Comprehensive Spine Program
The Neurosurgery Spine Fellowship Program at the University of Utah, a Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training (CAST)–approved fellowship program, provides a complete experience in spine and spinal cord surgery to prepare the Fellow for an academic career as a Spine Neurosurgeon. We emphasize clinical experience of complex spinal cases complemented by high-level research and teaching of residents and medical students. Subspecialty program exposure includes complex cervical spine disorders, spinal deformity surgery including scoliosis, spinal oncology including radiosurgery, and degenerative spine disease.
The University of Utah Level 1 Trauma Center and the affiliated Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah provide a large volume of spinal fracture and tumor cases. Image-guided spinal surgery, complex instrumentation, microsurgery, minimally invasive surgery, and endoscopic spinal surgery at all levels of the spinal column are performed.
Fellows are encouraged to engage in original scientific research. This research experience teaches the scientific method and critical scientific reasoning, preparing graduates to evaluate advances in the specialty. The Fellow also collaborates and supervises research and publication with residents and medical students.
There are several ongoing research efforts within the Spine Division, including original biomechanical research as well as clinical outcomes and comparative effectiveness research. Faculty members currently have institutional as well as Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) grants funding several ongoing projects. In addition, the University of Utah is a lead enrolling site for Quality Outcomes Dates (QOD), the national neurosurgical registry, collecting up to 2-year follow-up data on all patients undergoing cervical and lumbar surgery at our center.
Weekly spine indications conferences are held to discuss surgical planning and operative techniques for the upcoming week’s cases. In addition, monthly journal club is held with the combined faculty from the Orthopedic Spine and Neurosurgery Spine Divisions. Weekly Neurosurgery Grand Rounds and a formal monthly M&M Conference are also held.
Current Spine Fellows
- 2017-2018 Jian Guan, MD, University of Utah
- 2016-2017 Chester K. Yarbrough, MD, Washington University
- 2016-2018 Juneyoung Yi, MD, SUNY Upstate Medical University
- 2015-2016 Christopher Holland, MD, Carolinas Health Care, Charlotte, NC
- 2015-2016 Ricky Kalra, MD, Neurosurgeon, Plano, Texas