The University of Alberta Complex Spine Fellowship is based primarily at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. There are two available fellowship positions available per year. The fellowship term is typically one year, but can be extended based upon the fellow’s career goals.
Each fellow will spend six months on a neurosurgery spinal rotation under the mentorship of Dr. Fox and Dr. Nataraj and six months on an orthopedic spinal rotation under the mentorship of Dr. Jiang, Kortbeek, and Mahood. Our fellowship is a busy surgical fellowship, which typically involves 3-4 days/week in the operating room, and exposure to approximately 300 surgical cases. Exposure will be gained to the entire spectrum of spinal disorders, including deformity correction, and intradural pathology.
There is also opportunity while on orthopedic rotation to attend OR and clinic at the Stollery Children’s Hospital scoliosis deformity clinic and surgery, especially if there is no pediatric spine fellow.
This is a complex spinal surgery fellowship in a program with an active residency program. Fellows are expected to have a minimum level of training in general spinal surgery, and are expected to teach residents in these general spine surgery scenarios.
The inpatient service is run mostly by the resident staff. However, fellows are expected to be involved in the care of the patients, especially those where the fellow has participated in the surgery.
Spine call: approximately 1:4 2nd call. Fellows will typically be called when there is a junior orthopedic or neurosurgery resident on call, and when urgent cases arise. Attending spine surgeons will continue to take outside calls.
Each fellow is expected to be involved in our research program, and is expected to present as well as publish at least one paper per year. Fellows are responsible for the organization of spine rounds, on Tuesdays at 4pm at RAH.
There are a variety of funding models available. If not self-funded, the fellow will be paid by the Complex Spine Surgery program, at a salary of $70 000/yr. In addition, if the fellow is eligible to bill as a surgical assist, a proportion of these billings will be returned to the fellow.
Application should be made initially (by email or in writing) to the Complex Spine Program’s Fellowship director, Dr. Andrew Nataraj:
Dr. Andrew Nataraj
Division of Neurosurgery
2D1.02 Mackenzie Centre
University of Alberta Hospital, 8440-112 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2B7
780 407 7179
Applications should include:
-a cover letter describing the applicant’s interest in the spine program at the University of Alberta, career aspirations, and any other professional or personal items that may add to the application
-three letters of reference.
Applications for fellowship will generally open in September two years preceding the fellowship year and close by February 1 of the preceding year. Incomplete applications, or applications sent too early will be returned.
Candidates will be notified if they will be interviewed before March 1 of the preceding year. As there are candidates applying who may live a far distance from Edmonton, telephone interviews may be the first step. Interviews will be carried out until June of the preceding year, and selection of fellows will be made shortly thereafter.
Once the selection of the fellows has been done, fellowship applications must also be done through the post-graduate medical education office at the University of Alberta.
Currently, the application period for the 2018 positions is closed. Applications for the 2019 positions will open again from September 1, 2017 - February 1, 2018.