Pediatric Orthopedic Spine Fellowship

The Pediatric Orthopedic Spine Fellowship at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is an unaccredited, one-year fellowship program. (There is no ACGME accreditation for such a fellowship.) This program prepares the graduates of accredited Orthopedic Residency Training Programs with additional training and skills to evaluate, manage, and treat both complex spinal conditions (e.g. scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, neuromuscular conditions, cervical pathology) and spinal tumors. The ultimate goal is for the trainee to be a pediatric orthopedic spine surgeon fully competent in managing complex pediatric spinal conditions (e.g. scoliosis, occipito-cervical conditions).

The Division of Spine and Scoliosis Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is part of the Department of Orthopedics. It provides diagnosis and treatment of spinal disorders in children and teens. The division has established itself as one of the most experienced and successful in the nation in treating spine disorders in children. In fact, the division’s director – Dr. Harry Shufflebarger – was instrumental in developing surgical spine treatments now in use around the world and contributes extensively to clinical research to continue to advance treatment practice. Dr. Shufflebarger uses dashboard reporting with colleagues around the USA to develop best practice guidelines. These have been implemented and significantly decreased length of hospital stay after scoliosis surgery. See more details about the Department of Orthopedics and its Center for Spine Disorders and Scoliosis Surgery.


Clinical Training

The Pediatric Orthopedic Spine Fellow will be employed full-time by the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Department of Medical Education. Nicklaus Children's Hospital is the only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children in South Florida. It is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with several specialty programs ranked among the best in the nation in the 2018-2019 U.S.News & World Report, including Neurosurgery and Neurology, which ranked 11th in the nation in 2018 and Orthopedics, which ranked 30th in the nation in 2018. Because Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is a referral tertiary care center, the fellow’s clinical training will benefit from the division’s large volume of complex cases, routine, common, and rare disorders of the pediatric spine.

The training is aimed to prepare the fellow to obtain competence in the examination and surgical correction of the spine of the infant and developing child. The experience gained will be in all spinal conditions including but not limited to spinal deformity, degenerative conditions, trauma, infection and tumors. The fellow is trained under the constant supervision of two (2) Pediatric Orthopedic Spine Surgeons who are experts in the field.

Additional Requirements

In addition to clinical work and conducting daily rounds on all Pediatric Spine patients, fellows are expected to:

  • Participate in weekly spinal conference
  • Complete two (2) research projects for presentation at a national meeting and/or publication. This will be a requirement for successful completion of the Fellowship. These projects can be either De novo and/or joining an ongoing research project. The Nicklaus Children’s Research Institute provides the research infrastructure at the fellow’s disposal including IRB, biostatisticians, and data analysts. The Department of Medical Education holds a yearly Research Bootcamp for fellows along with monthly teaching sessions on various topics including professional development, quality improvement, wellbeing and practice management.
  • Complete a Quality Improvement project as a required by the GME department
  • Prepare a monthly spine lecture for residents and medical students

How to Apply

Applicants must complete the Fellowship Application Form and submit the application along with the following supporting documents:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation (one written by the Director of your Residency Program or Chair of your Department)
  4. Photo
  5. Other items as indicated in the application
Download Application Form
Prerequisites Doctor of Medicine degree

Eligibility for at least a Florida Training license (Full license not required) – Must have passed USMLE Steps 1 & 2

Eligible candidates must have completed an Adult Orthopedic Spine Surgery Fellowship Training Program and a 5-year Orthopedic Surgery Residency Training Program.
International Medical Graduates Valid ECFMG Certificate

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital only provides J1 Visa (sponsored by the ECFMG)
Length of Fellowship 1 year
Number of fellowship positions available per year One fellow taken every year

About Our Staff

Stephen G. George, MD
Medical Director, Pediatric Spinal Surgery
Director, Pediatric Specialists of America