Spine Fellowship

Number of Positions: 3 per year
Duration: 2 years clinical + research
Site: Ganga Hospital, Mettupalayam Road, Coimbatore

Dr. S. Rajasekharan
Dr. Ajoy Prasad Shetty

The Spine Fellowship Program, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, offers Clinical Fellowships to graduates of accredited Residency Programs to pursue further subspecialty training in spinal surgery. Although the Clinical Fellowship Program has a predominantly surgical focus, Fellows are involved in all aspects of patient care. They will be exposed to a broad scope of adult and paediatric spine surgery encompassing traumatic and non-traumatic (degenerative, deformity, neoplastic, and infectious) conditions. Up to three fellows per year are accepted and are supervised by two trained academic spinal surgeons. The fellowship is open to Orthopaedic trainees.

Fellowship Objectives:
At the completion of this Fellowship, the trainee will be able to:

Clinical Skills
Perform a complete musculoskeletal and neurological examination of the spine;
Arrive at an appropriate differential diagnosis
Order and interpret appropriate laboratory, radiological and other diagnostic procedures;
Produce an acceptable management plan;
Display knowledge of and competence in treating surgical and medical complications;
Provide a plan for patient follow-up.

Technical Skills:
Exhibit proficiency in non-operative management of spinal pain and disability;
Demonstrate technical competence in surgical decompression and spinal arthrodesis for degenerative, traumatic and neoplastic conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine;
Show capacity for the correct use of instrumentation for spinal disorders.

Cognitive Knowledge:
Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the incidence, etiology, pathophysiology, natural history, diagnosis, investigation, management, prognosis, and complications of the disease processes affecting the spine;
Participate in clinical orthopaedic research;
Exhibit skills in the critical appraisal of scientific literature specifically in the design, methodology and evaluation of clinical studies.

Length of the Fellowship:
The Fellowship Program is usually of twenty-four months duration commencing in July of one year and ending in June of the second year.

Patient Care Duties:
Fellows are expected to be in attendance at surgery to assist the Surgeon. Fellows are to attend the Surgeon’s Outpatient Clinics and the Spine Clinics. For fellows with Orthopaedic training, outpatient clinics may also include fracture clinics, which encompasses both spinal and non-spinal trauma.

The Fellows are expected to provide backup and be a resource to the surgical residents-in-training in the management of in-patient spinal consultations and peri-operative patient care.

Spine Rounds:
Spine rounds are held on a daily basis in conjunction with the Department of Orthopedics. Fellow participation and attendance in case/topic presentations are expected. In addition, the Fellow is encouraged to assist in the preparation of the monthly meetings of the Coimbatore Orthopedic Association spine interest group and of any academic conferences.

Fellows participate in educational endeavours – they are expected to participate in the teaching activities for residents and allied health professionals.

As part of their program, Fellows will participate actively in research and academic activities. A research posting of two and half days per week are set aside specifically for clinical or fundamental research. Research projects will be supervised by one of the surgeons on the spine service. The particular project should be formalized during the early part of the Fellowship. All research proposals must be prepared and approved according to defined guidelines. Research opportunities exist in biomechanics, basic science, Epidemiology, and clinical studies.