Orthopaedic surgeons go through a great deal of training and pursue an extensive education. After four years of undergraduate college, they attend four years of medical school and then must complete a five-year residency program before practicing independently.
However, since the specialty of orthopaedics is complicated and requires the development of a unique skill set, some physicians choose to take their training a step further by completing a fellowship program. This extra training allows them to focus on a specific area of expertise, for example, the spine, the hands and feet, or sports medicine.
An accredited fellowship training program lasts 12 months. Physicians who choose to pursue fellowship training use the opportunity to hone their interest in a “subspecialty.” Subspecialty training is a benefit to the physician, who has taken the steps to learn more about his or her area of interest. It benefits the practice, where physicians are able to pool their knowledge and resources in order to provide exemplary patient care.
The fellowship application process is both rigorous and time consuming. Choosing the right program and completing the application process takes a lot of energy, passion, and attention to detail. If accepted, a surgeon goes through another year of specialized training and academic requirements. The fellowship training experience is, by design, a way for a physician to specialize in one particular area of interest. After completing a residency program, a physician is allowed to practice in the general field he or she has pursued but may want specialize even more in an area that inspires him or her. For example, a doctor who completes training as a general orthopaedic surgeon may choose to pursue a fellowship opportunity in the specialty of Adult Reconstructive Surgery. That surgeon has chosen to focus on total hip and knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and revision surgery, which brings added expertise to the practice of which he is a member.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that a fellowship is not for everyone. The surgeons who choose to do it (and who are accepted into the selective programs) are in for an intense year of training, but when they’re done they have specialized skills that go beyond the general surgical training obtained through residency.
Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has 4 fellowship trained physicians as members of our team. Dr. Fithian is an orthopaedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in shoulder surgery. Dr. Baddar is also an orthopaedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in Adult Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Sohagia is a sports medicine provider with a fellowship in Interventional Pain Management. Dr. Bradley’s fellowship training encompassed Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine.
If you have any questions about our surgeons and their training, please contact Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine at 757-873-1554. At HROSM, we are committed to providing a caring, personalized experience for every patient. We look forward to hearing from you!