History of Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education #ThrowbackThursdays

Residents Dr. Paul O'Leary and Dr. James Hayes, nurse Mrs. C.M. Knutson, and Dr. John Stokes, Chair of the Section of Dermatology, consult on the diagnosis of a patient's skin condition in 1917. Dr. Stokes established the Section of Dermatology at Mayo Clinic in 1916.

Ever since Mayo Clinic was established, the institution's goal has been to provide outstanding care to its patients and offer superior education programs that ensure the success of the next generation of medical professionals.

In fact, even the name—Mayo Clinic—comes from this idea. From the beginning, Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his sons, Dr. William J. Mayo and Dr. Charles H. Mayo, invited physicians and students to visit Rochester, Minnesota, to learn about their innovative medical and surgical practice. Visitors coming to observe referred to attending the "Mayos' clinic."

Global Learners from the Start

At the same time, the Mayo brothers and their colleagues were distinguished scholars who traveled the world to learn from others and bring back the latest medical developments to incorporate into their own practice.

Even as the Mayo Clinic integrated medical practice grew, the importance of education continued to be a central focus.

First Graduate Medical Education Program

In 1915, the Mayo brothers established the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All income from the practice was placed in a trust to fund stipends for fellows who came to Mayo Clinic to study after medical school.

That same year, Mayo Clinic partnered with the University of Minnesota to develop the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, one of the first three-year university-based programs to train graduate physicians in specialty practice. In 1917, the first graduate degrees in Mayo's programs were conferred to two women and two men.

Other milestones for Mayo Clinic's residency and fellowship training programs include:

  • 1922 — More than 1,000 prospective candidates sought opportunities for graduate medical training at Mayo Clinic. Of these candidates, about 60% inquired for work in general surgery.
  • 1947 — Approximately 10% of all graduate medical students in the United States had completed a residency or fellowship at Mayo Clinic.
  • 1961 — Approximately 3% of all medical faculty members in the United States were alumni of Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education.
  • 2005 — Mayo Clinic opened the Multidisciplinary Simulation Center, which offers simulated "experiential learning" via standardized patients (actors), virtual reality task trainers and high-tech manikins. Residents and fellows have the opportunity to participate in this innovative, state-of-the-art simulation center and work as part of a multidisciplinary team to develop patient care skills in a simulated setting.
  • 2005 — Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education received maximum institutional accreditation status from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
  • To date — More than 23,000 physicians and scientists have trained at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic Residencies and Fellowships Today

Today, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education:

  • Has more than 1,500 active residents and fellows in more than 270 individual training programs, covering every medical and surgical specialty, across all Mayo campuses.
  • Oversees the largest number of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited programs in the country and is the only integrated school of graduate medical education conducted across broad geographic regions.

When you complete your residency or fellowship training at Mayo Clinic, you will join more than 23,000 distinguished alumni worldwide, including:

  • More than 1,500 medical school faculty in academic medical centers around the world.
  • Leaders in several international ministries of health.
  • Current and past leaders in virtually every professional medical organization.

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.