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During the first year (PGY-1) you will receive a broad introduction to the field of obstetrics and gynecology, with an additional rotation in critical care. The second and third years (PGY-2 and PGY-3) are designed to give you increasing responsibility in clinical obstetrics and gynecologic surgery.

Your fourth year (PGY-4) of training will be spent as a chief resident associate (CRA), with assignments in obstetrics/medical gynecology and gynecologic/oncology/reproductive endocrinology. At this time you will assume primary responsibility for patients under the supervision of the consulting staff.

Occasionally, residents are allowed to enter this residency program at an advanced level. Credit for prior training is given on an individual basis.

This is a sample of the four-year program:

Year Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
1 OB / ultrasound / nurse midwife
  1. GYN Surg (7 wks)
  2. OB (6 wks)
  1. Outpt GYN (9 wks)
  2. Critical Care (4 wks)
  1. Emergency Med (4 wks)
  2. Breast Clinic (2 wks)
  3. Repro Endo (7 weeks)
2 OB GYN Surg OB Minimally invasive Gyn Surg (MIGS)
3 GYN Surg
  1. GYN Surg (7 wks)
  2. OB-night float (6 wks)
  1. OB-night float (7 wks)
  2. Gyn Surg (6 wks)
4 GYN Surg OB/ Outpatient GYN GYN Surg OB/ Outpatient GYN


The first year is intended to be a gradual introduction to the various aspects of patient care. Fundamentals are learned through rotations in obstetrics, gynecologic surgery, outpatient gynecology, and the various aspects of primary care. On-call responsibilities are supervised extensively by residents with more clinical experience and staff.


In the second year, the resident gains more experience in obstetrics (6 months) along with rotations in gynecologic surgery and minimally-invasive gynecologic surgery. Continuity clinics begin in the second year.


Proportionatively more time is spent in surgery during the third-year experience. More graduated experience is gained and more responsibility given to the resident to care for and manage patient clinical problems of increasing complexity.


The chief resident associate (CRA) essentially has junior staff privileges. Working six months in obstetrics and six months in gynecologic surgery, the CRA participates independently in the operating room, labor and delivery, and the various outpatient clinics (i.e. colposcopy, hysteroscopy, etc.) Faculty is always available to provide needed consultation and assistance. This gives the CRA the opportunity to function at the highest resident level of patient care. A portion of this experience involves organizing and supervising junior residents to foster the team concept in health care.

Research Training

The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology is dedicated to teaching and exposing all residents to research in biomedical research. The research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are outstanding and our residents are expected to complete a research project during their residency. This is useful as part of all residency training and becoming increasingly necessary for those wishing to compete for top fellowship and academic positions after residency.

Projects can be clinical or basic science in nature, depending on the interests of the resident. The resident is fully supported by the departmental research committee with appropriate mentorship, resources, statistical, and publication support.

Protected elective time is provided during PGY-3 for this effort. It is anticipated that most projects will culminate in national presentation and publication, and the department fully supports trip and travel expenses for the purposes of presentation at national meetings.

Some examples of first-author publications performed during residency by recent graduating residents are:

Didactic Training

A well-organized didactic program is available to residents in obstetrics and gynecology.

  • Comprehensive weekly conference for faculty and residents. This conference includes morbidity and mortality conference, invited speakers on various topics, etc. The format is generally one of active interaction of generalists, subspecialties in the department, and residents. This conference is highly regarded as an opportunity to learn innovative techniques for diagnosis and management of interesting clinical scenarios. All clinical duties are blocked for this weekly conference for house officers and staff.
  • Weekly resident didactic conference on Monday afternoons; designed to provide a comprehensive “backbone” to the curriculum.
  • Once weekly resident core conference sessions for PGY 1 and PGY 2 residents are designed to teach the basics of obstetrics and gynecology.
    • Daily high-risk obstetrical teaching conference followed by hospital rounds.
    • High-risk patients: Conducted by Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist
    • Low-risk patients: Conducted by OB/GYN generalist
  • Ultrasound conference is held twice a month and is available to interested faculty and residents. Selected topics, with ultrasound images, are presented. Diagnostics, management, etc. are discussed. Faculty includes Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists and selected specialists (i.e. pediatric cardiologists, fetal echocardiologists, etc. if the topic is fetal cardiac abnormalities).
  • Weekly conferences are held in Gynecology Oncology. Pertinent clinical topics and journal articles are critically evaluated for content, methodology, value to clinical practice, etc. In addition, review of tumor histology and appropriate treatment is presented for active discussion.
  • In Urogynecology there is a monthly journal club, unique clinical cases, general discussion, etc.
  • There is a resident journal club which takes place monthly. During this time, pertinent journal articles in the specialty of OB/GYN. Discussion is led by various faculty (usually subspecialty specific) and the residents.

Interactive Courses

  • Gross (Surgical Anatomy) PGY-2, 4, and fellows – Weekly sessions (four total) are taught by an anatomist and gynecologic surgeon. The female pelvis is dissected with pertinent anatomical landmarks and structures demonstrated to embrace the basic knowledge of the resident surgeon.
  • Colposcopy Course – Occurs during the didactic sessions. Residents complete the course every two years. The course consists of four comprehensive sessions are taught by accomplished colposcopists. Pertinent basic information, techniques, and new cutting-edge techniques are discussed and demonstrated.
  • Ultrasound Training PGY-1 (during obstetrics rotation) – Recently updated ultrasound facilities have provided a new expanded state of the art facility with dedicated space and equipment for teaching this valuable skill. The first year resident has approximately one month of dedicated time to work with obstetrical ultrasound personnel to develop the skills to perform a basic obstetrical ultrasound scan. All images are stored electronically. An accessible file of stored ultrasound images is available for teaching, conferences, or research project opportunities.
  • Simulation Lab – A progressive surgical simulation curriculum is offered to residents early in their surgical experience. Learning the mechanics of laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, etc. enhances the actual clinical experience in the operating room. A “dry lab” is available in the resident work room and is available at all times for residents to practice basic laparoscopic skills and suturing
  • Cadaver Lab – Female cadaver labs are available once minimal skills are attained in simulation laboratory exercises. This experience is somewhat limited, but it is available to all residents on an equal basis.
  • Visiting Speakers – Visiting faculty, generally with national reputations of excellence, are invited to address the members of the Department of OB/GYN. This occurs approximately six times per year. On these occasions, time is generally set aside for interaction with the residents and the invited speaker. The intent is to provide opportunity to interact with individuals with expertise in specific areas and to provide some unique perspectives at the level of resident interaction.

Other Departmental Training Programs

Mayo Clinic offers four specialty fellowships related to obstetrics and gynecology.

The design of the fellowships and residency programs are integrated and coordinated so that there is no competition for clinical experience. In fact, the fellows and residents are considered an integral part of the healthcare team. Clinical cases and responsibility are distributed to residents and fellows commensurate with level of training.

  • Sep 26, 2014
  • ART398253