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 includes experiences at two institutions:
- Primary Childrens Hospital
- Shriners Hospitals for Children
Primary Childrens Hospital is a busy Level-1 Trauma Center, and along with the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital 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
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 fourteen 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. Additionally, at each facility there are pediatric orthopaedic teams comprised of the fellow and resident physicians, as well as physician assistants.
- At Primary Childrens Hospital, the team consists of the pediatric orthopaedic fellow, a senior resident from the University of Utah, and a second year resident from the University of Utah or the University of Arizona.
- At Shriners, the team consists of the fellow, a third year resident from William Beaumont Army Medical Hospital (Texas), and the second year resident from Utah/Arizona. There are three PAs that also work closely with the team at Shriners, most typically in the clinic setting.
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. While rotating at Shriners hospital, fellows will also participate in outreach clinics to Denver, Phoenix, and potentially, El Paso.
One of the most desirable aspects of our fellowship is the flexibility it offers; fellows create a weekly schedule focusing on their areas of interest within the realm of pediatric orthopaedics.
Dedicated time for research projects can be easily facilitated. Fellows are expected 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 desires and interests of the fellow.
Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in multi-disciplinary clinics in neuromuscular disorders, osteogenesis imperfecta, and spina bifida.
There is a dedicated weekly Clubfoot Clinic. There is a high-volume fracture clinic for experience in fracture evaluation, management, and casting. We have a state-of-the-art 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.
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 Monday 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
- Fridays (November-February) 7am-8am: Pediatric Orthopaedic Didactic Lecture Series
Fellows are also responsible for providing “back-up” call to the second year residents on service. Back-up call occurs four to six times per month/fellow. The fellow provides guidance and teaching to the second year resident. The fellow is not expected to provide back-up call on holidays.
Program Benefits & Case Load
Fellows can attend POSNA, with the costs being covered by the fellowship program. Fellows may attend additional educational courses upon review with the program director.
Fellows have the option to moonlight at Shriners Hospital, which offers a $300/night stipend.
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.
~3300 cases are done each year between the two facilities. Fellows typically log ~500-700 cases/year.
Evaluations of the fellow are done at three months, six months, and year end. We expect the fellows to evaluate the faculty and program as well.