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Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Fellowship

The Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Fellowship at Children's National is an ACGME and POSNA-accredited program committed to the training of surgeons in the care of musculoskeletal conditions in newborns, children and teens. Combining in-depth education, research and inpatient and outpatient training, fellows benefit from an enriching clinical experience.

During the one-year program, fellows gain expertise in all areas of pediatric orthopedics, including spine, hip, sports, foot, upper extremity, limb deformity, trauma, skeletal dysplasias, neuromuscular and congenital deformities/malformations. Fellows rotate through four separate services for the first half of the year, guaranteeing exposure to all disciplines of pediatric orthopaedic surgery. (Hand and Tumor exposure is optional). During the second half of the year, fellows may customize their schedule to individualize his/her training to best meet future needs. 
The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine is one of the most experienced pediatric orthopaedic practices in the country, and a leader in the mid-Atlantic region.

Working closely with a multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic leaders in a wide range of subspecialties, from spinal deformities to bone health, fellows actively participate in procedures that include:

  • Musculoskeletal trauma admitted through a busy level 1 trauma center
  • Scoliosis and kyphosis and chest wall deformities of all etiologies, including non-operative, growth-sparing and definitive surgical treatment
  • Clubfoot, congenial vertical talus, hip dislocation and other orthopaedic congenital defects
  • Advanced limb deformity reconstruction with circular external fixators and intramedullary lengthening implants
  • Acute and chronic musculoskeletal infections
  • Musculoskeletal oncology including limb-sparing reconstruction
  • Sports-related injuries in children and adolescents
  • Children and teens with the entire spectrum of neuromuscular disorders, cared for in a team approach with other medical specialists
  • Children with skeletal dysplasias and metabolic disorders of bone
  • Congenital deformities of the hand, arm and shoulder
  • Brachial plexus injuries

Outside of the operating room, fellows participate in dynamic research opportunities, round-table discussions and weekly educational conferences. Our graduates provide the highest quality surgical care and have successful careers in both academic and private practice.  

Fellowship candidates must have successfully completed an ACGME-approved residency or equivalent in orthopedic surgery by commencement. 





    Fellows have the rare opportunity to translate innovative research concepts into surgical clinical practice at Children’s National.

    The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine offers a wide range of clinical research activities, with projects investigating pediatric trauma, spinal deformity, early onset scoliosis, neuromuscular conditions and bone health. Fellows are expected to participate in at least one research project under the direction of a dedicated staff member and our department research coordinator.
    Among other benefits, the presence of a research coordinator allows for fellows to start their research project(s) prior to starting their fellowship year, allowing for ample time to complete a project.

    In addition to exposure and assistance in clinical research projects, fellows have the opportunity to participate in other research collaborations through the division. Those include work with advanced imaging modalities with the Division of Radiology, and surgical robotics and navigation with the Bioengineering Initiative in the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation; and in some instances, participate in basic science research in collaboration with the Children’s National Research Institute.

    The program also provides support to prepare fellows for research presentations at national meetings. This includes access to MEDLINE searches and full-text articles on OVID and MD Consult databases. Additional resources are available through the Children’s National and George Washington University School of Medicine medical libraries, including assistance with literature searches, retrieval of articles and use of interlibrary loans.  



    Our aim is to maximize the fellowship educational experience and it is our opinion that dedicated time for research and critical thinking is necessary. To that end, at least one half day per week of the fellow’s time will be set aside to pursue research efforts. He or she will be expected to produce at least one manuscript of publishable quality during the fellowship year.

    The fellowship will fully fund attendance at the POSNA annual meeting and will subsidize any meeting during one’s fellowship year at which the fellow is presenting research generated at Children's National. Also in keeping with our philosophy of maximizing educational opportunities, the fellowship will fully fund attendance at IPOS the year prior to the fellowship if this time is allowed by the incoming fellow’s residency program.

    The fellowship training program takes pride in its robust schedule that encompasses participation at monthly conferences in spine and orthopedic research and hospital-wide lectures. Fellows join faculty in giving some of the morning conference lectures to the residents and presenting cases at weekly teaching conferences. Teaching conferences are held throughout the week and the indications conference is held weekly each Thursday morning. 

    The fellow is also invited to attend an educational dinner with one or more faculty members every other month at which time a key topic including current literature will be discussed. The fellow’s progress in the program and his/her future employment search is also discussed.

    Past fellows have also availed themselves of opportunities in cadaver labs. Teaming up with industry sponsors, faculty members work with fellows and interested residents on cadavers, practicing difficult exposures and techniques.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply

    The Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Fellowship participates in the SF Match and accepts one fellow to begin in August of each academic year. Applicants for international observerships are also considered. Deadline for application through the SF Match is December 1.

    Interviews are conducted between December and February. There are also opportunities to meet with Children's National faculty at IPOS and the AAOS meetings.

    The following required documents should be submitted to fellowship coordinator Lamisha Smith: 

    • Curriculum vitae (CV)
    • Three (3) letters of reference
    • Personal statement
    • A recent photo of the applicant


    For questions, please contact:


    Matthew Oetgen, M.D.
    Chief, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

    McClure S

    Shannon Kelly, M.D.
    Associate Chief for Education and Fellowship Director, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

    Lamisha Smith
    Fellowship Coordinator
    Faculty and Staff

    Faculty and Staff

    Matthew Oetgen, M.D.
    Chief, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

    Shannon Kelly, M.D.
    Associate Chief for Education and Fellowship Director, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

    Lamisha Smith
    Fellowship Coordinator

    Visit the Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine faculty page to meet the rest of the faculty and team, and to learn more about the department.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What are the benefits?

    • Health, Dental, Vision
    • Flexible Spending Accounts
    • Life Insurance
    • Annual & Sick Leave
    • Disability Insurance
    • Employee Assistance Program
    • Backup Child and Elder Care

    A: A detailed summary of all benefits can be found in our Benefits Guide.

    Q: What is the call responsibility?

    A: The fellow is not required to take call except the night prior to the OITE exam. The fellow may elect to take back-up call to augment his/her educational experience.

    Q: What type of ancillary support do you have to facilitate patient care and research?

    A: Our department has two inpatient nurse practitioners who provide continuity of care for our inpatients and streamline inpatient care. We have three outpatient nurse practitioners, five physician assistants and one athletic trainer who help with outpatient care, thus minimizing the administrative duties of the fellow and allowing for greater time for the faculty to educate in clinic. We also have a research coordinator to help with IRBs, research organization and submissions.

    Maddox's Story

    Maddox's family

    Zhen Chao, now called Maddox, was born in China with a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) that can cause painful or disfiguring tumors called plexiform neurofibromas. Read about Maddox.

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