One Month Spine Fellowships for Individuals

Now accepting applications for Fall 2019. Please see changes to the application process below



Fellows will be mentored by select spine surgeons at accredited, academic institutions, in the US and Europe. Each institution will bring unique aspects to the fellowship experience depending upon the clinical focus and the expertise of the hosting surgeon. Special interests of the fellows will be taken into consideration by the host institution as well, resulting in a complete and well balanced spinal experience. To that end, IASA will strive to ensure that each incoming fellow has a consistent experience. Therefore, we have required adherence to a basic curriculum from all available institutions consisting of the following:

  • – Attend weekly departmental conferences (grand rounds, research, morbidity and mortality, education, etc.) at hosting institution
  • – Observe and participate in clinical patient evaluation
  • – Observe various spine surgeries as scheduled at least 2 days per week
  • – Participate in rounds and post surgery follow-up
  • – Exposure to multiple senior surgeons in the hosting institution



IASA will cover the following expenses:

  • – Roundtrip airfare
  • – Lodging
  • – Stipend for meals and local transportation
  • – Temporary health care coverage


Application procedure

  • • Applicant must be a member of IASA – There are no fees for membership and one can join online through the ‘Join us’ tab.
  • • Fellowships must be taken in the period they are offered


The year has been divided into four cycles. Applications received during each cycle are designated for a specific time period. Timetable:

  • • Winter Fellowship (January, February, March) – application deadline of July 15
  • • Spring Fellowship (April, May, June) – application deadline of October 15
  • • Summer Fellowship (July, August, September) – application deadline of January 15
  • • Fall Fellowship (October, November, December) – application deadline of April 15


For example: If you apply between July 16 and October 15, the application is for the following April, May, or June. You cannot defer your Fellowship to any other months. Interested surgeons should apply for the time period they are able to leave, should they be selected.

  • • Resubmissions are at the discretion of IASA


Starting in 2019, only those applications that miss selection by 5 points or less can be submitted again. Resubmission is discussed with the applicant to make sure of their availability.

Application does not guarantee placement. All applications will be reviewed and voted by IASA Fellowship Committee, and results will be communicated 6-8 weeks following the end of each cycle. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please follow the rules carefully.
Each document should be scanned (not photographed) and saved as one pdf, for a total of six documents:

  1. Signed Letter of Intent – one pdf. Please name LOI
  2. Complete application. Make sure it is legible – one pdf. Please name APP
  3. Most recent CV – one pdf. Please name CV
  4. Log book (see #2, Qualifications) – one pdf. Please name LOG
  5. Certificates (see #3, Qualifications) – one pdf. Please name CERT
  6. Two Letters of Recommendation, printed on letterhead, dated, signed, and stamped by the author. The recommendations should be from surgeons who mentored you during your Ortho or Neuro residency or Spine fellowship – one pdf. Please name LOR


The above scanned pdfs should be submitted to Nazie Dana, IASA Managing Director at

Questions? Feel free to contact me at the above email address.

Download Application


A Fellowship at University of California – San Francisco (UCSF)

First, I would like to thank IASA for the unique opportunity provided to me, and Nazie Dana for her excellent coordination throughout the entire fellowship.

My interest was in craniocervical junction and sub-axial cervical spine work and I realised I was in the right place when I was placed at UCSF under Dr. Praveen Mummaneni, where he is the director of MIS and Cervical Spine Surgery.

I reached San Francisco with enough time to get oriented to the new place and and relax after a long travel. Before I left India Nazie mailed me in detail the entire process from the immigration procedure to accommodation particulars which made my travel smooth and comfortable. The apartment provided to me was a neat, clean and a well maintained place with all basic necessities. It was situated close to local bus stop and metro that provided me easy access not only to the hospital but also to all restaurants, stores, and supermarket.

My fellowship commenced on 16th April when I met Dr. Mummaneni in OR. He gave me a very warm welcome, introduced himself and discussed with me about my interests and expectations on the very first day. There were two surgeries of degenerative cervical spine posted on that day. Dr. Mummaneni explained how he had made the preoperative planning for both patients, and demonstrated his instrumentation techniques while operating. I saw the usage of O arm in cervical spine instrumentation which made it precise and easy. After the surgery he patiently cleared all my doubts pertaining to those surgeries. He also discussed the surgical principles he generally follows for degenerative cervical spine. I interacted with him on some of the controversial topics on cervical spine like his preference of surgical approach on Multilevel OPLL, timing of surgery on mild cervical myelopathy, etc. His clear concepts on these grey areas based on his experience helped me out in understanding these pathologies more clearly and hope it will help me out in my practice.

The next morning I joined him in his ward rounds. He described his postoperative protocol for different spine surgeries and oriented me to the hospital work flow. I was impressed by the doctor patient relationship he maintains and understood the importance of post operative management in these complex spine pathologies.

Following rounds we went to his busy outpatient clinic which was lined up with some first time visitors as well as follow up patients. I joined his young and enthusiastic team of spine fellows who initially spoke with the patients. I saw a wide spectrum of spine pathologies from degenerative to spinal deformities and tumours in his clinic. He showed me radiological images of some of his long term follow up patients. That day we had discussion on spinal tumours. Dr. Mummaneni, being a member Spine Oncology Study Group, explained about his approach toward spinal tumours and the importance of multidisciplinary approach in their management.

The third day started with spine radio conference where spine and radiology department assemble together to discuss some complex spine images. It was a wonderful learning experience and I understood how radiologist’s input helps in preoperative planning. Then we moved to OR where we had two patients, a case of C1-C2 instability and an extradural tumour in C1-C2 region. Dr. Mummaneni explained his surgical plan and demonstrated his technique of C2 pedicle screw insertion. He even showed some of his operative videos for better understanding of the procedure.

The next two days of the week was also in OR. I saw an anterior lumbar fusion procedure and few minimally invasive posterior lumbar fusion techniques. During those days I had a chance to interact with the vascular surgeon of Dr. Mummaneni’s team who taught me techniques of anterior approach to lumbar spine.

On the weekends I went around San Francisco to visit some of the popular tourist places. I enjoyed the pleasant weather and lovely sightseeing.

This visit also helped me to get exposed to some new surgical procedures like minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy, posterior cervical facet distraction, transoral odontoidectomy, etc.
Overall it was an academically enriched programme with four OR days per week with varied spine surgeries, and once a week spine clinic and radioconference on Wednesdays. Dr. Mummaneni never hesitated to explain and clearly answer my queries whenever I approached him.

My four weeks stay in San Francisco was extremely satisfying. I would like to thank Dr. Praveen Mummaneni for taking extra efforts to teach me and share his skills and experience. I would also like to thank his team of nurses and OR technicians who gave me a comfortable atmosphere in the hospital.
I once again would like to thank the Board members of Indo-American Spine Alliance (IASA) for this golden opportunity and a special appreciation for Nazie Dana for well co-ordinating the fellowship programme.

Dr. G. Vijayaraghavan
Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon
Fortis Malar Hospital