AOSpine Clinical Fellowship Experience

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.24.07 PMAOSpine clinical fellowship programs actually provide great opportunities for budding spine surgeons to work in one of the world’s top spine centers and learn from the best surgeons in spine field. In 2011, it was my great honor to receive this opportunity in an extraordinary and unique training spine center “Center for Spine Disorders, Denver, CO” under the supervision of a great expert and worldwide spine surgeon Dr. Michael Janssen.

AOSpine clinical fellowship programs actually provide great opportunities for budding spine surgeons to work in one of the world’s top spine centers and learn from the best surgeons in spine field. In 2011, it was my great honor to receive this opportunity in an extraordinary and unique training spine center “Center for Spine Disorders, Denver, CO” under the supervision of a great expert and worldwide spine surgeon Dr. Michael Janssen.

Dr. Janssen has an extensive spinal surgery practice.  He has a particular interest in total disc replacements, minimally invasive decompressions, complex degenerative and deformity spine surgeries. During my fellowship, I actively participated in his outpatient’s clinic evaluation, pre-operative decision-making as well as the surgical procedures.  In fact, it was an unbelievable experience to scrub and assist him in different complex spine surgeries. It also provided me with an enormous exposure to different new surgical techniques, tricks and pitfalls in spine surgery.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.24.29 PMThe scientific education and research institute is an educational facility located in the same building that held a variety of spinal training and cadaver courses on a frequently basis. Without a doubt, this place was a cornerstone during my stay especially the well equipped bio-skills cadaver lab where I was trained on and certified for cervical and lumbar total disc replacement surgeries.  Additionally, I was encouraged and guided by the faculty to present in their annual spring spine symposium and contribute in their ongoing clinical trials and research.   

Of all the great things, Denver absolutely has a unique attractions; Rocky Mountains, parks, forests and a lot of scenic areas. Also, it is considered as one of the best skiing areas in the world. Dr. Janssen with his friendly team invited me to many great and exciting adventures during the weekends; unique snowmobiling on the pretty snowy mountains, golfing, American football game, hockey game and finally the exploring trip to Estes Park where I saw the amazing beauty of nature and mountains. Really, I spent great times with lots of unforgettable memories.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.24.43 PMOverall, it was an immense experience, fun and training on the most updated and advanced spine surgical techniques in the world. Dr. Janssen and his team Dr. Levine and Dr. Morreale were very friendly, supportive and taught me a lot in a very short period of time. Really, I’m speechless and thankful for their effort and time spent in teaching me. Lastly, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the AOSpine Middle East Board and Mary Anne Smith for their endless effort and support to the young AOSpine members aiming to improve the patients’ lives worldwide.

Basem I. Awad, MD
Neurological Surgery Department
Mansoura University Hospital, Egypt

Source: AOSpine.com; April 24, 2012

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