The goal of the Spine Fellowship at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is to provide a thoughtful, interactive learning environment in which interested orthopaedic or neurosurgeons can learn the art and science of multi-disciplinary spine care to develop the appropriate foundation for career long learning.

The program is centered on a mentorship/peer-based learning experience with doctors P. Justin Tortolani, M.D., Paul Asdourian, M.D., Mesfin Lemma, M.D. and Zeena Dorai, M.D. There is also significant interaction with orthopaedic surgeons in other subspecialties, non orthopaedic physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, allied health professionals, medical and educational administrators, orthopaedic residents, and medical students.

Learning experiences are focused on direct participation in attending physician’s office practice; a graduated participation in hospital-based operative cases, and an active research didactic program.

Throughout the year there is time scheduled for self-directed learning, research experience, and clinical opportunities of special interest.

 The program incorporates the concept of competency-based education and will utilize the six-core competencies (medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning, evidence-based medicine, accountability and professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills) to guide our educational efforts as well as evaluations of fellows, teaching staff and program performance.

Our program recognizes the fellowship-training year as a time for the assimilation and application of specialized spine knowledge built upon a foundation of previous general orthopaedic or neurosurgical training. Therefore; there is no required emergency call, group coverage, or redundant team requirements.