The Department of Orthopaedics at The Ohio State University has designed a teaching program that includes comprehensive didactics, in which all areas of Surgery of the Spine are represented. The curriculum allows the fellow to be involved with all spine surgery faculty. The variety of styles in the management of spinal problems, surgical indication, patient/physician relationships, charting/documentation and billing methods that exist in this broad spectrum of practices offers an experience that is truly comprehensive.

The fellow will be exposed to the full spectrum of spinal disorders, both operative and non-operative. During the program, the fellow have access to a high volume of spine surgical procedures by rotating with the three orthopaedic spine surgeons on staff and will be exposed to cervical, thoracic and lumbar pathology, including degenerative diseases, trauma, deformity, infections and tumors. Anterior, posterior and direct lateral exposures will be taught as well as minimally invasive and open techniques for spinal fusion and decompression. The fellow will be involved in all phases of care for the patient, including pre-op, surgical care, post-op follow-up and long-term surveillance care. The fellow will also participate in an on-call schedule, where they will see and evaluate patients with residents in the emergency department. He or she will see patients in the clinic and will direct appropriate diagnostic studies as needed and participate in the surgical and postoperative care of patients and also supervise outpatient therapy until the patient is recovered.

Research is also an important component of the Spine Surgery Fellowship program. The fellow will be responsible for at least one research project during his or her training. This will include study design, IRB application, statistical analysis and writing. Resources are available in all of these areas within our division and department. Research projects are presented at the research day. Ample time is provided to the fellow throughout the program to complete their project.

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Program Aims

  1. Train graduates to understand the process of quality research and to critically evaluate literature
  2. Graduate surgeons who are capable of practicing competently and independently
  3. Train graduates to master all aspects of adult spinal surgery, including degenerative spinal conditions, revision spinal surgery, deformity, infection and spinal fractures
  4. Graduate surgeons who are competitive applicants for positions in either private practice or academic practice settings
  5. Graduate surgeons who perform well in subspecialty practice
  6. Recruit superior fellowship candidates
  7. Encourage and prepare fellows for roles in leadership organizations, such as health policy, advocacy, education, medical education accreditation and research; at regional, national and international levels
Application Process

Application Process

The fellowship program participates in the San Francisco Match. One fellowship position is offered through the Match each year. Applications are reviewed by the selection committee and are selected on the basis of their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills and personal qualities. All applications are reviewed by the Fellowship Selection Committee, which is comprised of faculty members of the spine division. Fellowship positions are offered by the program director based on the outcome of the Match. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply to the fellowship program and are given equal consideration.

Application deadline: October 16, 2023

Surgery of the Spine Fellowship Faculty


Elizabeth Yu, MD

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedics
    Division of Spine Fellowship Director, Orthopaedic Spine
    Vice-Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Safdar N. Khan, MD

  • The Benjamin R. and Helen Slack Wiltberger Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Spine Surgery
    Associate Professor of Orthopaedics
    Director, Division of Spine

Varun Singh, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedics, Division of Spine
Venkat Kavuri, MD

Venkat Kavuri, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedics, Division of Spine