Sports Medicine Fellowship Curriculum

During the program, fellows will be exposed to the following training:

  • Orthopaedic sports medicine – upper extremity
  • Orthopaedic sports medicine – lower extremity
  • Primary care
  • Team coverage
  • Event coverage

The basis for a fellow's training and education will be through clinical training, research opportunities, and conferences and didactics.

Clinical Rotations and Educational Programs

Patient care is an important part of your responsibilities as a fellow. You’ll perform consultations, participate in team physician coverage and gain extensive experience through operating room, inpatient and outpatient duties. Our rotations and education programs form the basis of the clinical and educational components of our fellowship.

Research Opportunities

As a sports medicine fellow, you’ll actively participate in highly productive research programs with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Fellows are allotted one half-day per week in protected research time and attend a monthly research meeting with faculty and research coordinators. The research day will vary depending on clinical service assignments, research program opportunities and effective time utilization.   Fellows are required to produce at least two publishable manuscripts and will have access to numerous additional opportunities and resources to support further interdisciplinary collaboration and research. Research focuses include:

  • Clinical outcomes
  • Athletic performance
  • Basic science
  • Translational medicine
  • Biologics

A prospective study on running injuries have been submitted for funding and will be a major undertaking for the for the program and department.  There are both clinical and basic research opportunities and our department has excellent collaboration with the Division of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest School of Medicine and with the Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

The research portion of the fellowship is administered by Cristin Ferguson, MD and Beth Smith, PhD.

Research Access

Fellows have full access to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery’s Research Laboratory, which has over 1,500 square feet of dedicated space. The lab includes:

  • A small animal surgical facility

  • An extremity laboratory

  • Access to animal housing facilities

  • Significant computer support and orthopaedic operating room equipment (including an arthroscopy setup)

  • Staff including two full-time PhD supervisors, two full-time laboratory technicians, a research secretary, a research center administrator, a research intern and two clinical research data coordinators

Fellows also have access to a new state-of-the-art motion monitor and computer analysis system at Medical Plaza - Miller (formerly CompRehab Plaza), which is currently being used to monitor golf-swing and throwing motions. Fellows also have access to the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the Wake Forest University undergraduate campus, which houses a full gait laboratory with high-speed cameras and force plate capabilities. 

Conferences and Didactics

Didactic teaching occurs in a weekly dedicated Sports Medicine conference, which takes place in the state of the art orthopaedic conference room. This consists of presentations from sports medicine faculty, basic science faculty, residents, and fellows. The fellows have access to the full complement of orthopaedic conferences and are expected to participate in resident education, both formally and informally.

Sports Medicine Conferences

The format of the weekly sports medicine conference will consist of a 30 minute presentation followed by a discussion/question and answer session. This will be supplemented by questions drawn from OITE/OSAE sources. In addition, each conference will be supplemented by journal articles, including classical articles, current articles, technique articles, and basic articles.

There is a monthly sports medicine journal club featuring recent articles on a focused sports medicine topic. The fellows will be responsible for the organization of this conference.

Anatomy Sessions

Didactic anatomy sessions will be held in Wake Forest School of Medicine’s state of the art anatomy laboratory, with both embalmed and fresh-frozen specimens. Upper and lower extremity areas will be covered in conjunction with the didactic teaching program. Fellows and residents will perform the initial dissection and then present the prosections to the Sports Medicine team.

Sports Medicine Journal Club

Fellows are responsible for organizing a monthly sports medicine journal club, featuring recent articles on a focused sports medicine topic.

Formal Pre-Operative Conferences

Held once per week. Cases for the week are reviewed. The fellow and resident attending each present one or two cases that have been posted for at least one week and describe the clinical history, physical exam, and radiographic findings, the differential diagnosis, and alternative management options, indications for surgery, surgical options, post-operative care, and expected outcome. The remainder of the cases will be presented by the attending or staff and follow similar guidelines.

Additional Conferences and Opportunities Include:

The majority of the didactic teaching takes place in the weekly one hour conference, which covers sports medicine and emphasizes the development of a lifetime of scholarly activities and learning. Our goal is to provide a framework onto which that learning can be added and applied appropriately. In addition to this weekly conference, bimonthly conferences in the following areas supplement this didactic teaching:

  • Conjoint radiology conference (Bi-monthly)
  • Conjoint family medicine conference (Bi-monthly)
  • Sports Medicine Journal Club (Bi-monthly)
  • Yearly Wake Forest Sports Medicine Symposium
  • Yearly ACC Sports Medicine Conference
  • Appropriate conferences from the orthopaedic surgery residency program
Appropriate conferences from the orthopaedic surgery residency program are chosen on an annual basis and fellow attendance at those conferences is expected as well. Fellow attendance at these conferences is required. The teaching staff also attends all conferences and conference teaching is provided at the appropriate level (faculty, fellow, resident, ancillary staff).