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Photo of Mayo Medical School students in the Multidisciplinary Simulation Center


At a glance, the Mayo Medical School curriculum is committed to:

  • Active and cooperative learning styles, supported by a pass/fail evaluation system in Year 1 and Year 2 that encourages collaboration by eliminating competition for grades.
  • A focus on patient care and clinical experiences that broaden and deepen classroom learning.
  • Science of Health Care Delivery curriculum that prepares students for the challenges of working in an ever-changing health care environment. This new innovative curriculum enables students to learn about how health care systems work, examine health care policy and its impact on patient care, and understand health economics and its impact on patients and health care providers.
  • Integration of daily topic presentations with clinic rotations. 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.
  • Schedules that allow for optimal learning that leads to long-term understanding: repeated exposure to ideas, time to reflect on new information, remedial support when necessary, and time for rest and renewal.
  • Continuous improvement, assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness of our curriculum through multiple feedback systems.
  • Support and mentorship from interdisciplinary collaborative teams of physicians and staff who are dedicated to the personal and professional development of students.



Students study one topic at a time for three to seven weeks. These courses are known as subject "blocks." In the first year, students take a series of nine blocks. The blocks address three fundamental principles: basic structure, basic functions and basic principles.

For example, in the first year, students take blocks on a variety of topics, including basic doctoring (patient interviewing and physical examination skills), the Science of Health Care Delivery, ethics and basic structure, taught through molecular biology, basic gene expression, basic cell structure and microscopic anatomy.

In the second year, students take eight blocks that address organ systems, pathophysiology, and diagnostics and therapeutics. Morning sessions of the block are thematically reinforced in the afternoon during clinical integration sessions with patients, small groups of students or in facilitated sessions with faculty members.


These courses are dedicated one- to two-week blocks offered in the first and second years that enable the student to experience the self-directed approach behind the design of the medical curriculum, emphasizing personal responsibility for the learning experience.

Selective blocks may be utilized for career exploration, working in underserved communities, remedial activities, exploration of research interests, research presentations, achieving higher level learning objectives through reflection, enhancing clinical skills or any activity related to medical education that is not directly provided for in the medical curriculum.

Selectives can take place at any of Mayo Clinic's campuses in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida, as well as at other medical institutions both nationally and internationally.

Clinical experiences

Courses include basic and advanced doctoring, clinical clerkships, and electives. Throughout their training, students work with Mayo Clinic clinicians and researchers who are renowned experts in their fields.

Science of health care delivery

Through collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU), Mayo Medical School 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:

  • Health policy, economics and technology
  • Person-centered care
  • Leadership
  • Team-based care
  • Population-centered care
  • High-value care

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.

Community service

Throughout their training, Mayo medical students are involved in community service. During the first year, students are introduced to community organizations. During the second year, students work in community health clinics.

For example, students work in the Rochester Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH) free clinic under Mayo consultant supervision. This clinic provides students with a clinical education, while offering an opportunity for community service.

Highest patient-to-student ratio anywhere

Embrace clinical immersion by taking full advantage of the 1.3 million people who seek care each year at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Medical School has the highest ratio of patients to medical students anywhere in the world, and clinical experiences are therefore abundant and easily available. If cardiac function is the morning classroom topic, Mayo Clinic's cardiology clinic is the afternoon clinical integration venue.

  • Nov 9, 2015
  • ART413030