This journey has been wonderfully long, so wonderful we have decided to tack on an additional year of training :) For those not in the medical world, when we are done with this period of preparation we will have invested a full decade of our lives into its pursuit not including undergraduate or graduate school training! In other words, we have given up our 20's and half of our 30's to reach the point where we can go get a job! I am certain that my parents are exceptionally proud that their oldest son will have his first job by the time he is 35!
Medical school is four years. Residency for orthopedic surgery is five additional years. I have one year of residency remaining and will graduate from residency on June 30, 2014. But that isn't enough. I have decided to pursue additional training in the form of a one year fellowship. A fellowship is an optional year of training for those interested in specializing in a certain area of orthopedics (i.e. Sports medicine, Hip & Knee Replacement, Spine, Hand, Oncology, Trauma, etc). It allows for focused training in a given area in order to further prepare the surgeon to better take care of patients with those issues.
I am headed to do a fellowship in Spine Surgery. Yesterday (Apr 9), I found out where - Regions Hospital in St Paul, MN. We are both really excited about the opportunity to work with wonderful surgeons and wonderful people with similar ideals and dreams for the future. Regions Hospital is a very busy Level 1 trauma center in downtown St Paul, MN down the street from the state capitol building. I will get to work with both orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons. We are not particularly looking forward to the cold weather and large volumes of snow but as we've been told: "its only a year and you can do anything for a year." We'll find out! :)