months of elective time, so that is almost a mini-fellowship right there. Lots of PA and surg tech help in the OR with things like draping and dressings.
Clinic Experience
I thought this was excellent with lots of teaching and learning going on, although I'm sure like at any place this is attending dependent. Lots of PA help.
Research Opportunities
The databases are incredible and you can probably answer any clinical question you want. There are some labs where you can work if you do the research-track, which is research as a PGY-2 and still graduate in 5 years. One paper is required by graduation. Can do a lot if this is your thing.
Residents
Only met a few, given that there are 55-60 of them, but the ones I met seemed to be down to earth good people. I didn't meet any bad apples in my month here.
Lifestyle
Pretty cush lifestyle, 6-6 days with rounding on the weekends and occasional call (remember call is split up between all of those residents).
Location / Housing
Well housing is very affordable and the summer is beautiful, winters on the other hand are brutal. Have to like small town living if you come here.
Limitations
I think a big limitation of going to this program is the fact that you do 3 months with each attending. If you get the attendings that you want to deal with, then great. But I could see where you might not get to work with the attendings that you were expecting to be able to work with. This (along with the weather) brought it down a few spots for me.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Excellent place for a rotation if you want to get a letter from a big-name attending as you will be one-on-one with them. As far as residency goes I think it is a solid training program, with a great name, in a not so great location, you just have to figure out what you want for these 5 years of your life.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
Fall 2010
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(Updated: December 10, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
9.5
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
9.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
9.0
Location 
 
7.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

Mayo Clinic

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
What can you say it is the Mayo Clinic. Met a lot of the big names in orthopedics and operated with a few and was a great experience. Their knowledge during conferences was impressive and an obvious great asset. Some surgeons are more hands on than others, and that's the truth at most places. The residents get basically any fellowship they want and job offers are plenty for them.
Didactics / Teaching
Fantastic didactics, and I love the idea of the protected 6 months of Basic Sciences during your PGY2. In addition all of the consultants are big into teaching the residents the latest research and applying it to their practice.
Operating Experience
This has always been the question regarding the Mayo Clinic, and I think just like any place it depends on the surgeon you are with. Some are very hands on, whereas others let the residents go. I saw a PGY2 doing a spine exposure with the fellow assisting him. PGY3 nailing tibia with chief assisting, and consultant watching from the hall. All the chiefs I spoke to felt comfortable with their skills.
Clinic Experience
It's clinic and you do have to do a lot of phone calls, following up, and clinic duties that are actually done in the real world in a private practice. Each consultant usually has a PA and a resident. Residents change rotations on a quarterly basis. PA's do help a lot with the scut stuff in the office, and many of them scrub cases with you as well. They are a great asset to help the resident learn how the consultant works initially.
Research Opportunities
Any research is possible. The database is enormous, they have all the support staff available, and will gather all the relevant data for you and compile the stats, etc. You do have to do one project during your residency.
Residents
All of them were top notch. I didn't meet one bad apple in the whole bunch. There was some rumor on orthogate regarding Mayo letting some residents slip through and a PGY5 didn't graduate, a PGY4 went to radiology, and a PGY3 switched to PMR. All of these are true but the reasoning behind all of them is sound, and the residency director Dr. Hanssen and Dr. Turner were very honest about this during the interview.
Lifestyle
They all had a good lifestyle. OTS is tough somewhat, but nothing that you don't expect, and you get to operate a lot during this time and really develop your skills. I enjoyed trauma call with this group a lot, just a good fun time.
Location / Housing
Rochester is 100K people approximately and a great midwestern town. For married couples with children you couldn't ask for a better place.
Limitations
As a student there really isn't a place for you to rotate there, as students don't come through very often, and sometimes they didn't know what to do with you. But, you learn where you can help out, and what you can do to help the resident out. In addition you get a lot of face time with the consultants so you can get a letter from them, and most are very accommodating in that regard.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I loved my experience here, and found the town delightful. I plan to rank this place as my top choice.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
Fall 2009
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(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
8.2
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
9.0
Clinical Experience 
 
7.0
Research 
 
9.0
Residents 
 
9.0
Lifestyle 
 
9.0
Location 
 
3.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Lives up to the hype - one of the premier programs

