Orthopedic Surgery Clinical Fellowship

  • General overview

    The Division of Orthopedic Surgery at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is home to one of the oldest and most renowned pediatric orthopedic training programs in the country. The fellowship began in 1988 and is nationally recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

    us news orthopedics badgeThe division offers four clinical fellowship positions. This one-year fellowship prepares surgeons for an academic or private career and provides in-depth education, experience and mentoring in pediatric orthopedic surgery, outpatient clinical care, inpatient care and research.

    The Division of Orthopedics sees 62,000 outpatient visits a year and performs nearly 3,200 surgeries per annum. This year we are proud to be ranked No. 1 in the nation for pediatric orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Program at a glance
    • current fellowsFour clinical fellowship positions
    • ACGME accredited
    • 14 core surgical faculty
    • More than 62,000 outpatient visits/year
    • Nearly 3,200 surgeries/year
    • Case volume per fellow: 420-450 cases/year, >1,000 CPT codes (2014-2015)
    • Flexible, individually-directed surgical experience
    • Preceptor-based outpatient rotation schedule through major areas of pediatric orthopedic surgery
    • Comprehensive didactic conference schedule
    • One in 4 call (home call, for operative trauma cases only)
  • Educational philosophy

    The Division of Orthopedics considers it a privilege to train outstanding fellows and welcome them to our field and our CHOP family.

    Excellence in surgical training is the keystone of our fellowship, with an emphasis on high volume, progressive independence and graduated responsibility. Likewise, fellows are expected to play an expanding role in surgical planning, similar to a colleague, as their skills and knowledge develop. 

    Because each fellow is an individual with unique career aspirations and potential subspecialty interests, we provide a solid foundation in all aspects of pediatric orthopedics, but also allow fellows to choose surgical cases and design their year in a manner that best fits their personal goals. On the outpatient side, fellows rotate through all major areas of pediatric orthopedics (e.g. spine, sports, hip, etc.) in order to provide proper grounding in the fundamentals of outpatient clinical care and to learn diagnostic and decision-making skills necessary for independent practice. These rotations are designed in a preceptor-based format to provide opportunities for one on one interaction and personal mentoring. 

    At this point in their training, we consider fellows to be mature learners capable of self-motivated reading with the goal of continuous self-improvement. A comprehensive didactic program exists, but this does not substitute for independent reading and frequent consultation with the literature. Our faculty is supportive and approachable, and aims to provide context, fill gaps in understanding, and augment a fellow’s individual study.

    To allow fellows to concentrate on the primary goal of obtaining outstanding surgical and clinical education, additional demands are kept to a minimum. A team of advanced practice nurses handles the bulk of day-to-day inpatient care, and an additional team of mid-level providers is in place to manage the heavy volume of outpatient clinic visits.  Orthopedic residents take primary call for the emergency department and inpatient consultations. Fellows are expected to play a supportive role in all these settings, but these are not their primary responsibilities.

    Each fellowship year is unique, and we encourage feedback so the educational opportunities can be tailored to each class and improved as the year progresses.

  • Curriculum and experience

    Daily didactic programs: 6:30 a.m.

    • Monday, Tuesday and Friday: Core curriculum lectures (e.g. scoliosis, DDH, etc.) for residents and fellows, on a 3-month rotating cycle 
    • Wednesday: Fellow-centered indications conference where upcoming cases are presented and discussed with a large number of the surgical faculty
    • Thursday: Fellows are invited to general orthopedic grand rounds at the University of Pennsylvania
    • Quarterly: Journal clubs focus on interpreting and analyzing the current literature in pediatric orthopedics

    Additional conference opportunities

    • Center for Thoracic Insufficiency (CTIS) patient review conference (monthly)
    • Interdisciplinary conference on neuromuscular disorders (quarterly)
    • Orthopedic oncology tumor board (quarterly)
    • CHOP-based bone interest group (monthly)

    Operating room

    two doctors in surgeryOperating rooms begin at 7:30 a.m., with the exception of Thursday (8:30). Fellows choose operative cases the week prior and oversee resident surgical assignments. Given the surgical volume, fellows typically operate three to four days a week, and average 420 to 450 cases per year (>1,000 CPT codes).  

    Clinic

    A minimum of one day a week is spent in the orthopedic clinic on designated preceptor-based outpatient rotations through all major clinical areas of pediatric orthopedics. Rotations are typically six to seven weeks long; flexibility exists for fellows to revisit desired areas in the second half of the year.

