Derly Cuellar, MDMedical School: University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Residency Training: Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Najib Ussef, MDMedical School: University of California, Geffen School of Medicine
Residency Training: Henry Ford Hospital System, Detroit, MI
“My year in San Diego was a perfect transition from a heavily supervised practice of medicine during residency to the “real world” as an attending physician. The structure of the fellowship is very special, since each fellow takes care of their own patients from the very first time they come to the Orthopedics department, leading them to surgery, and guiding them through the postoperative period. This is incredibly educational and highly rewarding. And, more important, having the support and supervision of friendly, knowledgeable, and skilled staff takes away a significant portion of the stress that we all suffer when we start making our own clinical decisions. This program boosted my skills as a surgeon both in the operating room and in the clinic, and gave me enough confidence to start practicing independently with minimal anxiety. I would highly recommend this fellowship to any orthopedic surgeon that has a special interest in Sports Medicine.”
-Eloy Tabeayo 2019-2020
“I feel very fortunate to have ended up at the Kaiser San Diego program for my sports medicine fellowship. The model of the fellowship is unique in that we function like a junior attending with our own panel of patients. This was an invaluable experience as I was in control of managing both the non-operative and surgical care for my patients. The autonomy, although challenging at first, allowed me to fine-tune my clinic decision making and has resulted in a tremendous sense of confidence as I start my own practice. Perhaps the greatest asset of the fellowship, however, are the amazing staff surgeons whom we train under. They are without a doubt, the most patient and enthusiastic educators that I have worked with. I recommend this fellowship without reservation to all prospective applicants and am certain that you will enjoy the experience while training here.”
-Karun Amar 2019-2020
“I came to this program with about 4 years of prior experience as a staff generalist orthopedic surgeon in the military. I was very impressed by the organization of the program and I found the staff to be collectively focused on the well-being and overall education of the fellows. There is a strong emphasis on cultivating independent clinical and surgical decision making which I feel is the highlight of the program. In light of my unusual background, I found the staff to be especially helpful in allowing me to somewhat tailor my exposure to certain areas with which I had less experience. Overall, the fellowship experience undoubtedly strengthened my skill as a surgeon and broadened my exposure to orthopedic sports medicine.”
-Andrew Hurvitz, MD 2018/2019
“The Kaiser San Diego Sports Medicine Fellowship is likely a much different experience than the majority of other fellowships due to the structure of the fellowship and excellent mentorship. As a fellow, you will quickly start building your own practice with patients that are under your direct care. Of course, the staff surgeons oversee your management and are present during your cases. But, the cases that you book are your cases and you will typically perform the surgery from start to finish.
Early on in the fellowship you also assist the staff surgeon’s cases which helped me get up to speed, but due to excellent instruction and progressively more increasing involvement in cases, midway through the fellowship, I was confident performing the majority of bread and butter sports cases including ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair, rotator cuff repair, labral surgery, and operative treatment for patellar instability. As the year progressed I was increasingly confident in multi-ligament reconstruction, cartilage restoration (I think I had 4 osteochondral allograft cases that were mine), and open shoulder surgery.
When I started as a staff surgeon at a different Kaiser Hospital I felt well prepared and enjoyed a proficient first year in practice both surgically and arguably more importantly, with clinical decision making. Looking back at the time I spent in San Diego, I can’t imagine a better experience due to the excellent surgical mentorship, the quality academic environment, and the relationships built with the folks in the department. “
-Jonathan Kramer, MD 2018/2019
“I want to start by disclosing that I am highly experienced with Sports Medicine fellowships, since I am an international medical graduate and did 3 of them to get my license. And I LOVED the Kaiser fellowship!
The key highlights of the Sports Medicine fellowship at Kaiser are its model and staff. The model is one in which the fellow has their own clinic/patients and the staff are available to see patients and discuss cases as needed. This allows fellows to build confidence in treating all of the common sports injuries on their own, develop their patient-doctor relationship, and learn how to run a clinic, all with a coach to help guide them through. With all of these responsibilities comes a big reward, the fellows are very “HANDS-ON” in the Operating Room!
The reason this model works well is because the staff at Kaiser are awesome!! They have all of the attributes a fellow would need to learn and thrive; they are skilled, experienced, knowledgeable and up to date, patient, and friendly. They have a very complete staff panel that treat all common knee and shoulder pathologies that a fellow would need to gain proficiency (ACL, meniscus surgery, patellofemoral, rotator cuff, and shoulder instability), with good volume. In addition, there are attending’s that focus more on shoulder and elbow (including elbow arthroscopy, nerve transposition, ligamentous reconstruction, and arthroplasties) and some that dedicate a good part of their practice to hip arthroscopy. Another plus: once a week didactics that are very clinically oriented and include musculoskeletal radiologists and living in San Diego. Overall, the fellowship at Kaiser is a top choice for anyone looking for a “hands-on” experience and a high level of ownership of patient care.
I am very happy to have done this fellowship, as did the fellows before myself. So, I have no doubt the next fellows will too. My best wishes to the upcoming class!”
-Betina Hinckel, MD – 2017/2018
“My fellowship experience was excellent. Among many of its strengths, I found the graduated autonomy process built into the fellowship invaluable. It fosters independence in clinical decision-making and surgical skills while consistently having a mentor there to guide you – but only as needed. Complimenting this, being able to work with numerous experienced staff members throughout the year rounds out your skillset. Having been in practice now for 3 years I can appreciate how well the fellowship prepared me, and I highly recommend it.”
-Ron Crater, MD 2016/2017
“I felt completely prepared on day 1 of independent practice after completing the SD Knee & Sports Med Fellowship. You are going to learn how to operate and you will know the literature. But you will also learn seldom-mentioned but vital skills needed to run a successful practice such as how to run a clinic and direct your OR team. And, you become part of the family – the relationships you make with mentors will stay with you well beyond your fellowship year.”
-Anthony Yu, MD 2016/2017
“I am forever indebted to my fellowship experience. It couldn’t have been a more perfect situation. I was treated like a professional colleague as I learned skills and techniques from some of the best. I had the perfect balance of autonomy to feel completely prepared for my first practice but also guidance and instruction to enhance and improve my skillset. I absolutely loved every second of my fellowship. The city of San Diego is not too shabby either!”
-Eric Dockter, MD 2015/2016
Where are our recent graduates now?
Graduated Fellow (PDF)