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Frequently Asked Questions

Photo of Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine residents examining a patient chart
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What is the patient mix?

Eighty percent of patients seen at Mayo Clinic are from Minnesota or one of the adjoining states, and Medicare covers nearly 40 percent of our internal medicine patients. Rochester, Minnesota, has one of the most diverse immigrant populations in the nation with large concentrations of people from Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

The majority of patients seen by residents have the common conditions and illnesses encountered in internal medicine.

There are renowned experts in almost every disease at Mayo, which makes this a destination for patients with rare and unusual cases. But this makes up a small percentage of a resident's practice. Mayo Clinic residents develop expertise in general internal medicine and have the opportunity to become familiar with unusual diseases as well.

Additionally, residents become comfortable dealing with the unknown and in furthering the frontier of internal medicine. Further expertise in specific areas of interest can be developed through electives.

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What is the level of resident autonomy?

The primary purpose of the Internal Medicine Residency is education, and the focus of learning is embedded in the care of patients. Interns and residents are the primary physicians for their patients. There are no private patients or private attendings at Mayo.

In the hospital, residents work in teams of four to six residents. Three interns supervised by a senior resident is the most common construct. The primary responsibility for care is with the intern, who orchestrates the care plans with input as needed from the senior resident and faculty. Interns and residents write orders and the definitive notes on patients.

In the continuity clinic, interns and residents have their own individual panel of patients. As the primary physicians, interns and residents are responsible for providing longitudinal, comprehensive care for their patients in the outpatient setting. Continuity clinics are organized in "firms" that function as a group practice composed of other residents and a group of dedicated faculty. Our residents feel that they have the ideal balance of autonomy and supervision.

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What is the relationship between residents and fellows?

With the volume of patients seen at Mayo Clinic, there are abundant learning opportunities for residents as well as fellows. Residents do not compete with fellows for patients or procedures.

Fellows are not present on most of the resident teaching services. On select subspecialty services, such as hematology or CCU, fellows are also part of the care team, where they play an important teaching role and often supervise procedures. Residents are pleased with the interactions they have with fellows and say the fellows play a positive role in their education.

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Photo of Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine residents in a meeting
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What are the research opportunities?

The Internal Medicine Residency at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, has been a leader in resident scholarship for many years. We were one of the first programs to build a dedicated scholarship curriculum for residents even before the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education began requiring residents to participate in scholarly activity.

An associate program director is dedicated to ensuring that residents are aware of scholarship opportunities, and residents can network with hundreds of potential mentors at Mayo Clinic. Elective time, which can be used for scholarship if desired, is available in all three years of training.

These efforts have been successful, with the Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Residency having more winners of the American College of Physicians Associates Abstract Competition than any other residency in the last 30 years.

During the three years of residency training, each resident on average participates in:

  • Six to seven scholarly projects, resulting in two to three peer-reviewed publications
  • Two additional peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted, submitted or in preparation
  • Approximately four presentations at regional, national and international scholarly meetings supported by Mayo funds
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Are there opportunities to teach?

We have a robust inpatient and outpatient faculty development curriculum designed to prepare residents for teaching roles with students, their peers and other members of the health care community. Many residents have chosen our program because of the preparation we provide for this important role.

Mayo residents have many opportunities to take the lead in teaching and supervising their team, facilitating inpatient and outpatient morning reports, and presenting in conference settings.

Our residency is a leader in teaching residents how to teach with a dedicated three-year curriculum in adult learning theory. All senior residents graduate with a certificate in core teaching for adult learning.

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Can residents rotate out of Rochester or outside the U.S.?

Some residents choose to rotate outside of Rochester. The most popular sites are our Mayo campuses in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Florida, where a variety of rotations are available. Transportation, lodging and licensure are provided.

A variety of rotational experiences also are available in smaller communities throughout the Midwest region within Mayo Clinic Health System.

In addition, some of our residents rotate outside the U.S., usually under the auspices of the Mayo International Health Program. This program helps residents bring their talents to underserved areas of the world. Scholarships are provided on a competitive basis to cover transportation and lodging. Residents have rotated to a large number of regions worldwide.

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Can my 'significant other' find a place to work?

Educational Programs

We realize that for many residents, a move to Rochester is highly dependent on the ability to secure employment or a position for someone close to them. Rochester is a growing city with a population exceeding 100,000. Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester is one of the top employers in the region. See the Jobs at Mayo Clinic website.

Other major employers include IBM, the school system, and the local hotel and restaurant industry. The density of information technology infrastructure in the region makes Rochester an ideal environment for telecommuting. Professional services and light manufacturing also are prominent components of the workforce.

There is a consortium of institutions of higher learning in Rochester and several different school systems that serve K-12, including Rochester Public Schools and Rochester Catholic Schools.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, a major metropolitan area, is within an 80-minute drive. Our program maintains an informal network of significant others and family members in the various arenas noted above to assist and guide new members to our community.

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What is the work-life balance?

Work-life balance is highly influenced by the nature of the people with whom you work. The esprit de corps is particularly rich within our residency and one of the most cited positives at the end of the year.

More than 90 percent of interns are moving to Rochester from elsewhere, and all are looking for friends and people with whom they want to spend time. Many choose to purchase a home because the cost of living is relatively low. Each residency class of 48 has a nice mix of singles, those involved in serious relationships and those who are married.

All have been selected because of the richness they will add to the community and their ability to bring out the best in those around them. It is no surprise that residents develop some of their closest friendships with one another. Similarly, the size of Mayo Clinic and a number of other educational programs attract a wide variety of people throughout the world to Rochester.

We have more than 4,000 residents, fellows, graduate students, medical students and health sciences students at Mayo Clinic. Numerous activities are organized to allow kindred spirits to find each other.

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  • Aug 31, 2015
  • ART703814