Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship

Program Overview

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.

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.

Fellowship director Dr. David Gater has extensive experience in spinal care injury medicine as an educator, clinician and researcher. He has helped develop and lead several spinal cord injury medicine fellowships in the past.

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

Our Team

Curriculum

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

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

The first fellow in this program will start in July 2019. Applications for that position will be accepted through Sept. 7, 2018.

Application Requirements

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.

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Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship

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Penn State College of Medicine is an equal-opportunity employer and accepts all qualified applications regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or religious background.