Surgical First Assistant (Minnesota)
This program prepares an individual to function as a Surgical First Assistant after completing approximately five months of classroom and lab education and seven months of clinic time.
Classroom time is spent learning about the operating room culture and techniques, intensive anatomy review with cadaver lab, and expectations of the surgical assistant. Clinicals will be conducted in the various surgical suites of Mayo Clinic, at the Minnesota campus to obtain the necessary technical skills vital to this role.
Upon successful completion of this program students will have acquired:
- Advanced understanding of human anatomy
- Refined surgical skills (suturing and hemostasis, patient safety, wound care)
- Extensive knowledge of surgical procedures
- Appropriate professional standards
The Surgical First Assistant Program will pursue accreditation through Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) after the first year of the program is completed.
Mayo Foundation is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission.
- Higher Learning Commission
30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
- Phone (toll-free): 800-621-7440
- Phone: 312-263-0456
- Fax: 312-263-7462
Mayo Clinic is affiliated with Eastern Virginia Medical School, but students are not required to enroll there to complete this program.
The Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minn., comprises an extensive outpatient complex, Saint Marys Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital, and substantial research and education facilities.
This Mayo site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.
Take a virtual tour of our Minnesota campus.
Students will spend time in our Multidisciplinary Simulation Center, Human Anatomy Lab, and clinical time in the surgical suites of Saint Marys Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital; as well as same-day surgical suites in the Gonda Building.
Graduation and certification
Upon successful completion of the Surgical First Assistant Program, students receive a certificate of completion from Mayo School of Health Sciences (MSHS).
Graduates are eligible to take the Certified Surgical Assistant exam from the National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA).
During the Surgical First Assistant program, the classroom portion of the course includes four-hour days, 3 days per week.
During the clinical portion, students are expected to be present from the start through the completion of certain surgical procedures, which may run longer than a standard eight-hour day. Students are required to complete an entire surgical procedure, which means the potential for a few 10+ hour days. The schedule is variable, based on cases listed in the surgical suite and time available for students to present their cases.
Students are not expected to work a long day, then return early the following morning. Flexibility in scheduling will ensure all students receive adequate rest and time off.
Each year, Mayo School of Health Sciences admits up to 20 students to Surgical First Assistant Program. This ensures students will receive close one-on-one instruction and a comprehensive educational experience.