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Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship

Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship

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The Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a one-year (12-month) ACGME-accredited program that admits one fellow per year.

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Program Details

The Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship is open to those who have completed an approved residency in a specialty relevant to spinal cord injury medicine, such as physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, neurological surgery, neurology, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, plastic surgery, surgery or urology.

Successful completion of the fellowship program satisfies the eligibility requirement to take the Examination in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine to obtain Subspecialty Certification in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine.

Fellows will be exposed to the broad spectrum of clinical management of spinal cord injury, including acute trauma and acute rehabilitation and post-acute rehabilitation, provided at Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center training sites. Fellows will also have full access to the Penn State Health Rehabilitation Research Laboratories, a 4,500-square-foot state-of the-art facility with body composition, exercise physiology, locomotor training and motion analyses laboratories adapted for people with disabilities. Fellows will have the opportunity to take part in ongoing research studies or to develop their own projects.

Each fellow will have the opportunity to train with several outpatient physiatrists to learn spasticity management, including chemodeinnervation, baclofen pump refills and implantations. Fellows will have many opportunities to teach Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residents and medical students. Fellows will also be able to interact and train with the many disciplines that contribute to spinal cord injury care, including neurosurgery, orthopaedics, endocrinology, neuro-urology, pulmonology, plastic surgery, wound care, physical and occupational therapy, wheelchair clinic and driving rehabilitation.

At the end of training, the fellow should be proficient in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of traumatic spinal cord injury and nontraumatic myelopathies.

Penn State Health is also home to many spinal cord injury-focused community events, such as RecFest, in which hundreds of individuals with disability come together to learn about recreational activities. Other opportunities include spinal cord injury support groups, excursions for adaptive skiing and hunting, assisting those with disabilities in learning how to navigate airports and airplanes, and more.

This fellowship is funded for 2019-20 through the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship program.

Learn More about the Fellowship

Curriculum Expand answer

The program will consist of one year with the following clinical rotations and continuity clinic:

  • Eight months Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury and Outpatient Continuity Clinic and Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury/Spina Bifida
  • Two months Spinal Cord Injury Consult and Outpatient Continuity Clinic and Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury/Spina Bifida
  • One month research
  • One month elective (including but not limited to Electrodiagnoses, Endocrine, Neurourology, Pulmonary, Plastic Surgery and Wound Care rotations)
To Apply Expand answer

All applicants must complete the SCI Fellowship Common Application and send it to program coordinator Michelle Osterlund at mosterlund@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

All applicants must be graduates of an approved residency in a specialty relevant to spinal cord injury medicine, such as physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, neurological surgery, neurology, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, plastic surgery, surgery or urology.

Current Fellows Expand answer
Past Fellows Expand answer
About Penn State Health Expand answer

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Virtual Tour

A new-for-2020 virtual tour showcases locations across Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.

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Penn State Health

Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to improve health through patient care, research, education and community outreach.

In December 2017, the system partnered with Highmark Health to facilitate creation of a value-based, community care network in the region. The shared goal of Highmark and Penn State Health is to ensure patients in the community are within:

  • 10 minutes of a Penn State Health primary care provider
  • 20 minutes of Penn State Health specialty care
  • 30 minutes of a Penn State Health acute care facility

Learn more about Penn State Health

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine campus is seen in an aerial photo on a sunny day.

Penn State Children’s Hospital (left), Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (center) and Penn State Cancer Institute (right)

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

500 University Dr., Hershey, Pa., 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)

  • The health system’s 548-bed flagship teaching and research hospital
  • The only medical facility in Pennsylvania accredited as both an adult and a pediatric Level I (highest-level) trauma center
  • Dedicated surgical, neuroscience, cardiovascular, trauma and medical intensive care units
  • Accredited Life Lion critical-care transport providing more than 1,100 helicopter and approximately 750 ground ambulance transports per year
  • More than 1,300 faculty members and more than 650 residents and fellows
  • Approximately 28,500 admissions, 75,000 emergency department visits, 1.1 million outpatient visits and 32,000 surgical procedures annually
  • Designated as a Magnet hospital three times

Learn more about Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Penn State Children’s Hospital

600 University Dr., Hershey, Pa. 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)

  • A five-story, 263,000-square-foot-facility built in 2013
  • Three-floor expansion opened in November 2020
  • Level IV (highest-level) neonatal intensive care unit
  • Level I (highest-level) pediatric trauma center designation
  • Dedicated pediatric operating rooms
  • More than 150,000 pediatric outpatient visits and approximately 5,000 pediatric patient discharges annually

Learn more about Penn State Children’s Hospital

About Hershey: Benefits, Stipends and More Expand answer

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Welcome to Hershey

A new-for-2020 guide to the Hershey, Pa., area showcases the highlights of life in central Pennsylvania.

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More About Hershey

Interested in learning more about living and working in Hershey, Pa.? See details here:

Wellness Initiatives Expand answer

Wellness, including emotional, spiritual, social and physical health, is a crucial component to training and to becoming a professional, compassionate and resilient physician. Self-care is a skill which must be continually practiced and reinforced. Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health are committed to addressing wellness among residents and fellows, with multiple resources readily available.

Institutional resources

Graduate medical education resources

Diversity Expand answer

Institutional Resources

Penn State Health celebrates, embraces and supports the diversity of all patients, faculty, staff, students and trainees.

In keeping with this, the institution has an active Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with various programs, networks and resource groups, including:

  • Regular talks and lectures on diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Periodic town halls on topics such as eradicating racism and creating a culture of inclusiveness
  • An allyship support group
  • Many affinity resource network groups, including:
    • Disability Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Group on Women in Medicine and Science
    • Interfaith Affinity Resource Network Group
    • LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Military/Veterans Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Multicultural Affinity Resource Network Group
    • NextGen
  • A new organization specifically for trainees, the Network of Underrepresented Residents and Fellows

Learn more about the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In addition, the institution does not tolerate discrimination, biases, microaggression, harassment or learner mistreatment of any kind, and any concerns are immediately addressed by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.

Learn more about the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment

Contact Us Expand answer

Fellow Honors and Recognitions

Exceptional Teachers Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center accept ongoing nominations for the Exceptional Moments in Teaching award.

The award, given monthly by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment, accepts nominations from College of Medicine students who are invited to submit narratives about faculty members, residents, fellows, nurses or any other educators who challenge them and provide an exceptional learning experience. See more about the award here.

Previous nominees from the Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship are listed here. Click the + next to a nominee name to read their nominator’s comments.

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.