The fellowship training program ensures that fellows gain experience in all major areas of paediatric orthopaedics.
Each fellow rotates with two surgeons every three months. There is some flexibility regarding the roster, which is established in consultation with each fellow. Our goal is for fellows to develop highly competent skills and sound clinical judgment to be leading academic paediatric orthopaedic surgeons. Fellow responsibilities include preparation and surgical treatment for elective cases, operative fracture treatment, outpatient clinics and research. A typical fellow weekly assignment includes two operating room days, two clinic days, and at least one half day for research.
The Hospital for Sick Children is a level I paediatric trauma centre and has a broad referral base for emergent conditions.
Becoming confident with the acute management of fractures, complex trauma and bone and joint infections is an essential aspect of paediatric orthopaedic training. Principles and experience gained from these areas translate broadly to elective scenarios. Clinical fellows take call on a hierarchical roster together with residents and faculty. Primary calls to the emergency department, the ward and from other institutions are fielded by the residents. Fellows assume duties that are transitional on their way to becoming faculty themselves.
Five clinical fellowship positions in paediatric orthopaedics are available at The Hospital for Sick Children each year.
Two fellowship positions are available for eligible candidates through the San Francisco matching scheme for paediatric orthopaedics. These fellowships commence in August each year. Three further fellowship positions are available through a direct application to The Hospital for Sick Children and can commence in either February or August depending on availability. The duration of the fellowship is for one year. Six month fellowships are not encouraged.
The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery is seeking candidates with a strong clinical and academic background that demonstrates proficiency in orthopaedic surgery and related subjects. Candidates will be pursuing a clearly defined path in paediatric orthopaedic surgery. International Medical Graduates who have obtained their medical education and training from non-Canadian, American, British or Australian systems, are encouraged to obtain several years experience as a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon before applying to the program.
Three children’s hospitals across Canada offer a combined fellowship program in paediatric orthopaedics. This fellowship is awarded to applicants who show an exceptional level of scholarship. Fellows have an opportunity to work at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto; BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver; and Shriners Hospital for Children, Montreal for a period of 6 months at each institution. The program is designed to provide a comprehensive and diverse fellowship experience in paediatric orthopaedic surgery, to engage fellows in collaborative and multidisciplinary clinical care, deepen their research experience and expand their professional network. As each institution specializes in different types of musculoskeletal problems, training in these specialized areas is available.
From an administrative standpoint the fellow’s primary educational institution will be the University of Toronto with elective periods at the University of British Columbia (for BC Children’s Hospital) and McGill University (for Shriners Hospitals for Children); as such, The Hospital for Sick Children will be the first rotation. Trans-Canada fellows must rotate at all three institutions. It is not mandatory to be fluent in French to be considered for this program. Fellows will be required to apply for separate work visas and educational licenses from each province. Each institutions responsible for providing a stipend.
Interested applicants should visit each institution’s website to find out more about their individual programs.
The Hospital for Sick Children also offers an advanced fellowship in paediatric spinal deformities. This single-specialty fellowship provides comprehensive training in the surgical and conservative treatment of paediatric spinal disorders, however the focus of this fellowship is on the surgical reconstruction of complex deformities. Substantial previous experience in spinal surgery is a prerequisite to applying for this fellowship. Fellows are mentored by the two paediatric orthopaedic spine surgeons; Dr Zeller and Dr Lewis. The spine fellow also participates in the paediatric orthopaedic on-call schedule for trauma. The training period can range from six months to one year.
Fellows can choose numerous ongoing or new research projects.
The faculty includes bona-fide clinical epidemiologists as well as basic scientists with a wide range of clinical and research interests for guidance. A highly qualified clinical research assistant is dedicated entirely to facilitating fellow research projects, with the ability to help with study design, obtain ethical board approval and in data analysis.
Fellows are encouraged to attend North American and international paediatric orthopaedic meetings, including POSNA and IPOS. Each fellow is provided with a stipend for travel expenses in addition to their salary. Fellows have four weeks a year of paid vacation leave, plus one week of conference leave.
Fellows participate in hands on cadaver skills labs to learn specific surgical approaches and more complex procedures including:
James completed his orthopaedic residency in Bristol, UK in 2014. He spent 2 years doing a trauma research degree, looking at the effect of HIV on fracture healing and wound infections in South Africa. He has an interest in international surgery, and has worked as a fellow in Kenya, Cambodia, Peru and South Africa, prior to coming to Canada. His main interests are deformity correction, and foot and ankle, combined with general paediatrics. He has a wife Tara, and two children Roman and Fergus.
Mike grew up in Yorkshire, England. He graduated from Edinburgh University Medical School in 2000. He underwent basic surgical training in the Republic of Ireland. In 2006 he was awarded a Masters of Surgery from University College Dublin. He obtained his FRCSI (Tr and Ortho) in 2012. His areas of interest include hip dysplasia, neuromuscular disease and paediatric spine deformity, along with paediatric outcomes research. He is the devoted father to three children Éabha, Euan and Alannah. He supports the premiere football team in Yorkshire, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, who share a birth year with Canada, 1867.
Aharon grew up in Baltimore, obtained his BA from Brandeis University, and his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York in 2014. He met his wife, Rachel, during residency in New York City. They plan to move to Philadelphia next year, along with their new baby Isadora, where Aharon will pursue a sports medicine fellowship. Aharon’s interests include paediatric sports medicine and trauma.
So graduated from the medical school at the University of Tokyo, Japan. After two years of internship, he started his orthopaedic residency program at the same university. Following the training years at several affiliated hospitals, he joined the university again as a spine fellow and then as an assistant professor. His interest is spinal deformity. So really enjoys the current intensive paediatric spine fellowship at SickKids. He is also keen on research activity and plans to pursue an academic career as a deformity surgeon. His wife, Yukimi and he started their newly-married life in Toronto.
Alessandro grew up in Trento, Italy. He attended medical school and then joined the orthopaedic residency program at University of Verona. In 2011 Alessandro won a scholarship from the Italian Society of Trauma and Orthopaedics for a clinical/research fellowship in Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna. In 2012 he spent 6 months of research observership at the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York. Alessandro completed his residency at Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli in 2014. After his clinical fellowship, Alessandro is planning to return to Italy and join the Paediatric Orthopaedic Service of his hometown. In his spare time, Alessandro enjoys kite surfing, mountain biking and playing his guitars.
Emily graduated from Cardiff University in 2005 and completed her foundation program in Wales. Her Core Surgical Training was undertaken at The Royal Devon and Exeter, England, and she went on to continue her orthopaedic training on The South West Peninsula rotation. In 2013, Emily worked for Health Education South West as an Education and Leadership Fellow where she gained management experience and became interested in Quality Improvement. During this time, she completed a postgraduate certificate in Patient Safety and Simulation. Emily is a keen sportswoman enjoying horse riding, biking, skiing, and sailing. She has even started skating during her fellowship at SickKids.
The Paediatric Orthopaedic Fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children brings together fellows from all over the globe. One rapidly becomes a member of larger international family, with the common goal of improving the orthopedic care that our patients receive. The skills, the knowledge, and more importantly the wonderful memories will follow us throughout the rest of our careers. I am confident that I will be faced with clinical dilemmas that will bring to light some of the discussions and debates we have had with our mentors at SickKids. And, if I forget, I am reassured that they will only be a phone call away.
—Michael Bensimon(Alumnus 2013)
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