The Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellowship at the University of Utah has a long history of providing exceptional fellowship training, beginning in 1986 under the direction of Dr. Sherman Coleman. Our fellowship trains two fellows per year, and includes experiences at two institutions:
- Primary Children’s Hospital
- Shriners Clinic for Children
Primary Childrens Hospital is a busy Level-1 Trauma Center, and along with the Salt Lake City Shriners Clinic for Children, serves a vast geographic catchment area.
With the highest birth rate in the nation, Utah offers innumerable opportunities to identify and treat diverse pediatric orthopaedic pathology. Between the two institutions, fellows are exposed to a myriad of pediatric conditions, including but not exclusive to:
- Trauma; acute and chronic infections
- Scoliosis and complex spine deformity, including EDF casting techniques
- Hip disorders, including DDH, SCFE, Perthes and Hip preservation techniques
- Clubfoot and other complex foot deformities
- Neuromuscular conditions, CP and spina bifida
- Limb reconstruction, gradual and acute deformity correction
- There is limited exposure to Hand, Sports and Tumor pathology
The program is designed to meet the needs and expectations of each individual fellow, regardless of future private or academic practice setting. Our goal is to provide an exceptional educational experience in all areas of pediatric orthopaedics, in addition to being your mentors and colleagues throughout your career.
There are eleven fellowship-trained pediatric orthopaedic faculty working at both institutions, all of which have specific areas of focus in addition to providing general pediatric orthopaedic care. We are all on faculty within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Utah.
Fellows and residents work together at Primary Children’s Hospital and Shriners Salt Lake City on a daily, integrated basis. The team consists of two pediatric orthopaedic fellows, a senior and junior resident from the University of Utah, a second year resident from the University of Arizona, and a third year resident from the William Beaumont Army Medical Hospital (Texas). We also have two PAs at Shriners that work closely with the orthopaedic team.
Our Faculty & Their Subspecialty Interests
- Kristen Carroll: Neuromuscular
- Theresa Hennessey: Trauma, Hip, Foot/Ankle, Limb Deformity
- John Heflin: Spine and Trauma
- Stephanie Holmes: Hip, Foot/Ankle, Trauma, General
- Jacoby Jacobsen: Trauma, Sports, General
- Josh Klatt: Spine, Hip, Trauma, Deformity
- Shaun Machen: Sports, Trauma
- Christopher Makarewich: Limb Deformity, Hip and Trauma
- John Smith: Spine
- Alan Stotts: Neuromuscular
- Joshua Speirs: General, Trauma, Hip, Spine
Education, Curriculum, & Research
The objective of this fellowship is to provide the opportunity for board-eligible orthopaedic surgeons to advance and hone their skills in the full spectrum of pediatric orthopaedics. At the completion of the year, fellows should be able to:
- analyze any pediatric orthopaedic problem,
- formulate a logical treatment strategy,
- effectively communicate this to the patient and their family as well as work effectively with multidisciplinary teams.
Preoperative planning and surgical proficiency are emphasized.
Our fellowship involves both a clinical and research component. Each fellow is expected to be involved in clinic about 2 days per week, and in the OR ~2 days per week.
One of the most desirable aspects of our fellowship is the flexibility it offers. Each week we create a schedule focusing on the fellows’ areas of interest within the realm of pediatric orthopaedics. Specifically, fellows are not formally assigned to an attending or a service during their training year.
Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in multi-disciplinary clinics in neuromuscular disorders, osteogenesis imperfecta, skeletal dysplasias, and spina bifida.
There is a dedicated Clubfoot Clinic (3x/week). There is high-volume fracture care, affording experience in fracture evaluation, management, and casting. We have a state-of-the-art, accredited gait lab including equipment for measuring oxygen consumption. The gait lab professional staff includes a PhD engineer, a PhD physical therapist, two orthopaedic surgeons, and two physical therapists.
Dedicated time for research projects can be easily facilitated. Fellows are required to complete a research project throughout their year, in either basic science or clinical research. Our division and department offer a vast array of projects in all areas of pediatric orthopaedics, and new projects can be created based on the interests of the fellow. Support staff for projects are available through Shriners, Primary Children’s, as well as the University of Utah Department of Orthopaedics (i.e. statisticians, IRB coordinators, etc.).
In addition to participating in the clinic and OR settings, fellows are actively involved in didactic conferences:
- Mondays 6:45-7:45am: Indications conference, including pre and post-op review of cases (first Tuesday of the month is dedicated to complex spine deformity, in conjunction with neurosurgery)
- Wednesdays 6:30-8am: Pediatric case conference, Journal Club and Orthopaedic Grand Rounds
- 1st Wednesday 6:00-7:00am: Pediatric Orthopaedics monthly M&M
- Fridays (November-February) 7am-8am: Pediatric Orthopaedic Didactic Lecture Series
Fellows are also responsible for providing “back-up” call to junior residents on service. The fellow provides guidance and teaching, participates in surgical cases while covering back-up call.
Our Program is POSNA-accredited (not ACGME accredited). Fellows do not have attending privileges, nor do they take paid call. While on back-up call, it is the expectation that fellows become more independent throughout their year, acting as the primary surgeon with a resident assistant.
Program Benefits & Case Load
- Fellows attend POSNA, with the costs being covered by the fellowship program. IPOS scholarships are frequently available for interested fellows. Fellows may attend additional educational courses upon review with the program director.
- Orthobullets 365 (pediatric orthopaedics) is offered as additional educational material.
- Many staff are involved in International orthopaedic medical missions; fellows may participate if interested during their fellowship year.
- ~7000 cases are performed each year between the two facilities. 2020 sample data listed below:
- SHC 2020
- EDF 47
- PSF 35
- Growing/Magec 13
- DDH 108
- Sports 45
- PCH 2020
- PSF 385
- Growing/Magec 176
- DDH 179
- SCH fx’s 390
- F&A 461
- SHC 2020
Fellows typically log ~400-650 cases/year
Time-off: 3 weeks of vacation plus one week of personal/professional development (i.e. job interviews)
Evaluations of the fellow are done at three months, six months, and year end. The fellows are expected to evaluate the faculty and program as well, throughout the year and at the completion of training.
Fellows: Where are they now?
- Academic (32)
- Private (23)
Upcoming Interview Dates: We typically have a dinner/social event the night prior to the interview date. You and a significant other are welcome to attend.