Sports Medicine Fellowship Curriculum

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

  • Acute and Degenerative Conditions of the Shoulder, including Arthroscopic and open management of Instability, Rotator Cuff Injury, and Fractures
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • Open and arthroscopic management of the athlete’s elbow, including UCL reconstruction/repair, cartilage repair
  • Hip Preservation and Hip Arthroscopy
  • Complex Knee Reconstruction, including, Multiligamentous Knee Surgery, Meniscal Repair and Transplantation, Patellar Stabilization, Osteotomy, Partial Knee Replacement
  • Chondral Restoration (Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation, Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation)
  • Regenerative Medicine (Platelet Rich Plasma, Bone Marrow Aspirate, Adipose-Derived Tissue)
  • Sideline and Training Room Athletic Team Coverage
  • Diagnostic Ultrasound and Radiographic-Guided Injection 

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.

Virtual Tour

Depending on your rotation, you may train at facilities across our system. Explore below a few of the spaces where fellows of this program spend a lot of their time. Navigate the drop-down to switch rooms and use your mouse (or finger for touch screens) to rotate around the room.

Physician RoomSnap Content

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 Brian Waterman, MD, and Kerry Danelson, 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, 16-camera Pitching Biomechanics and Motion Analysis Laboratory at David F. Couch Ballpark, home of Wake Forest University Baseball. Under the direction of Kristen Nicholson, PhD, this facility explores modifiable risk factors to avoid overuse throwing injuries. 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. This consists of presentations from sports medicine faculty, basic science faculty, residents,fellows, and allied health professionals. 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 60-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 landmark publications, current articles, technical notes, and contemporary studies.

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.

Pre-Operative Indications Conferences

Preoperative cases are reviewed weekly, and formal Indications Conference are read by fellows and residents each present unique cases of interest and describe the clinical history, physical exam, radiographic findings, alternative management options, indications for surgery, surgical options, post-operative care, and expected outcome.

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)
  • Annual Wake Forest Sports Medicine Symposium
  • ACC Sports Medicine Conference
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Departmental Grand Rounds (weekly)
Quality Assurance/Morbidity and Mortality Conference (monthly) 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).