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Departments / Neurosurgery / Education / Fellowship Training

University of Cincinnati Neurosurgical Clinical Instructorship in Complex Spinal Surgery

Program Overview

The Spine Instructorship offers advanced training of post-residency neurosurgeons the field of spine, with focus on complex spinal procedures and deeper understanding of the biomechanics and clinical components for an academic practice.  The yearly curriculum offers comprehensive exposure to adult surgical treatments and procedures including complicated deformities and injuries to the spine, degenerative and arthritic conditions, infections, tumors, metabolic diseases, trauma, and fractures.

Program Structure

The Spine Instructors function as attending surgeons as they refine their ability to educate and oversee the residents on the service.  In addition to clinical care and research, we expect the Spine instructors to develop strong teaching and organizational skills necessary to participate in an academic career.  The Instructor will work closely with the residents on the Spine service to coordinate patient care along with instructing the residents and advanced practice providers in patient management and operative techniques.

The Spine Instructor is directly mentored by one of the fellowship trained Spine Faculty, which will differ based on the day of the week. This includes in the OR when one of the Spine Faculty will be their assistant in surgery, or vice versa, along with outpatient clinics where there will be a Spine Faculty holding a concurrent clinic and available to help review and see any patients with complex issues. The Instructor also chooses a research mentor to help guide and foster their academic work. The Director of the Fellowship has an informal monthly breakfast meeting with the Instructors on the Spine service to discuss the state of the Service. In addition, the Director has formal quarterly meetings with the Instructor to ensure that they are meeting their goals, reviewing:

  1. Patient Care/Clinical Activity
  2. Research
  3. Education/Teaching
  4. Publications
  5. Professional Services/Activities in Field.

This formal report includes mid-year reports and end of the year reports submitted to the Chair of Neurosurgery.

MonTues Wed Thurs Fri 
 OR Clinic Clinic OR Research

Call Schedule

The Instructors will be on call whenever Drs. Cheng and Nasser are on call.  They will take primary phone calls from the residents and lead the assessment and development of treatment plans on the patients, in conjunction with Drs. Cheng or Nasser.


The Instructors will coordinate the spine topics for Wednesday morning professor’s hours, grand rounds, and case conference, along with a monthly evening spine journal club, and quarterly combined spine conference for the Back, Neck, and Spine Center.

As an AO Fellowship site, the Instructors are part of the AO and have the opportunity to attend the AO meetings with expected involvement being:

  1. Introductory Fellowship Course: Each fellow from the Institution will be expected to attend an Introductory Fellowship Course to be held in late summer/early fall of the fellowship year. This educational program is designed to provide early interaction between the fellow(s), their peers, and AOSpine members and faculty.
  2. Annual Fellows Forum: Each fellow from the Institution and his/her associated Program Director or faculty sponsor will be expected to attend an annual AOSNA Fellows Forum held in the spring of the fellowship year. The fellow(s) will be asked to report on their research activities and also give a presentation on their research projects.
  3. AOSNA Continuing Medical Education: AOSNA fellows are encouraged to attend one additional AOSNA educational course during his/her fellowship (not including the Introductory Fellowship Course or the Annual Fellows Forum). AOSNA will fund the course tuition, travel, and accommodations for one course of the fellow’s choice during their fellowship period.
  4. AOSpine Membership: Each fellow(s) at the Institution will receive a complimentary two-year membership to AOSpine.

Program Accreditation

The program is an official AO Fellowship and in process of applying for SNS CAST Accreditation in Neurosurgery.

Penny Schwab
Neurosurgery Residency Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-3903
Fax: 513-558-3335
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231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670769
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0515

Mailing Address
University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
Department of Neurosurgery
PO Box 670515
Cincinnati Ohio 45267-0515