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Surgical Spine Fellowship


The fellowship in Spine Surgery at Hoag Orthopedic Institute is designed to allow considerable freedom in the educational process. The goal of the Surgical Spine Fellowship at Hoag Orthopedics is to train one board eligible orthopedic surgeon in the basic science, research, clinical, surgical, and rehabilitative up to techniques as it pertains to the field of spine surgery. The fellow will find that the clinical experience and instruction will facilitate the maturation of an understanding of the complexities of spinal surgery and related spinal revision surgery.


The spine fellowship at the Hoag Orthopedics is a well-rounded experience in spinal surgery techniques and diagnoses. The spine surgeons at Hoag Orthopedics have a commitment to education as well as a surgical volume and breadth that makes the fellows’ experience unique and worthwhile. For over a decade, OSI has served as a tertiary center for spine surgeries and draws a breadth of various spinal pathologies including simple degenerative, complex adult and pediatric scoliosis, as well as revision surgery. The faculty has historically been involved in teaching residents at the University of California Irvine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. The surgeons created this fellowship to share their experience and caseload with orthopaedic surgeons who are looking for a career in adult spinal reconstruction.

The fellow’s surgical experience will exceed 400 cases and will be very broad. The surgical experience is hands on with graduated independence based on the fellow’s development over the year. Fellows will be exposed to multiple surgical approaches including open and minimally invasive techniques. There is a broad experience of approaches that includes anterior lumbar, direct lateral, as well as minimally invasive and percutaneous approaches.

The experience in cervical as well as lumbar is somewhat similar in that most every considered approach is utilized. Motion preservation techniques such as disk arthroplasty in the cervical spine are utilized. The fellow will be sufficient in anterior as well as posterior approaches to the cervical spine. The experience will encompass degenerative deformity as well as other pathologic processes including infection, oncology, as well as trauma. The experience is based toward preparing the orthopaedic surgeon for their oral board examination and by the end will prepare very well for this exam.


The fellow's rotation schedule is broken into four 12-week blocks. During each block, the fellow will be paired with one attending for six weeks, then another. This rotation schedule allows for concentrated clinical and surgical experience with each faculty. The fellows weekly schedule will include up two days in the outpatient setting and up to three days in the operating room. Fellows are expected to round on all the patients they operate on. The fellow is responsible for one weekend of call per month and during the week depending on the attending they are rotating with will require some hospital and patient phone call responsibilities. Dedicated research time is allocated for one half to one full day per week. The faculty to fellow ratio is 6:1.


The fellowship requires a minimum of two projects. Fellows are expected to submit abstracts of their projects to the major spine society meetings. A completed manuscript ready for submission for publication is expected by the end of the fellowship year. The fellow has access to three clinical research coordinators, one clinical research assistant, one clinical data coordinator, and a statistician to assist them with their research needs. The fellow will present their research at a symposium held by Hoag Orthopedics at the end of the year.


  • Indications Conference – Every Friday
  • Research Conference – Every other Tuesday
  • Grand Rounds – 2nd Friday of every month
  • Journal Club – Quarterly
  • Cadaver Labs – Two per year


Fellows are paid at the PGY-6 level including benefits, and receive two weeks of paid vacation. In addition, travel accommodations and reimbursements are granted for the Fellow to attend either the AAOS or NASS annual meetings.


There is one (1) position available for the 2024-2025 fellowship year.


1 year (August 1st – July 31st)


Hoag Orthopedics’ Surgical Spine Fellowship Program participates in the San Francisco Match Program. Applicants must complete a residency in orthopedic surgery at an ACGME accredited program. The deadline for completing the application process for our program is October 8th, 2023 via SF Match. Applicant profiles that do not contain an AAMC I.D number will not be eligible for review. Invitations to interview will be sent out to selected applicants upon review of all applications. Applicants must be eligible to obtain an unrestricted California Medical License prior to the start of Fellowship for credentialing purposes.

In alliance with the match guidelines, we will not be in contact with you after your interview. Your consideration of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute's Surgical Spine Fellowship is appreciated and we welcome your questions regarding the program.



Hoag Orthopedics
16300 Sand Canyon Avenue
Suite 511
Irvine, California 92618

Daseyra Fontalvo
Education Coordinator
Tel: 949-255-9753