Spine Fellowship

2017 Spine Fellows
2018-2019 Spine Service

Spine Post-Residency Training Program

Thank you in your interest for our program. We would like to give you a brief synopsis of our program and outline some of the most frequently asked questions. We realize how crucially important the next step will be in your educational pathway towards becoming an independent spine surgeon and appreciate you taking the time to interview with us to get to know our program, the people behind it and our philosophies. Please feel free to use the contact information provided below for any further questions you may have.
Download the Spine Post-Residency Training Program - Quick Review Guide 2015 here.


To train future spine surgeons who will become respected as leaders in their respective communities, based on their character and their clinical, research and educational efforts. We aim to do so by graduating well-rounded, inquisitive, ethically minded and highly knowledgeable spine surgeons, who are capable of providing state of the art spine surgery covering the entire spectrum of spinal disorders, while advancing the standards of spinal care.

Josh Patt (Charlotte, NC '06),Carlo Bellabarba (UW Spine Chief), Troy Caron (York, PA '06), Ted Wagner (UWMC Spine Chief)Randy Chesnut (NS Spine Chief, Paul Kraemer (Indianapolis,IN '07)Andrew Cree (Sydney, Australia '00) and Darrell Brodke (University of Utah, '94)
Legends (L-R): Josh Patt (Charlotte, NC '06),Carlo Bellabarba (UW Spine Chief), Troy Caron (York, PA '06), Ted Wagner (UWMC Spine Chief), Randy Chesnut (NS Spine Chief, Paul Kraemer (Indianapolis,IN '07), Andrew Cree (Sydney, Australia '00) and Darrell Brodke (University of Utah, '94)

Who are we?

The UW Spine post-residency spine training program was established in 1987 by Paul Anderson. To date, we have trained over 50 spine surgeons and are extremely proud of every one of them. Roughly one third of our graduates enter an academically affiliated practice. The other 2/3 are well-respected leaders in their regions. Our program is unique in that we provide the only level one trauma center and genuine academic tertiary care facilities for a quarter of the land mass of the USA in a four state area comprised of Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Our program is interdisciplinary and combines 3 Orthopaedic post-residency spine clinical instructors (ACES) with 2 neurosurgical fellows and provides exposure to the widest possible range of spinal pathology with respect to the nature and location of spinal disorder and their treatment options. We expect excellence in clinical practice, research and educational efforts through the year, and offer mentoring and assistance with attaining career and employment objectives. While we primarily encourage candidates with academic ambitions and colleagues with military obligations to apply, we will gladly train colleagues who wish to assume a leadership role in non-academic community settings as well. Our case range through the year is widespread and can be roughly divided as follows: trauma 30%; degenerative disorders 30%; deformities, 25%; and neoplasia/infection, 15%. The distribution between cervical and throraco-lumbar pathology is approximately 50-50. The overall spine case load within our teaching hospitals exceeds 1,500 surgical procedures per annum. Every effort is made to provide each ACE /Clinical Instructor or Fellow the entire spectrum of spinal care.


The orthopaedic post-residency spine trainees usually hold the rank of Clinical Instructor at the University of Washington as part of an Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE), with pay and benefits commensurate with a PGY 6 level (special arrangements for more senior trainees can be made on a case by case basis). The usual weekly schedule ranges from of 2-3 ORs and 2 clinic days / week and one research/vacation backup day, depending on the rotation. Call frequency is approximately 1/5, with the same ratio applying to weekends. Weekend call usually extends from Friday AM through Sunday AM. Our ACEs and fellows report between 250 and 300 cases per year. We have the privilege of working with a staff of dedicated Spine Service ARNP’s and PA’s on the floor and in our clinics and have a total of 3 orthopaedic and 1 neurosurgical spine residents on service as well as 1 rehabilitation medicine fellow. With the daily exposure to residents and medical students we place great emphasis on teaching, teamwork and collegiality.

We expect completion of at least one research paper and one book chapter per year. As part of the AOSpine North America network, we offer free participation in the annual AOSpine Fellowship Forum, two AOSpine courses, one academic meeting of your choice and participation in the Annual Harborview Spine Symposium. Fixed educational activities (see page 4) include daily on-call AM conferences at HMC, weekly surgical indications conferences at HMC and UWMC, weekly neuroradiology rounds at HMC, and monthly spine grand rounds and M & M conference, in addition to a pediatric subject presentation and an evening journal club with members of the Seattle spine community at the home of a senior spine surgeon.


Our 'ACEs'/fellows work hard, but emerge as well-rounded, complete spine surgeons who become respected leaders in their field, either regionally or nationally. We strive to have a positive life-long partnership with our graduates, to provide them with an experience they will positively reflect on for the rest of their lives, and which carries on in their philosophy of care toward their patients and their approach toward teaching with those around them.

Legends: (L) 2008 graduation; (M) L to R: Abilio Reis (’10, Richmond,VA), Max Reinhold (’10, Innsbruck, Austria), Carlo Bellabarba (UW Ortho Spine Chief), Randy Chesnut (HMC NS Spine Chief), Roland Kent (’10, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth VA); (R) Brian Kwon (Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver BC), Rick Bransford (Director of UW Ortho Spine ACE/Fellowship).