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Departments / Neurosurgery / Education / Fellowship Training / Complex Spinal Surgery Fellowship

University of Cincinnati Neurosurgical Clinical Instructorship in Complex Spinal Surgery

Program Overview

The SNS Cast Approved Spine Instructorship offers advanced training of post-residency neurosurgeons the field of spine, with focus on complex spinal procedures and deeper understanding of the biomechanics and clinical components for an academic practice.  The yearly curriculum offers comprehensive exposure to adult surgical treatments and procedures including complicated deformities and injuries to the spine, degenerative and arthritic conditions, infections, tumors, metabolic diseases, trauma, and fractures.

Program Structure

The Spine Instructors function as attending surgeons as they refine their ability to educate and oversee the residents on the service.  In addition to clinical care and research, we expect the Spine instructors to develop strong teaching and organizational skills necessary to participate in an academic career.  The Instructor will work closely with the residents on the Spine service to coordinate patient care along with instructing the residents and advanced practice providers in patient management and operative techniques.

The Spine Instructor is directly mentored by one of the fellowship trained Spine Faculty, which will differ based on the day of the week. This includes in the OR when one of the Spine Faculty will be their assistant in surgery, or vice versa, along with outpatient clinics where there will be a Spine Faculty holding a concurrent clinic and available to help review and see any patients with complex issues. The Instructor also chooses a research mentor to help guide and foster their academic work. The Director of the Fellowship has an informal monthly breakfast meeting with the Instructors on the Spine service to discuss the state of the Service. In addition, the Director has formal quarterly meetings with the Instructor to ensure that they are meeting their goals, reviewing:

  1. Patient Care/Clinical Activity
  2. Research
  3. Education/Teaching
  4. Publications
  5. Professional Services/Activities in Field.

This formal report includes mid-year reports and end of the year reports submitted to the Chair of Neurosurgery.

Call Schedule

The Instructors will be on call whenever Drs. Cheng, Adogwa, Nasser and Virojanapa are on call.  They will take primary phone calls from the residents and lead the assessment and development of treatment plans on the patients, in conjunction with Drs. Cheng, Adogwa, Nasser and Virojanapa.


The Instructors will coordinate the spine topics for Wednesday morning professor’s hours, grand rounds, and case conference, along with a monthly evening spine journal club, and quarterly combined spine conference for the Back, Neck, and Spine Center.

  1. Introductory Fellowship Course: Each fellow from the Institution will be expected to attend an Introductory Fellowship Course to be held in late summer/early fall of the fellowship year. This educational program is designed to provide early interaction between the fellow(s), their peers, and AOSpine members and faculty.

Program Accreditation

The program is an SNS CAST Accredited Fellowship.

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