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
It's hard to make a sweeping statement about the faculty here, especially based on a 4-week sub-I, as the department is just huge. Even as a resident you won't get to know everyone. But this is arguably the premier place for Hand and Adult Recon, and perhaps Tumor as well. Spine is strong, while Sports is a weakness according to most residents. Trauma is mostly the cold variety, and there's less volume trauma-wise here than at your big city trauma centers. That was a plus for me, but may be a minus for others. Peds is another relatively weak area; residents are sent to Mayo-Jacksonville to do a Peds rotation. Chairman, Dr. Berry, I didn't meet personally, but seemed quite friendly at conference. PD, Dr. Hanssen has a rep for being a blunt, no-BS kind of guy; I found him to be straightforward for sure but also good-natured and helpful. Same goes for Assistant PD, Dr. Turner. Most of faculty were former Mayo residents who did their fellowship elsewhere. This is by design, as it was explained to me that the department has been far happier with grads of their residency than grads of others. The fact that the faculty did their fellowship training elsewhere is seen as a sufficient injection of new blood/knowledge to the department.
Didactics / Teaching
Unique among ortho residencies, Mayo blocks out 6 months out of each resident's PGY2 year for "Basic Science," which is a concentrated series of lectures, workshops, dissections, simulators, etc. designed to put all the juniors on a level playing field for their last 3 years of residency. I went to the Microvascular Skills Lab, which was fantastic. During the 6 months of Basic Science, PGY2 residents are assigned to a service, but they operate or go to clinic just in the morning; the afternoon is protected time for didactic learning. Conferences otherwise are specialty-specific, with the exception of grand rounds. Hand conference is excellent for learning (great cases, incredible faculty all willing to chime in), as is Joints and Tumor, but there's a lot of pimping going on, especially in Tumor conference, where faculty from ortho, radiology, rad onc, and even path all jump on the poor PGY2's who line up to go through cases as if they're French aristocrats waiting to be guillotined.
Operating Experience
Because Mayo's residency is structured in a preceptorship-style format, where 1 resident is attached at the hip to 1 consultant, this could in theory vary a lot, depending on the level of the resident and the personality of the consultant. But all the consultants I worked with, even the somewhat ornery ones, were dead-set on getting their residents operating and teaching them operating skills (the atmosphere is here is very conducive to that). What you won't find, of course, is seniors leading juniors through cases, as there is almost no double-scrubbing. But that means you're always learning from a seasoned pro rather than an unboarded resident just a few years more senior than you. The cases themselves can be somewhat out of the ordinary: off the top of my head I recall an MCP arthroplasty, a massive distal femur prosthesis revision, and an axillary lymph node dissection (!) during my rotation. But there's also a lot of bread and butter stuff, too, especially joints, and you will do A LOT of joints if you come here. All consultants have PA's or NP's to assist in the OR also, and they definitely make things like closing go faster. Sometimes they will volunteer to do the closing or dressing themselves so that the resident can take care of whatever other business there is; otherwise, they will see all the cast room patients (who are there for suture removal, wound checks, etc.), while the resident operates.
Clinic Experience
Residents spend more time in clinic than other programs - approximately 40% vs. 60% in the OR. As most are aware, suits/sport jackets are the rule rather than white coats. Patients are for the most part not formally presented to the consultant; instead, the resident writes a note (which might be handwritten or typed, depending on the service), which is briefly looked over by the consultant.
Research Opportunities
Not all the faculty are heavily involved in research, but within such a huge department, you can find some outstanding investigators. Superb biomechanics and motion analysis stuff here, as well as lots of tissue engineering. Of course the patient databases are unmatched by any other institution, probably in the world, so clinical research is a ridiculous abundance of riches. Most residents do these clinical projects and have no trouble publishing them. There is no great pressure to do so, however, and most residents don't have academics in mind.
Residents
Like the department itself, the residency is huge, so I could only meet a handful of residents during my 4 weeks there. All were good people; smart, humorous, and good-natured, with OR skills that seemed above their level of training. They like to teach, and did more operating here. What really impressed me is how they had nothing but good things to say about their colleagues, as well - the camaraderie is good, even if each resident is not exactly tight with all 49 others.
Lifestyle
You carry your pager 24/7, every day of the year (except vacation), which can be a pain, but this is Rochester, not the big city, so things are generally less crazy. You do have to do patient callbacks, answering questions (that range from legit to crazy) from patients. Reps for Stryker, Zimmer et al. treat residents well, buying them books. Loupes are not provided by the department, but can be purchased using funds allotted for vision/dental care (can be done in the PGY2 year - very helpful as there's a lot of hand experience here). Residents get whatever fellowship they please in hand or joints, and very good ones for all the other specialties.
Location / Housing
Rochester is very small but very affordable - a good place for a family or an adaptable couple, but considerably less so for singles. But the Twin Cities are ~2 hrs or less away, and if you like the outdoors there's plenty of hunting, fishing, canoeing and the like. Most residents own homes and are married. There are 2 hospitals, Rochester Methodist and St. Mary's, but they're less than a mile apart, and there are continuous shuttles in between. Traffic seemingly doesn't exist here, a nice plus that gives you the freedom of really choosing where you want to live.
Limitations
Operative experience overall may leave you "needing" a fellowship. This isn't just my opinion. I have heard this from many people and seen it first hand to some degree. This is not a research powerhouse but you will have no problem finding opportunities. They don't have many "big names" but they have a few.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
This was a superb experience. The preceptorship style really maximizes teaching and minimizes mindless retracting. The hospital is efficient, and the support staff minimizes scut. The "weaknesses" here are only relative, compared to unbelievable strengths in other areas. Location is the biggest issue for most people, and you need to think long and hard about whether you can be happy in a small town in the Upper Midwest is where you. But keep in mind that there are advantages, too, to living here, like the affordability and lack of traffic (which can matter a lot for poor, time-strapped residents). And lastly, there is a rumor that circulates outside of Mayo that their residents are placed on one of 2 tracks, one of which has the "good" consultants, and the other of which has the bad personalities. Everyone here denies that is the case, and I couldn't find any evidence of it, either, so I believe this is just another unfounded rumor of the sort that unfortunately pervade the residency application process.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
Fall 2008
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(Updated: October 23, 2007)
Overall rating 
 
