In 1922, the Surgical Pavilion opened at Saint Marys Hospital and included a 200-seat surgical amphitheater, providing visiting surgeons with a bird's-eye view of Mayo Clinic techniques. Many surgeons also used binoculars to get a clearer view.

Our history, and our future, is rooted in education

Ever since Mayo Clinic was established, our goal has been to provide outstanding care to our patients and offer superior education programs that ensure the success of the next generation of medical professionals.

In fact, even our name — Mayo Clinic — comes from this idea. From the beginning, Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his sons, Dr. William J. Mayo and Dr. Charles H. Mayo, invited physicians and students to visit Rochester, Minnesota, and learn about their innovative medical and surgical practice. Visitors coming to observe referred to attending the "Mayos' clinic."

Global learners from the start

At the same time, the Mayo brothers and their colleagues were distinguished scholars who traveled the world to learn from others and bring back the latest medical developments to incorporate into their own practice.

Even as the Mayo Clinic integrated medical practice grew, the importance of education continued to be a central focus.

The first graduate medical education program

In 1915, Mayo Clinic partnered with the University of Minnesota to develop Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, one of the first three-year university-based programs to train graduate physicians in specialty practice. In 1917, the first graduate degrees in Mayo's programs were conferred to two women and two men.

Some of Mayo Clinic's graduate medical education programs date back a century, though their names have changed over the years.

Field Program established
Surgery 1915
Ophthalmology 1915
Orthopedic surgery 1915
Otolaryngology 1915
Urology 1915
Medicine 1915
Bacteriology 1915
Pathology 1915
Radiology 1915
Biochemistry 1917
Dermatology and syphilology 1918
Psychiatry and neurology 1919
Pediatrics 1922
Neurosurgery 1924
Obstetrics and gynecology 1924
Proctology 1925
Biophysics 1927
Physiology 1927
Anesthesiology 1929
Physical medicine 1937
Plastic surgery 1937

Other milestones for Mayo Clinic's education programs include:

  • 1922 — More than 1,000 prospective candidates sought opportunities for graduate medical training at Mayo Clinic. Of these candidates, about 60 percent inquired for work in general surgery.
  • 1936 — The Mayo Physical Therapy Program was established, setting the standard for education in its field. Programs in clinical pastoral education and medical social service were begun to address patient care needs.
  • 1947 — Approximately 10 percent of all graduate medical students in the United States had completed a residency or fellowship at Mayo Clinic.
  • 1961 — Approximately 3 percent of all medical faculty members in the United States were alumni of Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education.
  • 1972 — Mayo Medical School, now Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, opened its doors to its first class of 40 students.
  • 1973 — Mayo School of Health-Related Sciences opened. Later renamed Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, the school offers more than 120 training programs in allied health specialties.
  • 1983 — The first class is admitted to the Mayo Clinic M.D.-Ph.D. Program.
  • 1984 — The Minnesota Higher Education Board approves Mayo Clinic as a degree-granting institution for M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.
  • 1988 — Mayo Clinic's campus in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, establishes its first residency program.
  • 1991 — Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, establishes its first residency program.
  • 1996 — Mayo School of Continuing Medical Education, now named Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, is established. It formalizes the continuing education of physicians that Mayo Clinic has provided for 150 years. Medical professionals throughout the world rely on Mayo Clinic to learn the most advanced medical practices to enhance their patient care skills.
  • 2005 — The first of the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Centers is opened to offer simulated "experiential learning" via standardized patients (actors), virtual reality task trainers and high-tech manikins. Trainees have the opportunity to participate in innovative, state-of-the-art simulation centers and work as part of multidisciplinary teams to develop patient care skills in simulated settings.
  • 2005 — Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education received maximum institutional accreditation status from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
  • To date — More than 23,000 physicians and scientists have trained at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science today

Today, Mayo Clinic continues its tradition of offering outstanding, innovative education for medical, biomedical research and health science professionals.

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science consists of five schools, each offering opportunities to train in a premier clinical practice and leading academic medical center:

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

Beginning in the first week of classes, Mayo Clinic medical students train alongside world-renowned physicians and learn in an innovative block curriculum that incorporates didactic sessions, clinical experience and training in Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Centers.

More than 98 percent of fourth-year Mayo medical students are accepted to one of their top residency program choices.

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Students in Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences receive guaranteed funding, train with exceptional faculty and access a broad range of outstanding biomedical research activity embedded within Mayo Clinic's clinical practice.

Committed faculty mentors enable students to complete Ph.D. training in 5.25 years, a nationally competitive rate. More than 87 percent of graduates are employed in academic research or industry settings.

Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education

Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education has more than 1,600 active residents and fellows in more than 270 individual training programs, covering every medical and surgical specialty, across all Mayo campuses.

The school includes the largest number of ACGME-accredited programs in the country and is the only integrated school of graduate medical education conducted across broad geographic regions.

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

Each year, more than 1,700 students enroll in more than 120 Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences programs representing 60 health sciences careers. More than 480 physician, research and allied health faculty members ensure that every student benefits from extensive personal training. Our students continually excel in board examinations and are highly sought after upon graduation.

Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development

Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development has a distinguished history of teaching physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals the latest, most advanced medical and surgical practices. The school offers courses in a broad range of medical and surgical specialties.

March 11, 2017