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Fellowship program

Twin Cities Spine Center's Fellowship Program is one of 16 spine programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The Fellowship Program provides board-eligible orthopedic surgeons with an intensive and multifaceted submersion into the field of spinal pathology. The program encompasses the study of:

  • Spinal deformities.
  • Fractures.
  • Tumors.
  • Infections.
  • Degenerative and metabolic diseases.

The Fellowship Program is designed to provide a comprehensive educational experience in spinal pathology, including deformities, fractures, tumors, infections, and degenerative and metabolic disease. All areas of the spine are included—cervical, thoracic, lumbar and lumbosacral—as well as both surgical and nonsurgical methods of treatment. The faculty consists of all staff physicians at the Center. A rotation schedule permits the fellow to have equal experience with each faculty member and in the various areas of learning. Fellows are accepted for the purpose of their education. Learning comes through a multitude of pathways:

  • Reading of textbooks and articles.
  • Assistance and performance in the operating room.
  • Participation in clinic.
  • Participation in weekly teaching conferences and lectures.
  • Participation in research projects.
  • Conducting rounds.
  • Writing orders.
  • One-to-one relationship with the faculty.

The majority of the training takes place at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, with other area hospitals used occasionally. Outpatient clinics are conducted mainly at the Twin Cities Spine Center office located within the Abbott Northwestern Hospital campus. Fellows are responsible for the day-to-day care of all surgical patients, although the ultimate responsibility lies with the staff surgeon.

All major care decisions, especially regarding ambulation, bracing, discharge and follow-ups, are made by the staff surgeon. A teaching conference is held weekly with the fellows providing all case presentations. In addition, the staff surgeons provide lectures once a week and a journal club is arranged once a month. Fellows are expected to do the appropriate reading and be prepared to enter the discussion regarding assigned topics.

Fellows must complete at least one clinical research project during their year of training. The subject will be mutually agreed upon early in the fellowship. One faculty member supervises the project. A full research department is available and works closely with the physicians in coordinating the research projects.

Fellows are paid an annual salary, and health and dental insurance coverage are also provided at no cost to the fellow. Malpractice coverage is paid by Twin Cities Spine Center.

Application process

Eligible candidates include orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons that have, or will have by the start of the fellowship, completed residency in a certified residency program. All candidates must be eligible for licensure in the United States.

To qualify for the fellowship, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must have passed all three steps of the USMLE exams, and have completed at least two years of medical training at an accredited US or Canadian medical school. Fulfillment of all these criteria qualifies IMGs to obtain a full Minnesota medical license.

This fellowship is available to all persons meeting the above requirements. Twin Cities Spine Center does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, diability, age, height, weight, marital status or familial status in its programs, activities or employment. Applications can be found on the San Francisco match website. The application deadline is Oct. 31. A personal interview is required.

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