San Diego Spine Foundation


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About the Fellowship Program

Yearly from August 1st to July 31st

Application Information
The San Diego Spine Fellowship participates in the SF Match program. Please click here to visit the SF Match website for more information and to complete your application:

Application Deadline
Yearly on November 1st

Stipend & Benefits
$75,000 for Academic year 2024-2025 (includes health and malpractice insurance, plus academic benefits)

Affiliated Facilities
Scripps Green Hospital, Rady Children’s Hospital, Scripps Mercy Hospital and Scripps Memorial La Jolla; Scripps Clinic.

Program Description
The spine fellowship is designed to provide the orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon, who has successfully completed residency, with comprehensive exposure to the diagnosis and treatment of all spinal disorders.  Surgical procedures include anterior, lateral, and posterior approaches with both open and minimally invasive techniques.  This fellowship is capable of tailoring each fellow’s experience to prepare for academic, private or hybrid post-fellowship spine-related opportunities. 

The educational curriculum includes a series of rotations with faculty to provide outpatient and inpatient care, didactic and case conferences, research, and journal clubs.  Weekly conferences are held for Fellows to present on recent cases and assigned lectures including one elective topic presented in grand rounds style at the end of their training.  Fellows attend a monthly combined orthopedic/neurosurgery lecture series that include most west-coast fellow/residency programs.  Research meetings occur weekly to support Fellows with their research projects and up to one day a week is reserved for research activities.  Journal clubs with medical professionals are held bi-monthly for Fellows to critique and lead discussions on assigned articles, as well as have the opportunity to network.  Several other educational opportunities are also available including access to numerous cadaver labs, regional and national academic meetings and industry sponsored courses.

Fellows are given increasing responsibility throughout the year based on individual achievements.  Clinical and basic science research projects are numerous and ongoing. Fellows are expected to complete at least two major research projects of publishable quality within the year.  Attendance and presentation of abstracts at a minimum of one national conference is supported.

In partnership with the Global Spine Outreach (GSO), Fellows will have a unique opportunity to participate in a one-week medical mission trip during their training year.  This trip will allow Fellows to be a part of an extraordinary and rewarding experience that provides spinal surgeries to underprivileged children around the world.

Participating faculty are nationally and internationally recognized specialists in both orthopedic spine and neurosurgery.  In addition to treating patients, our faculty is actively engaged in research, publishing monthly in peer-reviewed journal, and textbooks.

The San Diego Spine Fellowship Program is located in San Diego, CA, known as “America’s Finest City,” notable for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and diverse food and microbrewery landscape.

Applicants must be Board-eligible or -certified and have obtained a California medical license 6 months in advance of commencement of the fellowship (mandatory). The use of the SF Match Central Application Service (CAS) is mandatory. Applicants fill out only one application form and provide one set of documents and CAS will distribute these documents to the applicant’s designated programs. Per SF Match guidelines, three letters of recommendation are required, including one from a residency program director. Applicants who are seriously considered for the fellowship will be asked for an interview as outlined in the matching guidelines.  Please visit the SF Match website ( for more information and to complete your application.

Fellowship Program Profile:

Percent of fellowship devoted to operative care - 70%
Percent of fellowship devoted to non-operative care - 20%
Percent of fellowship devoted to research and education - 10%

Percent of exposure to spine by region:

Lumbar - 50%
Cervical - 30%
Thoracic - 20%

Percent exposure to spine by diagnosis: 

Degenerative - 55%
Adult Deformity - 25%
Pediatric Deformity - 5%
Trauma - 10%
Tumor - 5%