Interventional Spine and Musculoskeletal Medicine Fellowship
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is a one-year (August 1-July 31) interventional spine and musculoskeletal medicine fellowship (ISMM) that is offered via the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at VUMC. The fellowship offers a unique opportunity to receive spine medicine graduate training through the North American Spine Society (NASS) fellowship program. At Vanderbilt, you will have the opportunity to work with some of the best spine physiatrist, neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons and physical therapists. Vanderbilt is one of the nation’s top institutions with excellent academic faculty which gives you the opportunity to engage in cutting edge research if you so choose. The comprehensive training through the NASS spine fellowship focuses on evaluation and treatment throughout the disease continuum, including physical examination skills, imaging surgical evaluations, spine wellness, value-based spine care and extensive advanced training in fluoroscopically guided interventional spine procedures in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions, which are taught in accordance with Spine Intervention Society principles. There is also extensive training in ultrasound guided peripheral joint injections as well as spinal cord stimulation and kyphoplasty if interested. Lastly, there are monthly cadaver labs offered to hone your skills with spine procedures as well.
The interventional spine fellowship (ISMM) matches two fellows per year into a 1-year fellowship. The typical schedule for a spine fellow is geared to provide outpatient spine medicine experience clinically and procedurally. The spine fellows rotate between 3 clinical sites including Stallworth Rehab Procedure Clinic, Vanderbilt One Hundred Oaks and Vanderbilt Franklin Orthopedic location. Fellows also participate in a clinical instructor role within the Vanderbilt PM&R department working with the residents and performing electrodiagnostic studies and providing attending coverage at the Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital on the weekends typically once monthly.
Applications for the fellowship program are found at the NASS website (link below) and information regarding application can be found there. In brief, applications open in January of PGY-3 year and interviews are offered typically between March-July. Rank lists are submitted in late July and Match Day follows in early August. Competitiveness for fellowships are increasing across PM&R. The fellowship is looking for well-rounded fellows who have excelled within residency in all aspects and who have demonstrated a commitment to providing excellent patient care and advancing the field.
When considering fellowship options, ISMM fellowships are distinguished from traditional ACGME Pain Medicine Fellowships. The primary focus of the ISMM fellowship is clinical assessment and treatment of patients with spine and MSK conditions. In contrast to ACGME Pain fellowships, which require training in comprehensive pain management such as inpatient acute pain, palliative care, psychiatry, intubation and opioid medications. The NASS ISMM fellowship was developed in response to growing demand for well-trained interventional spine and MSK specialists that meet a standard of academic and education rigor. A core curriculum is developed to provide high quality, consistent clinical and procedural education for trainees.
There is currently no board certification requirement within NASS ISMM fellowship aside from core PM&R residency boards via ABPMR.
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