Zach Domeier, UMR Alumnus 2013, smiles and wears a stethoscope around his neck representing the Patient Care career pathway.

Patient Care

"My Capstone experience involved immersing myself and experiencing patient care in as many different health care experiences as I could so I could learn to be more flexible in the care I would eventually deliver to patients." - Zach Domeier, '13

Patient Care

Healing bodies and minds is an art, a skill and a science. Students who are interested in a hands-on career offering quality care to patients, families and the community will find UMR’s innovative curriculum provides ample preparation for entry into the workforce or for advanced study.

Serving the needs of patients in a variety of urban and rural contexts, students who follow this Career Pathway might become:

    • advanced nursing practice
    • athletic trainers
    • chiropractors
    • dentists
    • nuclear medicine technologists
    • nutritionist/dietitian
    • occupational therapists
    • ophthalmologists
    • pharmacists
    • physical therapists
    • physician assistants
    • physicians
    • surgical first assistants
        Through the BS in Health Professions program, others complete their degrees to become:

        • cardiac sonographers
        • radiographers
        • sonographers

            Featured Students

            Hawa AliHawa Ali, '16

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Otolaryngology Resident, Mayo Clinic
            Hometown: Rochester, MN

            "My Capstone experience was focused on understanding and addressing disparate outcomes in health and education. With the help of my research mentor at Mayo Clinic, I created and conducted a research project that aimed to understand the disease burden of liver cancer in the Somali community."

            Learn more about Hawa's experience.
            Tune into Hawa's Beyond the Nest podcast episode.

            McKenzie BangasserMcKenzie Bangasser, ‘16

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently working with the Perfusion team, Mayo Clinic
            Hometown: Spicer, MN

            "What I liked most about UMR is the emphasis on health care careers, small class sizes, rigorous academic standards and the shared aspirations of my peers."

            Learn more about McKenzie's experience.

            Kyle CochranKyle Cochran, ‘13

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Physician Assistant, Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
            Hometown: Slayton, MN

            "I knew immediately during my tour that UMR was where I needed to be. The small class sizes, integrated curriculum with a focus on health sciences, JustASK center and having Mayo Clinic next door were just a few selling points for me. Knowing that the instructors knew me by name and we could sit down at any time to have a conversation about school or life made me realize that they are here for us and want to see us succeed."

            Learn more about Kyle's experience.

            Zach DomeierZach Domeier, ‘13

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Physician Assistant for the Federal Government Correctional Facility
            Hometown: Oakdale, MN

            "My Capstone experience truly shaped the way I practice medicine today by allowing me to work directly with a variety of practitioners and mold my current practice from the strengths I witnessed in each of them. It also allowed me to work alongside various allied health staff to better appreciate how their work affects overall patient outcomes."

            Learn more about Zach's experience.

            Bryar HansenBryar Hansen, ‘16

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently Pursuing a Medical Degree at University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
            Hometown: West Salem, WI

            "I chose UMR because of the location. Being somewhat close to my hometown made it easy to have a good family balance while I navigated the excitement and rigors of UMR’s coursework. I also chose UMR because I knew I’d be pursuing medicine, and what better place to start that journey than right next door to one of the top hospitals in the country? Being so close to Mayo Clinic helped me find research opportunities and physician mentors who helped guide me to where I am today."

            Learn more about Bryar's experience.

            Courtnee HeydukCourtnee Heyduk, ‘14

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently a psychiatrist at Council Bluffs, IA.
            Hometown: Brookings, SD

            "I do feel that my Capstone experience made me more confident in traveling the world and therefore interested in that opportunity. In addition, my Capstone was an experience that made me stand out during the interview process for medical school."

            Learn more about Courtnee's experience.

            Eric MehlhaffEric Mehlhaff, ‘16

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently Pursuing Fellowship at University of Wisconsin Madison Hematology-Oncology
            Hometown: Hartford, SD

            "UMR’s chancellor at the time, Chancellor Lehmkuhle, ultimately confirmed my decision to attend UMR when he discussed the three R’s – rigor, relevance and relationships. These three pillars were everything that I was seeking in an undergraduate program and their importance cannot be overlooked."

            Learn more about Eric's experience.

            Haley MeyerHaley Meyer, ‘20

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently Pursuing Occupational Therapy Doctorate at University of Minnesota
            Hometown: Lonsdale, MN

            "I chose UMR because of the unique opportunities available due to small class sizes, the JustASK desk and proximity to Mayo Clinic. I knew I wanted to attend a smaller school where I could build relationships with peers, have small class sizes and participate in unique research opportunities."

            Learn more about Haley's experience.

            Katie NelsonKatie Nelson, ‘15

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Registered Nurse, Johns Hopkins Health System
            Minor: Public Health Minor
            Hometown: Rochester, MN

            "My Capstone experience reaffirmed my passion and interest in serving patients at the end of life and their families, which I continue to do in clinical practice as a Registered Nurse. The UROP project really ignited my interest in conducting research to benefit patients and families more at a systems-level. That experience provided foundational research skills and knowledge that made me curious about potentially carving out a career that would enable me to both practice and do research, which is what I will be able to do as a Nurse Scientist upon completing my PhD."

            Learn more about Katie's experience.

