Page Content


The basic curriculum is provided during interdepartmental and interdisciplinary conferences. This will continue to the education of not only the fellow, but also other allied health personnel.

As a fellow, you will also conduct educational didactics for medical students, and residents of other specialties.

Clinical training

Training for Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Adult and Pediatric Spinal Deformity Fellowship consists of 12 months of clinical training, complemented by didactic and research experience.

Clinical procedural requirements

  • Lumbar puncture
  • Pedicle screw instrumentation
  • Lateral mass screw instrumentation
  • Hook-based instrumentation
  • Posterior column osteotomy
  • Pedicle subtraction osteotomy
  • Vertebral column resection

Rotation schedule

This is a one-year fellowship with exposure to adult and pediatric deformity. As a fellow, you will be at Mayo Clinic three days-a-week, and at Phoenix Children’s two days-a-week

Rotation description

A minimum of six months of training is spent in a clinical adult and pediatric spinal deformity experience under the mentorship of faculty. This period of time provides you with an organized comprehensive and supervised education experience in the field of adult and pediatric spinal deformity.

This will include a holistic integrative approach to patient care, diagnostic modalities, the performance of surgical procedures, and the integration of non-operative and surgical therapies into clinical patient management.

Goals and objectives

Training is spent in a clinical environment under the mentorship of faculty. Throughout the program, you will receive an organized and structured, comprehensive exposure to the field of spine care for adults and children. Nuances are emphasized between the two populations.

A patient-care centered approach will be highlighted, and the incorporation of diagnostic modalities and surgical procedures is nurtured in the clinic space and in the operating room.

The performance of operative surgery is granted to the trainee in a gradual process. Integration of non-operative treatment will be paramount in the education as well.

The goals and objectives set forth for this fellowship include:

  • Achieve clinical expertise in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of spinal disorders in adults
  • Achieve clinical expertise in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of spinal disorders in children
  • Experience a broad exposure of clinical evaluation and appropriate patient selection for operative and non-operative management in both the inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Assume progressive, graded responsibility in the surgical management of spine patients
  • Participate, and thereafter take the lead, in the operative management of spine patients
  • Develop research skills that will provide future groundwork for an academic practice
  • Develop clinical, anatomic, and analytical skills that constitute an integral component of the education experience
  • Submission of one clinical paper to an international conference
  • Submission of two manuscripts for peer-review

Call frequency

You will take fellow call as there will be residents and advanced-practice providers taking primary call.

Research training

As a trainee, you will have protected research time to devote to scholarly activities. The wealth of surgical material at Mayo Clinic offers abundant opportunities for research projects. Mayo Clinic researchers collaborate with large active clinical and research groups in several subspecialty areas.

Neurological surgery spine fellows are required to invest time in research and professional articles. When assigned to research, you will:

  • Present research findings at interdepartmental and interdisciplinary conferences
  • Contribute to the education of medical students, residents, and other health care providers


Clinical conferences, seminars, journal clubs, and one-on-one, hands-on instruction are all an integral part of Mayo Clinic’s Neurological Surgery Spine Fellowship. You will participate in:

  • Weekly, dedicated educational conference that include moderated, formally structured, case presentations
  • Weekly seminar series in surgery that is sponsored by the Department of Neurosurgery, and attended by fellows and faculty members
  • A quarterly visiting faculty program that features national and world leaders in spinal surgery
  • Journal clubs that are held and hosted by a faculty member
  • An extensive schedule of optional didactic conferences in many surgical and medical subspecialties and basic sciences
  • Participation in Mayo Clinic Arizona Spinal Surgical Management Conference
  • Participation in the weekly spine conferences

Teaching opportunities

Opportunities are available to teach rotating residents and medical students.

Case logs

The fellowship program director will maintain accurate case logs of all CVNS cases operated on annually within the institution and the subspecialty experience of the fellow.

As a fellow, you will maintain an accurate prospective case log of your operative cases throughout the fellowship which documents all operative cases and the level of responsibility in the case (assistant versus primary surgeon).

Duty hours

Duty hours and work conditions for subspecialty fellows is consistent with ACGME institutional and program requirements for residency training in neurological surgery.


Competency-based assessment in a 360-degree format is used for fellow evaluation. To ensure fellows gain proficiency and develop the corresponding technical skills, fellows are monitored and assessed in the clinical and simulated environment throughout the year.

Your performance is formally evaluated by the supervising faculty member and a mid-level provider following completion.

Meetings with the program director will occur to review these evaluations. You will also be evaluated by patients, and faculty will evaluate your attendance and participation in journal club and conferences.