Orthopaedic Spine Fellowship

Orthopaedic Spine Fellowship

The Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Spine Fellowship offers a comprehensive, well-rounded, and high clinical volume training experience in spine surgery. Fellows will experience anterior, lateral, and posterior surgical approaches from the skull to the sacrum. The Vanderbilt spine fellowship experience includes a robust exposure to the clinical evaluation and surgical management of degenerative, deformity, oncologic, infectious, and traumatic conditions of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. The fellowship will equally prepare the trainee for a career in either academics or private practice.


In addition to strong foundational training in the fundamentals of spinal instrumentation and decompression, the fellow will have exposure to more technically advanced techniques such as osteotomies for spinal deformity, motion-preserving surgery (including cervical laminoplasty and cervical disc arthroplasty), minimally-invasive surgery, endoscopic spinal surgery, and en-bloc spondylectomy.


The spine fellow will have an excellent opportunity to conduct meaningful clinical research through the Vanderbilt Spine Registry, one of the longest running prospective spine outcomes registries in the country. The fellow will be expected to participate in at least one research project during the year; however, it is possible to complete many more projects during the year.


Faculty members involved in the fellowship include Dr. Byron Stephens (Division Chief, Co-director of Fellowship), Dr. Amir Abtahi (Co-director of Fellowship), and Dr. Raymond Gardocki. The fellow will have the opportunity to interact with our Neurosurgical colleagues in conferences and journal clubs.


The fellow will be appointed as a junior faculty member (Instructor) in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and will be expected to participate in resident and medical student education. The Vanderbilt Spine Fellowship follows NASS guidelines for interviews and the SF Match process. The deadline for application submission is December 1st of each year. For further information, please feel free to contact the Fellowship Program Coordinator, Jessica Ruffin at jessica.a.ruffin@vumc.org or 615-936-4878.