Overview

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Faculty with 2017 Spine Fellows at the AO North American Spine Fellows Forum in Banff, Alberta, Canada

The University of Utah Spine Fellowship provides a complete, well-rounded academic experience in spine surgery with emphasis on clinical experience and research. The clinical experience includes all aspects of both non-operative and operative treatment of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar disorders. The fellow will gain significant experience treating all spinal pathologies and will be comfortable approaching the spine from the skull to the sacrum both anteriorly and posteriorly.

There are two fellows per year and time is shared with the pediatric department where fellows gain significant exposure to both idiopathic and neuromuscular/congenital deformities. There is also excellent collaboration with the Neurosurgical Spine Service that allows for exposure to intradural pathologies as well.

Case volume is approximately 325-350 cases per year and includes:

  • 30% deformity (adult and pediatric)
  • 40% degenerative conditions, including complex revision/reconstruction (Cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
  • 15% trauma, including the management of spinal cord injuries
  • 15% tumor/infection

Duration: One year (August 1–July 31)

Our Team

The University Orthopaedic Spine Service includes: Drs. Brodke, Lawrence, Spiker and Spina; the 2 Orthopedic Spine Fellows; 3 rotating Orthopaedic Residents, a PGY4, a PGY3 and a PGY1 (5 months of the year); and medical students. The service shares the Level-1 spine trauma call and cases equally with the Neurosurgical Spine Service on a rotating basis, covering spine trauma essentially half the month. In addition, the team runs the VA Hospital Ortho Spine Service, including the clinic, elective cases, consults, and occasional trauma.

Each of the fellows rotates between two schedules on the Ortho Spine service (see below), for approximately 5 weeks at a time. In addition, the fellows are in charge of the VA Hospital Ortho Spine Service, with close supervision and guidance from the attendings and coverage from the residents.

Schedule

The average week is split up as follows:

  • 3 days in the OR (+ trauma)
  • 5 days in clinic,
  • ½ day of protected research time

Spine Rotation Fellow 1

Monday
  • 7:30am:  OR with Dr. Brodke / Spiker

Tuesday
  • 8:00am: Clinic with Dr. Brodke
  • 8:00am: Clinic with Dr. Spiker (1 Tuesday each month)

Wednesday
  • 6:30am:  Spine Conference
  • 7:00am:  Orthopaedic Grand Rounds
  • 8:00am:  Research Meeting
  • 8:30am:  VA OR   or   OR  w/Dr. Brodke / Spiker / Lawrence

Thursday
  • 6:30 am:  Ortho Spine Indications conference
  • 7:30 am:  OR with Dr. Brodke / Spiker / Spina

Friday
  • 8:00 am:    VA clinic (both Fellows, a Resident, and a NP)
  • Afternoon:  Admin time/research time

Spine Rotation Fellow 2

Monday
  •
7:30am:  OR with Dr. Lawrence

Tuesday
  • 8:00am:  Clinic with Dr. Lawrence
  • 8:00 am: Clinic with Dr. Spiker (1 Tuesday each month)

Wednesday
  • 6:30am:  Spine Conference
  • 7:00am:  Orthopaedic Grand Rounds
  • 8:00am:  Research Meeting
  • 8:30am:  VA OR   or   OR  w/Dr. Brodke / Spiker / Lawrence

Thursday
  • 6:30 am:  Ortho Spine Indications conference
  • 7:30 am:  OR with Dr. Heflin (Pediatric Deformity)

Friday
  • 8:00 am:    VA clinic (both Fellows, a Resident, a NP)
  • Afternoon:  Admin time/research time

Research

Research and teaching are integral parts of this fellowship. The fellow will participate in ongoing and original clinical and/or basic science research projects. The fellow will also participate in and lead spine conferences, teaching both orthopaedic residents and medical students.

Locations

  • University of Utah Health
  • University Orthopaedic Center
  • VA Hospital

Program Benefits

The University of Utah is an AO Spine Fellowship site (1 of 25 sites in North America) which provides the unique opportunity to be involved at the early stage of your spine surgical career exposure to AO Spine North America. As an AO fellow you will have the opportunity to be involved in several courses throughout the year including a Fellows Introductory course with heavy cadaver lab experience as well as the Fellows Forum at the end of the year to present the research you have done during your fellowship.

In addition, the fellows choose another conference to attend during the year. Historically, fellows have chosen to attend SRS, NASS, and CSRS.  There is also the NASS Evidence and Technology Spine Summit held in February each year at Park City of which the fellows attend to enjoy the meeting and ski with us and other acclaimed spine surgeons across the nation.

Utah is also an excellent place to enjoy the outdoors including skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and fishing (just to name a few!). See more at our Why Utah? page.

Contact Us

Elise Collins

Phone: 801-587-5448
Fax: 801-587-5411
Email: elise.collins@hsc.utah.edu

University of Utah Orthopaedic Center
590 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108