Program description

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences offers a one-year postgraduate Physician Assistant Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship at Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona. The fellowship is intended to prepare the trainee for a career in one of several disciplines within the growing field of transplantation. One applicant is accepted to the program each year, with the academic year beginning in October.

The comprehensive educational curriculum is designed to provide fellows with specialty training in the medical and surgical aspects of liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation. Mastery of the principles of immunosuppression — a core element of all transplant disciplines — is a major goal and expectation of the program.

Fellows work directly with the renowned faculty of distinguished physicians and surgeons, as well as with other highly recognized, specialized and dedicated physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).

In addition to the clinical curriculum, trainees participate in regularly scheduled academic conferences, attend educational lectures and have the opportunity to perform scholarly research with the potential for publication in academic journals.

Upon graduation, the fellow receives a certificate from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences documenting successful completion of the program, which indicates demonstration of all expected competencies. Fellows completing the program are expected to be highly competitive candidates for employment at institutions performing organ transplantation in one of several potential disciplines.

The purpose of the postgraduate Physician Assistant Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship is to provide highly specialized training for individuals seeking a career in the growing field of transplantation. Recognizing that NP and PA providers play a key role in the health care delivery system and witnessing the dramatic growth in the demand for organ transplantation due to a host of acute and chronic diseases, we seek to grow the supply of care providers who possess the highly specialized education and training necessary for the competent delivery of transplantation-related services.

Program goals

The Physician Assistant Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship aims to help its participating fellows:

  • Develop a broad knowledge base of the acute and chronic disease states for which patients are considered for liver, kidney or pancreas transplantation
  • Utilize evidence-based medicine practices to develop differential diagnoses and treatment plans
  • Gain proficiency in the evaluation of potential candidates for abdominal organ transplantation
  • Develop detailed understanding of the criteria by which candidacy for abdominal organ transplantation is determined
  • Master the principles of immunosuppression applied to the full spectrum of disease states and clinical situations which require individualized therapy
  • Understand the key components of donor selection and organ allocation policy
  • Become skilled in the evaluation and selection of living liver and kidney donors
  • Develop knowledge of the surgical aspects of abdominal organ transplantation, including transplant surgery observation and participation, as well as participation in a transplant surgery clinic
  • Become proficient in the care of critically ill transplant recipients, including during the perioperative period
  • Develop the skills needed for effective counseling of patients with complex medical problems and their families
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the current medical literature in abdominal organ transplantation, including the current controversies in transplantation and the public health and economic ramifications of organ replacement
  • Understand the ethical considerations in the conduct of organ transplantation


See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.


Mayo Clinic has two campuses in Arizona. On the Mayo Clinic campus in Phoenix is the state-of-the-art Mayo Clinic Hospital, the first hospital entirely designed and built by Mayo Clinic. It has been recognized several times by Phoenix magazine as the "Best Hospital in Phoenix."

In 2014, Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona was ranked No. 1 in Arizona and the Phoenix area on U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals list.

The Mayo Clinic campus in Scottsdale is centered around a beautiful, five-story outpatient clinic. This modern facility contains extensive exam rooms, an outpatient surgery center equipped for general anesthesia, a full-service laboratory, pharmacy, patient education library, endoscopy suite, and a 188-seat auditorium for patient, staff and student education programs. Services in numerous medical and surgical disciplines are provided, including outstanding programs in cancer treatment and organ transplantation.

The Scottsdale campus offers excellent education facilities, including classrooms, lecture halls, an extensive library and a computer lab. The Samuel C. Johnson Research Building, a 75,000-square-foot building, houses scientists, trainees and students focused on molecular genetics, molecular immunology, molecular and cell biology, molecular chemistry, and surgical research.

The campus includes a 3,000-square-foot multidisciplinary simulation center that simulates real-life patient care situations, enabling learners to practice on sophisticated mannequins in a no-risk environment. Experiential learning enhances patient safety and improves competency assessment of learners through new modes of simulation-based education.

The campus also includes a state-of-the-art education and conference center, which has a 330-seat auditorium and adjacent meeting rooms. The facility serves all types of learners engaging in lifelong learning.


For the majority of the fellowship, the learning schedule includes 10-hour days, five days a week with no expected night, weekend or holiday duties. For portions of the fellowship, night and weekend participation is expected in order to permit adequate exposure to the urgent and emergent clinical scenarios in the care of transplant patients.

Class size

Each year, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admits one student to its Physician Assistant Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship. This ensures individualized instruction and adequate exposure to the clinical curriculum.

March 18, 2015