Spine Fellowship

Spine Fellowship overview

Dr. Clifford Lin
Dr. Clifford Lin

We aim to provide our fellows with the clinical and surgical skills to manage all aspects of a modern surgical spine practice. We strongly emphasize decision-making based on the principles of evidence-based medicine. Our fellows gain in-depth knowledge of primary and revision degenerative problems of the cervical and lumbar spine, adult spinal deformities and spinal trauma, including spinal cord injuries. Exposure to minimally invasive techniques and pediatric deformities is also available.

Protected time for study and research is assured. Fellows are expected to participate in at least one original research project supervised by an attending spine surgeon, and one review article, book chapter or similar. Fellows also participate in weekly educational conferences with the orthopaedics and neurosurgical residents. No general orthopaedic call is required. Fellows can expect to participate in over 300 surgical cases, including many complex revision procedures. Surgical involvement will increase as the fellow gains maturity, with the goal of operating independently and managing a complex surgical spine caseload by the end of the fellowship.

~ Dr. Clifford Lin, Spine Fellowship Director

Experience OHSU Graduate Medical Education, the wonders of Oregon, and something bigger.

Spine Fellowship program details

The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Oregon Health & Science University seeks applicants for 12-month clinical fellowships. This program will only review applications from graduates of US and Canadian residency programs. To qualify, candidates must be eligible for employment in the United States and must have a US Social Security Number. The candidate must also have passed all 3 steps of the USMLE exams and be board-eligible.

Interview dates for the 2024-2025 fellowship:

  • Monday, Jan. 9, 2023
  • Monday, Jan. 23, 2023
  • Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

All interviews will be virtual using Webex.

How to apply

Please apply through Spine Fellowship Match.

Dr. Peter Du

Peter Du, M.D.

Peter grew up in San Jose, CA. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles where he majored in Biophysics. He then attended medical school at New York Medical College. Peter completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Peter chose OHSU for its well-rounded curriculum and is excited to be a Spine Fellow at OHSU. In his free time Peter enjoys road and mountain biking and trying to hack his way through golf. 

Dr. Gurmit Singh

Gurmit Singh, M.D.

Dr. Singh was raised in Hayward, CA. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis where he specialized in biological sciences with an emphasis on molecular and cellular biology. Dr. Singh graduated from Rosalind Franklin University - Chicago Medical School with honors and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. After medical school, he completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Minnesota. He became interested in spine surgery as a medical student when he was involved in various spine-focused research projects at Northwestern University, Chicago. His interest in spine surgery continued to strengthen during his residency with clinical experiences at the University of Minnesota. Gurmit is delighted to be completing his Spine Fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University where he hopes to further expand his knowledge and skill set in spine surgery. During his free time, he enjoys cooking, traveling and being  with his family.

Previous fellows

2022-2023     Michael Moore, M.D.  

2020-2021     Michael Wheeler, M.D. and Stephen Hoge, M.D.

2019-2020     Vikram Sampath, M.D.

2018-2019     Vivek Natarajan, M.D. and Thuy M. Nguyen, D.O.

2017-2018     Aaron Kunkle, DO

2017-2018     Chandrakanth Boddu, MD

2016-2017     Wesam Nasrallah, MD

2015-2016     Christopher Kong, MD

2015-2016     Ngoc-Lam Nguyen, MD

2014-2015     Renuka Kuruvalli, MD

2014-2015     Sourabh Mukherjee, MD

2013-2014     Satoshi Kawaguchi, MD

2012-2013     Max Berdichevsky, MD

2012-2013     Marc El Najjar, MD

2011-2012     Ahmed Mohamed, MD

2011-2012     Paolo Punsalan, MD

2010-2011     David Ferachi, MD

2010-2011     Brian Jones, DO

2009-2010     Kurtus Dafford, MD

2008-2009     Geoffrey Kaung, MD

2005-2006     Alex Ching, MD

As an extension of the faculty, fellows are responsible for participating in patient care, including operative care, inpatient care, call and clinics. Fellows are also responsible for resident education, and are required to participate in weekly basic scientific and clinical conferences, as well as clinical or basic research. The goal of the fellowship is to produce a well-rounded spine surgeon who can provide a valuable contribution to the medical community. The main priorities are: 1) surgery and patient care; 2) research and education.