9.2
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
8.0
Lifestyle 
 
9.0
Location 
 
6.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

Mayo Clinic is top tier

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
There is no question that the staff at the Mayo clinic are outstanding, with many being recognized at top names in their respective fields. Dr. Berry, the chair, was very personable when I met him and he came across as a guy who really cares about his residents education.
Didactics / Teaching
While on service, I felt that the residents were given outstanding didactics. As PGY-2s they spend six months on a basic science curriculum, where they are still on services but their afternoons are protected for various lectures, skill labs, anatomy labs and studying. I thought that this was a great way to make the transition from an intern to a more prepared orthopaedic resident.
Operating Experience
Their strengths are joints, hand, and spine. Their "weakness" is trauma. While their weakness really is trauma, I think it is only a relative weakness (because their other areas are so strong). While on service my trauma team had more than enough OR time, in fact we had a call day that we spent 20 straight hours operating. Not only this, but the PGY-2s were getting to perform some of the key parts of various operations (which discredits some of the rumors out there that you don't operate until late in residency.) I also spent time on a joints service and had a similar experience, with the junior residents being very hands on. Lastly, the rumor that fellows steal cases is 100% not true. The fellows are generally not on service with residents at all, but if they are they are with junior residents so there isn't much overlap on the things they would and could be doing anyway.
Clinic Experience
Well it is called the Mayo CLINIC. In all seriousness, in my opinion clinic is clinic, it is the same nearly everywhere.
Research Opportunities
Everyone knows that there is plenty of opportunity to do projects that find their way into JBJS and the likes. The staff there are very open to resident help in their projects. On the flip side (and just at important in my opinion), some of the residents I talked to told me they were not planning on doing any research and they were not being pressure to doing it either.
Residents
They were a good group of people that seemed to go out of their way to make sure I knew what was going on. Even residents from other services would give me a hand when I was a little lost. That being said, you do get a little feeling that the group is more the studying type than the wild partying type, not to say they don't have a good time (I went to several parties with residents while I was there and had a great time) but that is just the feeling I got.
Lifestyle
They certainly adhere to the 80 hour work work week and I though their call schedule was very resonable.
Location / Housing
It is Rochester, MN. That being said, I think it is a great town to raise a family if you are a married resident. Housing is affordable and the education system is great. But there is no question that if you are a single resident looking for a great night life, this is not your ideal program.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I definately had a great time while at the Mayo Clinic and plan on ranking it very high, if not number 1. I though many of the myths about the program (don't operate until PGY-3s or 4s, no trauma, too many fellows) were just not true at all. I think that there is little question that this is an elite top-tier program.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
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