An Integrated Orthopedic and Neurosurgery Spine Fellowship

This August, the Department of Orthopedics at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center welcomed both orthopedic and neurosurgery fellows into the recently integrated orthopedic and neurosurgery spine fellowship program. “This is a new and very exciting change for our program,” says Lawrence G. Lenke, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief of the Daniel and Jane Och Spine Hospital and Co-Director of the Spine Fellowship Program.

The one-year fellowship offers training in all aspects of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine from degenerative diseases and deformity to trauma injuries and tumors. Fellows perform surgical cases from complex scoliosis and kyphosis corrections with three-column osteotomies to minimally invasive procedures for cervical and lumbar disc disease. The fellows will have formal rotations with both Columbia Orthopedic and Neurosurgical spinal surgeons. Biweekly teaching sessions hosted by the faculty for fellows and residents also include a mix of lectures, case presentations, and journal discussions.

This year, notes Dr. Lenke, he and Co-Directors Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD, Director of Degenerative and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, and K. Daniel Riew, MD, Director of Cervical Spine Surgery, reviewed the nearly 120 applications received. Together, the Columbia Orthopedic and Neurosurgical spine surgeons interviewed and selected candidates for four fellowship positions.

“The top 10 individuals who we wanted to come here also listed us as their number one choice,” says Dr. Lenke. “I think that level of interest is reflective of the fact that we have, quite possibly, the most highly valued spine fellowship in the country. Again, our program has been even more enhanced by adding the neurosurgeons, giving it much more diversity.”