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Yale Comprehensive Spine Fellowship

The Yale Comprehensive Combined Spine Fellowship is a one-year program for developing expertise in Spine Surgery. Having been started in 2004, this ACGME fellowship has evolved to include involvement and mentorship from orthopaedic spine faculty with the treatment of degenerative disorders, trauma, deformity, tumors/infections, and other conditions.

The fellowship has a focus on providing operative experience and also emphasizes surgical indications and clinical decision-making. Furthermore, there are opportunities for clinical/outcomes research and the supervision, teaching, and didactic instruction of residents. The fellowship is open to those who have completed an orthopaedic or neurosurgical residency.

Program Overview

Clinical Experience

The fellow will gain extensive clinical experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients of all ages undergoing complex primary and revision spinal surgeries for various spinal disorders. These clinical activities include addressing degenerative, traumatic, neoplastic/infectious, and deformity conditions of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spines utilizing multiple surgical and non-surgical approaches. The fellow will be exposed to a wide variety of open and minimally invasive surgeries in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

The fellow will assist with the clinical care of patients at York Street and Saint Raphael’s Campus of Yale New Haven Hospital. Most elective surgeries are performed at the Saint Raphael’s Campus of Yale New Haven Hospital. The York Street Campus is a large tertiary care site with extensive trauma exposure. These two sites are less than a mile apart. The fellow will be exposed to Level 1 spine call and will serve as the senior trainee for half of the orthopedic surgery spine call weeks during their fellowship year.

Outpatient care is provided primarily at the nearby Yale New Haven Hospital Spine Center, which includes orthopaedic and neurosurgical spine surgeons as well as practitioners specializing in physiatry/pain management, neurology, rheumatology, physical therapy, and behavioral health.

Educational Experience

There are ample opportunities to work with faculty, residents, and students on the service and these experiences represent a critical component of the academic experience. As a result of this commitment to education and teaching, many of our residents have gone on to careers in spine surgery and our students also routinely decide to specialize in spine-related fields.

In addition to clinical and classroom education opportunities, there is a weekly multidisciplinary spine conference that allows for the review of various topics such as case presentations and surgical indications.

Research Experience

The orthopaedic surgery department is actively involved in research focusing on clinical trials, outcomes studies, and large dataset analyses. There is ample opportunity for fellow engagement in these activates and regular research team meetings.