Operative care

During the clinical year the fellows are the primary assistants to the attending physician during surgery. The fellows do not operate independently except as directed to do so by the attending physician. Cases include primary and revision degenerative problems of the cervical and lumbar spine, adult spinal deformity, spinal trauma including spinal cord injury patients, and fracture and tumor patients.

Inpatient care

The spine service is run by three full-time attending orthopaedic spine surgeons, with fellows functioning as junior consultants. Fellows are responsible for supervision of two orthopaedic residents assigned to the spine service (PGY-1 and PGY-4).  Fellows and residents are responsible for ensuring adequate communication with the attending physician(s). While the primary responsibility for inpatient work rounds is carried by the residents, fellows are responsible for knowledge of and involvement with patient care on an ongoing basis.


Spine call is divided equally between the orthopaedic and neurosurgical services. Call is taken in one-week blocks that begin on Mondays at 6 a.m. Fellows are responsible for devising a call schedule that ensures that there is a fellow covering each on-call block. The spine team PGY-4 also participates in the spine call schedule, taking up to two days of call in any week.


Fellows are expected to be at all clinic sessions with the attending physician(s) as dictated by the trainee schedule. Fellows will become proficient in the diagnosis of clinical disorders of the spine, the pathogenesis of these disorders, the operative and nonoperative treatment modalities available for managing these disorders, and the results and complications of such treatment. This learning environment provides a unique opportunity to develop clinical judgment that will ultimately lead to the ability to function independently as the primary surgeon.


Fellows are expected to attend and participate in the following weekly scheduled conferences at OHSU:

  • Grand Rounds/M&M -- Presentation of service M&M summary will be done by the PGY-1 or PGY-4. Presentation of individual cases will either be by the senior resident or the fellows, depending on faculty assignment.
  • Spine lecture series -- Fellows will alternate presenting 30-minute didactic lectures with the neurosurgery residents. Each fellow thus presents approximately one didactic lecture every other month. The PGY-4 on service will also present once during their rotation.
  • Spine indications conference -- Fellows and residents will present operative elective cases for the upcoming week. Fellows are responsible for presenting or guiding the residents in presenting concise patient histories, including relevant radiographs.

Fellows are permitted to attend one approved course or national meeting during the fellowship year, with a $1500 travel stipend provided by the department. To ensure adequate coverage of the service, fellows to should plan to attend different meetings. Additional meetings may be approved on a case-by-case basis if the fellow has original research to present.

All fellows are expected to participate in at least one original research project, supervised by an attending spine surgeon, and one review article, book chapter or similar. Opportunities for both in-house and external grant funding exist for collaboration in valid clinical or basic science research projects. An epidemiologist and outside statistical consultant are available for research project design and analysis. In addition, two full-time research assistants support the spine service. Fellows are encouraged to begin their research project early, in order to prepare abstracts for submission by March or early April. The goal is to have a peer-review publication submitted by the end of the fellowship year.

Timeline for milestones is as follows:

  • Review of research opportunities complete by Sept. 1
  • Presentation of written research proposal with critique by faculty by Dec. 1
  • Submission of first draft of the paper to faculty advisor(s) by March 1

Authorship: Fellows will be given first authorship on papers if they complete a nearly final draft prior to the conclusion of the fellowship. However, if the attending physician has to substantially complete the paper, or a major rewrite is needed, the fellows will forgo the privilege of first authorship.

Presentation: Costs for travel and registration to any North American meeting at which the fellows are presenting original research will be covered by the spine education fund. Abstract authorship and presentation will be handled as for paper authorship.