Think of fellowships as training programs, opportunities for graduates of accredited orthopaedic surgery residency programs to gain additional expertise and experience in their specialty area. Fellowships provide the graduate with one-on-one office practice alongside the fellowship director and faculty, hands-on education in a specialty clinic and hospital settings, and ample time and facilities for clinical and basic science research projects.
The University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has a long and distinguished history of training residents and fellows and is one of the top education programs in the country. It maintains the highest level of excellence in providing a balanced program focused on surgical skills, orthopaedic research, and compassionate patient care.
The program began with a Hand Fellowship in 1967. Today Campbell Clinic sponsors six, yearlong specialty fellowships:
- Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellowship
- Foot and Ankle Surgery Fellowship
- Spine Surgery Fellowship
- Trauma Fellowship - Campbell Clinic
- Sports Medicine Fellowship
- Adult Reconstruction Fellowship
Fellowship Program Coordinator
"Only one fellow is chosen for each specialty, so competition is strong," said Rosemary Graham, Fellowship Program Coordinator. "Campbell Clinic receives 15 to 50 applications per specialty per year. Foot and ankle leads the way with 23 trained fellows." Applications are carefully interviewed by the specialty's fellowship director and staff, who also review academic qualifications and achievements, board examination scores, letters of recommendation, personality and "fit" with staff and residents, experience, and work style. All applicants must be graduates from a residency program in orthopaedic surgery in the United States, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
"Campbell Clinic stands apart from most high-volume centers by limiting its fellowships to just one participant per specialty, thereby maximizing the educational and clinical components of the training experience," said Graham. "Fellows are given maximum exposure to a variety of surgical cases and have ample opportunity to work one–on-one with key staff members and surgeons within that specialty."
Each fellowship is led by a director, who determines curriculum within the guidelines of the ACGME and in cooperation with the director of resident education. Fellows spend a structured percentage of time with Campbell Clinic staff in several settings, typically:
- Clinical: includes seeing existing patients, working up new patients, and completing preoperative history and physical exam
- Hospital: includes making daily rounds and making postoperative checks on patients before discharge
- Surgery: includes serving as first assistant to staff and primary surgeon and overseeing postoperative orders
- Education: includes mandatory and optional conferences and some conference presentations by the fellow
- Research project:Upon successful completion of the fellowship, participants gain not only specialized knowledge and practice, but lifelong relationships.
And for international medical students who graduate from residency programs outside the United States, Campbell Clinic offers its observership program. That provides valuable opportunities for participants to observe and study further supporting the Campbell Foundation's miss and dedication to providing the most advanced orthopaedic care.
Orthopaedics is becoming so sub-specialize that many surgeons choose a narrow area of practice. Fellowships provide residents with means to further their expertise in a specialty area of interest. More than 60% of residents choose to continue their training by applying for an extra year of study. It is a great privilege to mentor a fellow.
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