Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery Fellowship

Program Overview

Our mission is to train academic sports medicine fellows.  The Vanderbilt Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery Fellowship is designed to develop your clinical, team coverage, and surgical skills, while also teaching your research design, grant writing, leadership and presentation skills. We actively work to place post graduate fellows into academic positions. Our collaborative culture will have you working closely with all operative and nonoperative sports medicine faculty, other fellows, research personnel, residents and athletic trainers throughout the year.

Positions: 2 fellows
Duration: 1 year, August 1st through July 31st
Stipend: PGY6 level
Location: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Clinical and Surgical Program

Fellows will gain experience in the diagnosis and treatment of sports medicine conditions focusing on the hip, knee, shoulder and elbow. By design, our fellowship is flexible in meeting your needs. We encourage fellows to develop an area of interest and have them emphasize this area during their training. Past fellows have focused on:

  • Arthroscopic and open shoulder surgery
  • Complex knee reconstruction
  • Hip arthroscopy
  • Knee fractures

Research Program

As a Vanderbilt sports medicine fellow, you’ll be expected to complete at least one publishable research manuscript. However our goal is to make you a better surgeon-scientist. As such we will offer focused training on research design, statistical interpretation and grant writing. Fellows typically have one research day per week, with opportunities in basic science or clincal research. Fellows will have access to the following tools to conduct research:

Team Physician Experience

As a team physician you will provide coverage for Nashville-area high schools, Division I collegiate athletics, and professional teams such as MLB-AAA baseball, MLS soccer, and NHL hockey.

Conferences and Workshops

Fellows complete a rigorous weekly, biweekly, and monthly schedule of conferences and workshops.

Weekly Conference

Sports Medicine Conference
All fellows and faculty of every discipline attend. This conference focus on evidence based musculoskeletal care with the curriculum guided by the ABOS Certificate of Subspecialty Certification in Sports Medicine.

Biweekly Conference

Text Review
This biweekly conference reviews texts outside the discipline of clinical sports medicine. In the past this has included texts on research design, biostatistics, leadership, health care economics, personal financial planning and other topics.

Monthly Conferences

Musculoskeletal Radiology Conference
Fellows and faculty review musculoskeletal imaging with the Vanderbilt Musculoskeletal Imaging Division.

Research Conference
Fellows and faculty review the current and future research projects underway within the division.

Morbidity and Mortality Conference
Fellows and faculty review morbidity and mortality and quality assurance projects.

Other Activities

Quarterly Journal Club
(Time, Day, Week)
The Vanderbilt Sports Medicine Journal Club explores specific topics of interest by reviewing the best evidence, and often leads to a formal systematic review of the literature and publications.

Application Process

We participate in the San Francisco Fellowship Match program. 
Applicants must:

  • Be eligible for a medical license to practice in Tennessee
  • Have completed an accredited residency program in orthopedic surgery
  • Submit the following materials by Dec. 1:
    • San Francisco Match application
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Three letters of recommendation

For more information about our fellowship program, contact Fellowship Director Charles L. Cox, MD, MPH; or Karen Shelton, program coordinator at karen.shelton@vumc.org.

You can contact us at:

Orthopedic Sports Medicine + Shoulder Surgery Fellowship
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Vanderbilt University Medical Center East
South Tower, Suite 3200
Nashville, TN 37232-8828

Phone: 615-322-4683
Fax: 615-343-8989

Fellow Benefits

In addition to standard PGY-6 salary and benefits, fellows have access to:

  • 24/7 exercise facility (free weight/aerobics) within our orthopedic surgery department
  • Malpractice insurance, medical insurance (for self and dependents) and two weeks of vacation
  • Office area with computer and workspace
  • Paid attendance at two continuing education/academic courses
  • Readily available orthopedic anatomy cadaver lab on medical campus
  • Sponsorship to take the AOSSM fellowship exam

Our Current and Past Fellows

Patrick Luchini

Patrick Luchini, MD
Medical School:
Residency: West Virginia
Thomas Spears Thomas Spears, DO
Undergrad: Missouri State University
Medical School: A.T. Still University of Health Sciences


  • Kelly Hill, MD, Tulane University Orthopaedics
  • Zachary Bloom, MD, UNC Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Clayton
  • Patrick Reardon, MD, Signature Medical Group Orthopaedics, St. Louis, MO, 2021-2022
  • Brad Dosher, MD, Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics, Nashville, TN, 2020-2021
  • Kevin Shepet, MD, Titletown Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, Green Bay, WI 2019 – 2020
  • Jordan Meiss, MD, OSF Orthopaedics, Peoria, IL; 2018 – 2019
  • David Lustenberger MD, OrthoCincy, Cincinnati, OH; 2017 – 2018
  • Judd Fitzgerald, MD Tri-city Orthopaedics Kennewick WA 2016 – 2017
  • Richard Blalock, MD, Murray State University, Murray KY 2015 – 2016
  • Woodley Desir, MD, Mt Sinai Medical System, New York, NY 2014 – 2015
  • David Wasserstein, MD, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2013 – 2014
  • Alison Cabrera, MD, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 2012 – 2013
  • James Leonard, MD, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 2011 – 2012
  • Carolyn Hettrich, MD, MPH, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 2010 – 2011
  • Michael Khazzam, MD, University of Texas -SW Parkland, Dallas, TX 2009 – 2010
  • Joe DeAngelis, MD, Harvard University, Beth Israel, Boston, MA 2008 – 2009
  • Charles Cox, MD, MPH, Vanderbilt Sports Medicine, Nashville, TN 2007 – 2008
  • James Carey, MD, MPH, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2006 – 2007
  • Kevin Doulens, MD, University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL 2005 – 2006
  • Michael George, MD, KSF Orthopaedics, Houston, TX 2004 – 2005