Thank you for your interest in our fellowship!
Created in 2003, the 12-month fellowship is committed to excellence in intensive clinical and interventional training. Our fellows polish clinical evaluation and decision-making skills in spine and general musculoskeletal disorders, as well as acquire competence in fluoroscopy-guided spine interventions (cervical and lumbar). Other key elements of the fellowship training include electrodiagnostics, radiographic assessment, musculoskeletal ultrasound (for injection guidance and diagnostics), and business of outpatient practice.
Southwest Spine and Sports is a dynamic outpatient physiatry group based in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ. We also have a clinic in Tempe. Most of the procedures are performed at an affiliated Medicare-certified ambulatory center adjacent to our North Scottsdale office.
Each fellow always works under the direct one-to-one supervision of a faculty physician. A typical week consists of 3 days in outpatient clinics and 2 days in procedure centers. Our case mix is generally 70% spine, 30% general musculoskeletal.
In addition to spine procedures, there is a significant volume of EMG’s, diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasounds, and ultrasound-guided joint and soft tissue injections (including platelet-rich plasma therapies [PRP]).
Two fellows will be selected each year. The fellowship is 12-month long. One fellow starts in mid-July, and another starts in mid-August. There is some flexibility to the start date with the approval of the Fellowship Director.
The fellow evaluates and manages a wide range of physical medicine cases including spine disorders and pain, joint and soft tissue injuries and pain, central pain (eg, complex regional pain syndrome), and neuropathies. There will be significant exposure to occupational and sports medicine.
A fellow’s training typically involves 1400 to 1800 fluoroscopy-guided interventional cases over the course of the year. Fellows perform these cases under close guidance of faculty physicians.
Upon completion, fellows are expected to be highly competent performing the following:
- Lumbosacral epidural (transforaminal, interlaminar, caudal with and without Racz catheter)
- Cervical epidural (transforaminal, interlaminar)
- Lumbar facet procedures (medial branch blocks, RFA, intra-articular)
- Cervical facet procedures (medial branch blocks, RFA)
- Selective nerve root blocks (lumbar, cervical)
- Sacroiliac joint injections
- Hip intra-articular injections
- Disc procedures: provocation discography, intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty (IDEA), nucleoplasty
- Thoracic procedures (epidural, SNRB, medial branch block, RFA, intercostal nerve block)
- Spinal cord stimulator trials
- EMG – Fellows will maintain and enhance electrodiagnostic skills throughout this fellowship. Fellows typically perform 2-5 EMG cases per week.
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound – Ultrasound is used extensively for needle guidance in peripheral injections and for diagnostic purposes.
- Joint / bursa / trigger point injections
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
Research and education
- Journal clubs are held every week to review the relevant literatures. Fellows take active part in journal clubs and must present every month.
- Fellows are expected to be involved in at least one research project during the fellowship, to be completed and submitted for presentation and/or publication.
- Fellows take part in teaching medical students (we have rotation agreement with Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine) and visiting PM&R residents.
- The program encourages and supports fellows to participate in academy meetings, procedural workshops and other educational meetings throughout the year.
- Fellows rotate with a neuroradiologist reviewing cases during dedicated time blocks.
In addition, opportunities exist to cover local high school teams and athletic events for those interested.
“The fellowship at SWSS offers prospective residents an opportunity to hone their skills in a breadth of areas. During my fellowship training I had the opportunity to gain great experience in a multitude of both fluoroscopic and ultrasound guided injections. I was also educated on how to perform an efficient, high-quality exam, how to read neuroimaging, and had an opportunity to polish my skills in NCS/EMG. All training takes place in a private-practice setting which helps facilitate learning some of the business aspects of medicine. I would recommend the fellowship to anyone wanting to build a solid foundation in Interventional Spine and Musculoskeletal care!”
Jeffrey Zeckser, M.D., Past Fellow 2014-2015
Living in Phoenix / Scottsdale Area:
Scottsdale is well-known for sunny climate, natural beauty and world-class resorts. The area boasts first-rate shopping and restaurants of all varieties. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate all that the area has to offer, including hiking, golf, tennis, Diamondbacks baseball, Cardinals football and Suns basketball. There are numerous resort-style residential communities in North Scottsdale.
Potential fellows will need to have completed an ACGME-accredited residency program in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and be ABPMR board certified or eligible. Applicants currently in residency must be in good standing at their respective programs and must have successfully completed USMLE Step 3 (or the COMLEX equivalent), in order to be considered.
We start accepting applications in April for the following year’s positions. To apply, please submit CV, brief personal statement, and three (3) letters of recommendation to the following address:
Southwest Spine & Sports
9913 N 95th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Attn: Fellowship Coordinator
Applicants may also email their CV and personal statement to Fellowship Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected candidates will be invited to interview with us. An interview visit typically spans two days, which allows ample time for the candidate to interact with faculty physicians and current fellows, and to observe our clinic and procedures.
In addition, we welcome PM&R residents to rotate with us on an externship rotation. If interested, please contact Fellowship Coordinator at: email@example.com