            Nevaeh NezNevaeh Nez, ‘22

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently pursuing Master's at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
            Hometown: Flagstaff, AZ

            "I chose UMR for the hands-on opportunities available within health care and research settings. Additionally, UMR allowed me to be surrounded by individuals who also have the hope to change the health care system to better support patients and/or progress the research field to better define cures, access and improve overall health of individuals."

            Learn more about Nevaeh's experience.

            Bethany O'BryanBethany O'Bryan, ‘18

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently Pursuing Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota
            Hometown: Rochester, MN

            "My Capstone gave me a chance to dip my toes into medicine at the intersection of human, animal and environmental health. I could never have guessed how valuable my time at UMR and my Capstone would be."

            Learn more about Bethany's experience.
            Tune into Bethany's Beyond the Nest podcast episode.

            Emily PadillaEmily Padilla, ‘19

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently pursuing degree at University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
            Hometown: Cottage Grove, MN

            "I chose to attend UMR because of the focus on the health field and the size of the school. I knew that I wanted to have smaller class sizes and I also liked the idea of JustASK hours."

            Learn more about Emily's experience.

            Mackenzie RahnenfuehrerMackenzie Rahnenfuehrer, ‘17

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Pharmacy Manager, Costco Wholesale
            Hometown: Rochester, MN

            "The BSHS program helped me learn more about health care careers in general which allowed me to discover the path that I wanted to pursue and how to get there."

            Learn more about Mackenzie's experience.

            Hannah SalkHannah Salk, ‘13

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Family Medicine Physician, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center - Crosby
            Hometown: Sartell, MN

            "UMR’s curriculum meant that I could significantly influence my own trajectory in regards to courses, volunteering, research, and more since I was encouraged to pursue and seek out opportunities that were important to me."

            Learn more about Hannah's experience.

            Hannah SmallHannah Small, ‘16

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: PA-C in pulmonology at Sanford Medical Center
            Hometown: St. Paul, MN

            "I had a strong interest in health care, and valued the strong partnership that the University of Minnesota Rochester had with Mayo Clinic. I knew that I would give me quality experiences to determine the health care path that was right for me. "

            Learn more about Hannah's experience.

            Ryker VanderHeidenRyker VanderHeiden, ‘20

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Currently Pursuing Medical Degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin
            Hometown: Menasha, WI

            "Due to the pandemic, I needed to adapt heavily to the ever changing world of being a student when you’re not allowed at school. It was difficult but my reflections throughout my Capstone highlighted my ability to adapt and accommodate, which I now know is vital in medical school."

            Learn more about Ryker's experience.

            Megan ZimmermanMegan Zimmerman, ‘16

            Degree: BSHS
            Current Employment: Physical Therapist, Mayo Clinic
            Hometown: Pine City, MN

            "I grew as a student and a person, and I was much more prepared for graduate school because of my Capstone experience. I built strong relationships that helped me transition from being an undergraduate student to a graduate student in a doctoral program."

            Learn more about Megan's experience.

            Read more about UMR's featured Pathways students.

    Students pursuing the Patient Care Pathway have engaged in meaningful experiences such as these listed below.

    Current UMR students: reach out to your Student Success Coach for more information. 

    Prospective students: contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

    Internships and volunteer opportunities allow you to gain valuable experience in a professional field. These opportunities help students develop marketable skills and competencies through hands-on experience, build a network of contacts and gain insight into a professional field. These experiences assist students in finding a career that aligns with personal and professional goals and passions.


    ***Consider reaching out to these organizations for shadowing. NOTE: Mayo Clinic has a process for shadowing, contact your coach for more information

    You will have various opportunities for employment during your undergraduate studies. The organizations listed below are good places to explore employment opportunities.

      • PCA at Mayo Clinic
      • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Samaritan Bethany, Charter House, Madonna Towers, The Waters 
      • Urology Technician at Mayo
      • Polysomnography Technician at Mayo
      • Direct Support Personnel/Personal Care Giver at Hiawatha Homes, Southeastern Minnesota Center for Independent Living, Cardinal of Minnesota, Visiting Angels, REM River Bluffs,
      • Scribing at Mayo, ScribeAmerica 
      • Phlebotomy at Mayo
      • Pharmacy Tech at Walgreens, CVS, Mayo Clinic, Costco
      • Health Unit Coordinator at Mayo Clinic
      • Standardized Patient (medical actor) at Mayo Clinic Simulation Center

    As a student in health sciences, you will have many opportunities to participate in research. Below is a list of previous research experiences students in the Patient Care pathway have participated in.

      • Ophthalmology Research at Mayo Clinic
      • Sleep Neurology and Medicine at Mayo Clinic
      • Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCATS) - InsciedOut, Lab Opportunities at Mayo Clinic
      • Kern Center at Mayo Clinic


    There are other avenues you can take to pursue your pathway as well. Check out the options listed below.

      • IHI: Institute for Healthcare Improvement Student Club: Aims to improvement practices in healthcare which often involve patient interaction
      • Pre-Health Careers Club
      • Health Professions Connection
      • Rehabilitation Therapy Club (OT and PT)
      • HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America)

    Study Away/Global Travel Experiences:

      • MSID Programs