    Call

    Home call is 1 in 4 and is generally for operative trauma cases only. Orthopedic residents take primary call for the orthopedic inpatient service, and emergency department/inpatient consultations.

    A typical week for a clinical orthopedic fellow at CHOP

    Monday

    fellow learning in clinic6:30 a.m. - Didactic Conference
    7:30 a.m. - OR
    Informal rounds between commitments on previously operated patients

    Tuesday

    6:30 a.m. - Didactic Conference
    7:30 a.m. - OR
    Informal rounds between commitments on previously operated patients

    Wednesday

    6:30 a.m. - Indications Conference
    7:30 a.m. - Clinic
    Informal rounds between commitments on previously operated patients

    Thursday

    6:30 a.m. - Penn Grand Rounds
    8:30 a.m. - Clinic
    Informal rounds between commitments on previously operated patients

    Friday

    6:30 a.m. - Didactic Conference
    7:30 a.m. - OR
    Informal rounds between commitments on previously operated patients

    Saturday

    Operative cases (call fellow)
    Otherwise, off

    Sunday

    Operative cases (call fellow)
    Otherwise, off

  • Fellowship core faculty

    John (Jack) M. Flynn, MD
    Division Chief
    Co-director, Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship
    Primary areas of fellow education: spine, early-onset spine disorders, thoracic insufficiency syndrome, orthopedic trauma

    Wudbhav (Woody) N. Sankar, MD   
    Co-director, Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship
    Primary areas of fellow education: hip, young adult hip preservation, spine, orthopedic trauma

    Alexandre Arkader, MD
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: musculoskeletal oncology, limb deformity, orthopedic trauma

    Keith D. Baldwin, MD, MPH, MSPT
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: neuromuscular disorders, neuromuscular spine, orthopedic trauma

    Patrick Cahill, MD
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: spine, early-onset spine disorders, thoracic insufficiency syndrome

    Robert M. Campbell, MD
    Director, Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome
    Primary areas of fellow education: spine, early-onset spine disorders, thoracic insufficiency syndrome

    Robert B. Carrigan, MD
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: hand and upper extremity

    Richard S. Davidson, MD
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: foot and ankle, limb deformity

    Theodore J. Ganley, MD
    Director, Center for Sports Medicine and Performance
    Primary areas of fellow education: sports medicine, arthroscopy, orthopedic trauma

    B. David Horn, MD
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: foot and ankle, limb deformity, hip, orthopedic trauma

    J. Todd Lawrence, MD, PhD
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: sports medicine, arthroscopy, orthopedic trauma

    Apurva Shah, MD, MBA
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: hand and upper extremity, brachial plexus

    David Spiegel, MD
    Attending Surgeon
    Primary areas of fellow education: neuromuscular disorders, neuromuscular spine, orthopedic infections, orthopedic trauma

    Lawrence Wells, MD
    Associate Director, Center for Sports Medicine and Performance
    Primary areas of fellow education: sports medicine, arthroscopy, orthopedic trauma

  • Research expectations and opportunities

    Gaining skills in research methodology and critical evaluation of the medical literature is an important goal of the fellowship. Each fellow is expected to complete at least one scholarly project during the fellowship. In most cases, this is a research project of the fellow’s design, conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor which culminates in a formal presentation at the end-of year graduation, and, in most cases, submission for peer-reviewed publication.

    Many fellows complete multiple projects resulting in multiple publications. To support these aims, the division employs four full-time research coordinators to assist with study design, IRB approvals, etc. Additional resources are available for statistical analysis and potential funding. 

