Rochester, Minnesota


David R. Farley, M.D., has taught and trained more than 300 general surgery residents and remains committed to producing the very best graduating general and subspecialty surgeons.

While clinical research on forms of cancer (thyroid, breast and adrenal), pathologic states (primary hyperparathyroidism; inguinal, incisional, umbilical and femoral herniae; and gallbladder stones), and improving surgical techniques (laparoscopic adrenalectomy, inguinal hernia and ventral hernia procedures) is ongoing, his current passion is to create better surgeons in less time.

Emphasis is on generating smarter, more experienced and technically savvy surgeons through the use of simulation, online learning and preemptive learning.

Focus areas

  • Online surgical curriculum. Hundreds of video clips outlining how to perform a surgical procedure with post-tests; internet access with 24/7 availability.
  • Simulating surgical procedures. Avoiding the high costs of animal, cadaver and computer trainers, simpler models offer amazing practice for surgical trainees at a fraction of the cost.
  • Simulation curriculum. Academic efforts pursuing how a weekly three-hour session can enhance learning for surgical interns to generate skill competency and knowledge acquisition.

Significance to patient care

Today's learners are tomorrow's leaders. Preparing medical students, nurses and residents to become exceptional caregivers enhances the care of all future patients. When we say, "The needs of the patient come first," which patient are we talking about? The patient in our office today? Their child? Their grandchild? Good luck is when preparation meets opportunity. We need to prepare our learners to be our trusted caregivers.

Professional highlights

  • Distinguished Educator, Mayo Clinic, 2002
  • Co-Editor, Operative Techniques in General Surgery
  • Co-Editor, Contemporary Surgery
  • Program Director, General Surgery Residency, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, 1997-2011


Administrative Appointment

  1. Emeritus, Division of Breast, Endocrine, Metabolic and GI Surgery, Department of Surgery

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Surgery


  1. Resident - General Surgery Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  2. Resident Surgery, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. Research Fellowship - Endocrinology Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  4. Resident - General Surgery Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  5. MD University of Wisconsin, Madison
  6. BS University of Wisconsin, Madison

Clinical Studies

Learn about clinical trials that address specific scientific questions about human health and disease.

See my studies.

Explore all research studies at Mayo Clinic.


See the peer-reviewed findings I have published as a result of my research.

Review publications.

Mayo Clinic Footer