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Surgery, Preliminary Residency (Minnesota)

Program Description

Mayo Clinic in Rochester offers two types of preliminary (one-year) surgery programs: non-designated and designated. Only the non-designated program openly accepts applications for new residents.
The designated program is coordinated through the following specialty departments at Mayo Clinic in Rochester:

If you are interested in the designated program option, please inquire with that specific area's residency program coordinator.


The non-designated preliminary surgery programs offer a wide variety of surgical experiences to residents who have not yet chosen a surgical subspecialty.

The program will give you one year of general surgery training before you go on to the military, public health or other professional interest.

Clinical Training
The following is a typical rotation schedule for the preliminary non-designated surgery year. These rotations may be changed based on your interest in a particular specialty:

Rotation Length
Colon and Rectal Surgery 1.5 months
Elective 1.5 months
General Surgery 3 months
Vascular Surgery 1.5 months
Plastic Surgery 1.5 months
Pediatric Surgery 1.5 months
Trauma, Critical Care & General Surgery 1.5 months

Didactic Training
Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are all an integral part of the Preliminary Surgery Residency Program. For example, you may participate in:

  • Morbidity and Mortality Conference
  • Basic Science Conference
  • Chief Resident Conference
  • Surgical Grand Rounds
  • Journal Club

Research Training
Preliminary surgery residents are not required to do research, but may choose to participate in clinical research in which they conduct chart reviews and write papers or prepare case study presentations.



Appointments for Mayo Clinic's Preliminary Surgery Residency are made through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

Application Process


Mayo Clinic in Rochester offers 15 non-designated preliminary surgery positions at the PGY-1 level each year on a competitive basis.


To apply to the Preliminary Surgery Residency, you must submit an electronic application via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) through your medical school dean's office.

To use this application process, you need the following information:

  • Official college, graduate school and medical school transcripts
  • Official test transcripts for all applicable examinations (USMLE*, LMCC, COMLEX, NBOME, FMGEMS, FLEX or NBME)
  • A dean's letter and two other letters of recommendation
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement
  • A valid ECFMG certificate (if you graduated from medical school outside of the United States or Canada)

Foreign medical graduates should contact the ECFMG for information and instructions on how to apply using ERAS.

Applications for each academic year, which begins in July, should be completed by November 1 of each year.

If you are considered for an appointment, you will be asked to visit Mayo Clinic in Rochester for an interview with the program director and selected faculty.

Interviews are conducted from November through January each year.

Program Contacts

If you like more information about the preliminary surgery training programs at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, please contact:

Stephanie Heller, M.D., Preliminary Surgery Residency Program Director

Teresa Enger, Preliminary Surgery Residency Education Coordinator

For more information about Mayo Clinic residencies and fellowships, please contact:

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
200 First Street S.W.
Rochester, MN 55905

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