  • Past fellows and their current positions
    • 2014-15 — Aristides I. Cruz, MD, Brown University; Peter Fabricant, MD, MPH, Hospital for Special Surgery; Andrew Georgiadis, MD, Gillette Children's Hospital; Mark Seeley, MD, Geisinger Medical Center
    • 2013-14 — Rushyuan "R.J." Lee, MD, Johns Hopkins; Ronald Jason Mistovich, MD, Youngstown Orthopaedics; Patrick O'Toole, MD, Crumlin Children's Hospital; Anish Potty, MD, Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic
    • 2012-13 — Laura Gill, MBBS, Nationwide Children's Hospital; Martin Morrison, MD, Loma Linda University Children's Hospital; Nanjundappa Harshavardhana, MD, Twin Cities Spine Center
    • 2011-12 — Corinna Franklin, MD, Shriners Hospital for Children; Keith Baldwin, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Odion Binitie, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center
    • 2010-11 — Peter Glavas, MD, CHU Ste-Justine; Scott McKay, MD, Texas Children's Hospital; Ryan Murdock, MD, Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedic & Scoliosis
    • 2009-10 — Colin Goggins, MD, Banner Children's Specialists; Christopher Hydorn, MD, Moore Orthopedic Clinic; Melinda Sharkey, MD, Yale Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
    • 2008-09 — Jason Robinson, MD, Intermountain Orthopaedics; Jenny Frances, MD, MPH, Hospital for Joint Diseases
    • 2007-08 — Purushottam Gholve, MD, Tufts Medical Center; Michelle Sagan, MD, Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights, IL
    • 2006-07 — Samara Friedman, MD, Advocare The Orthopedic Center; Alex Arkader, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    • 2005-06 — Eric Shirley, MD, Nemours Children's Specialty Care; Joshua Strassberg, MD, Advocare The Orthopedic Center
    • 2004-05 — Jorge Fabregas, MD, Scottish Rite Hospital
    • 2003-04 — Harish Hosalkar, MD, The Hosalkar Institute for Joint Preservation and Injury Care; Michelle Sugiyama-Caird, MD, University of Michigan
    • 2002-03 — Benjamin Roye, MD, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
    • 2001-02 — Junichi Tamai, MD, Cincinnati Children's Hospital
    • 2000-01 — Kristan Pierz, MD, Connecticut Children's Medical Center
    • 1999-2000 — Lael Luedtke, MD, Mayo Clinic Health System
    • 1998-99 — David Wallach, MD, Stony Brook Orthopedic Associates
    • 1997-98 — David Spiegel, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    • 1996-97 — Theodore Ganley, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    • 1995-96 — Inez Kelleher, MD, Memorial Hospital Gulfport Orthopedics
    • 1994-95 — Miah Hahn, MD, Hahn Orthopaedics
    • 1993-94 — Mark Sinclair, MD, Children's Mercy Hospital
    • 1992-93 — Wesley Carrion, MD, Stony Brook Orthopaedic Associates
    • 1991-92 — William Bronson, MD, Shriners Hospital for Children
    • 1990-91 — Gary Brock, MD, Fondren Orthopedic Group
    • 1989-90 — Lee Segal, MD, SUNY Upstate University
    • 1988-89 — Michael Albert, MD, Dayton Children's Hospital
    • 1987-88 — Margaret Alabanese, MD, Adirondack Community Physicians Acp Orthopedic Group
  • Living in Philadelphia

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  • Beyond fellowship

    old fellowsAs part of the CHOP orthopedics family, graduating fellows will benefit from continued mentorship and career advice as they progress through their first years of practice. Networking opportunities with faculty and previous fellows may be helpful with job searches. Fellow reunions include the annual Nicholson Visiting Professorship/fellowship graduation held in June, and the annual meeting of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA).  

  • How to apply

    CHOP participates and abides by the fellowship match, supervised by the San Francisco Matching Program (SFMP). To participate in the pediatric orthopedic surgery match, register with SFMP.

    The match process includes a universal online application (through the SFMP), interview and match selection process, and occurs between September and April of each year.

    Potential candidates must be in at least their PGY4 year of orthopedic training.  Interviews are granted by invitation, and are generally conducted onsite at CHOP. Match day is typically in April of the application year, with rank lists due a few weeks before.

    Tobacco-free hiring policy

    To help preserve and improve the health of our patients, their families and our employees, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a tobacco-free hiring policy. This policy applies to all candidates for employment (other than those with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey) for all positions, including those covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    Job applicants who apply after July 1, 2014, will be expected to sign an attestation stating they’ve been free of nicotine or tobacco products in any form for the prior thirty (30) days. They will also undergo a cotinine test as a part of the Occupational Health pre-placement drug screen administered after the offer of employment has been accepted but before the first day of hire.

    Exemptions: Attending physicians (excluding CHOP physicians in the Care Network), psychologists, principal investigators and/or Penn-based faculty are exempt from this process to better align with our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

  • Contact us

    Clinical Fellowship Coordinator, Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship
    Email Joanne Hofmann, or call 215-590-1535.

    Co-director, Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship
    Email Wudbhav N. Sankar, MD, or call 215-590-1527.

Reviewed by Wudbhav N. Sankar, MD on July 28, 2015