Trauma Fellowship

Training Tomorrow’s Orthopaedic Difference Makers and Thought Leaders

When you become a trauma fellow at Vanderbilt, you become part of a program designed to help you further develop your orthopaedic trauma surgery expertise and teach you to effectively manage all aspects of patient recovery. Using an apprenticeship model, you’ll spend time learning alongside faculty, handling more than 600 cases during your fellowship year.

We’ll balance your time between basic science education, clinical training, research and teaching experiences. And, when you complete the program, you’ll meet all ACGME core competencies and be able to achieve AO faculty status if you choose. 

What We Do Here Every Year

Trauma Fellowship Infographic

Program Overview

Positions: 2
Duration: 1 year, August 1 - July 31
Stipend: PGY6 level
Call: Every 3rd weekend call, Independent call 2nd half of year
Location: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Working closely with surgeons and faculty from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at our Level I trauma center, you’ll provide care for adults and opportunity for pediatric experience. Our fellowship focuses on all aspects of trauma care and surgery, including:

  • Complex articular injuries
  • Distal femur, tibial plateau, pilon, calcaneus/talus, distal humerus fractures
  • Knee ligamentous reconstruction
  • Patients with multiple injuries
  • Pelvic and acetabular trauma
  • Upper extremity injuries

As a fellow you will:

  • Attend clinic for 1 day/week
  • Complete at least one research/academic project and submit for publication
  • Gain exposure to the surgical treatment of acute, basic, complex and geriatric trauma conditions, post-operative reconstruction and polytrauma patients
  • Participate in the operative and post-operative management of outpatients and inpatients
  • Teach residents

Clinical Program

Through our clinical program, you’ll spend time perfecting your surgical skills in:

  • Acute injuries
  • Basic fractures
  • Complex peri-articular injuries
  • Geriatric trauma injuries
  • Post-operative complications
  • Post-operative reconstruction 
  • Polytrauma patients

You will also improve your ability to facilitate education and understanding for your patients and their families about their injuries, reconstruction and rehabilitation. 

Surgical Experience

Our fellows work alongside faculty in the operating room four days a week and in clinic one day a week. During this time, you will experience trauma triage in the emergency department and learn to manage post-traumatic complications including infection, nonunion and malunions. You will also take call with an attending in your first six months, and then take independent call during the second half of your fellowship with faculty available as back up.

Research Program

At Vanderbilt, you will find many opportunities for basic science, biomechanics, clinical research, meta data, prospective and retrospective research projects, both existing and new. In fact, in 2019 and 2020 alone, our fellows had 59 peer reviewed publications. As a trauma fellow, you’ll be expected to submit at least one paper for publication. 

We’ll also encourage you to submit an AO trauma research grant and to make presentations at national and international orthopedic trauma surgery meetings during your fellowship.

It’s our goal to equip you to improve care through innovation and to become a thought leader. 

Leadership Development

As a fellow, you’ll help develop young leaders, managers and mentors; helping to train difference-makers as you become one yourself. That’s why you’ll be expected to present straight forward cases and instruct residents on how to assist on more complex cases. 

You can expect to give two or three lectures to residents during your fellowship year.

Our faculty is involved in many national and international organizations and work at promoting fellows as well.

Conferences and Workshops

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

Fellows Conference
Fellows and faculty weekly review of selected topics.  Fellows meet individually with Dr. Obremskey to review a range of topics based on literature and cases.

Pelvic and Actetabular Conferences
Fellows meet with attendings biweekly for one hour to discuss pelvic and actetabular fractures and complications.

Fellows, attending and faculty also discuss, confirm and communicate the day’s scheduled cases as well as equipment scheduling, radiographs and each surgical plan.

Resident Conferences
(Time varies)
Fellows participates in weekly, hour-long topic discussions and case reviews with orthopedic residents and will be asked to present two hour-long conferences on topics.  Format can be didactic or case study.

Wednesday Case Review 
Fellows, along with the faculty, review interesting and challenging cases from the week. 

Friday Orthopaedic Grand Rounds
(7 a.m.)
The Orthopaedic Trauma Service is responsible for presenting four Grand Rounds during the year.

Morbidity and Mortality Conference
(Time varies)
The Department of Orthopaedics presents this one-hour conference. We follow a fishbone matrix methodology. All orthopaedic services share in the presentation. Patient complications are also discussed daily at morning trauma rounds to improve technique, judgment and systems.

Other Clubs and Activities

Monthly Journal Club
Fellows take part in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery monthly journal club, where we review a subspecialty paper from each division. The Orthopedic Trauma Division also holds a Bimonthly Journal Club on topics relevant to trauma.

Application Process

Our fellowship program is certified by the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. We use the SF Match Application. Applicants must first complete an accredited orthopedic surgery residency program.

Send your materials to:

William Obremskey, MD, MPH, MMHC
Fellowship Director, Division of Orthopaedic Trauma
Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
Medical Center East South Tower
Suite 4200 
Nashville, Tennessee 37232-8774 

For more information about our fellowship program, contact Takia Richardson at

We conduct interviews in February and March prior to match in April each year.  


Our fellows enjoy life in Nashville and additional educational opportunities, such as:

  • 24/7 exercise facility (free weight/aerobics) within our orthopedic surgery department
  • 24/7 access to our orthopedic anatomy cadaver lab on the medical campus
  • Administrative assistance for licensing, travel, vacation and workspace
  • Attendance at AAOS or OTA annual meeting
  • Attendance at other conferences, including AOA, AO, OTA Fellows course
  • Office with computer and workspace
  • Support for research activities that facilitate basic science, clinical or database research projects
  • Three weeks of vacation

Division Research 

In the past five years our former fellows published more than 170 research papers on Pub Med. Highlights of our recent research include:

  • Stinner DJ, Lebrun C, Hsu JR, Jahangir AA, Mir HR. The Orthopaedic Trauma Service and COVID-19: Practice Considerations to Optimize Outcomes and Limit Exposure. J Orthop Trauma. 2020 Jul;34(7):333-340. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000001782. PMID: 32301767; PMCID: PMC7188036.
  • Kohring JM, Greenstein A, Gorczyca JT, Judd KT, Soles G, Ketz JP. Immediate Improvement in Physical Function After Symptomatic Syndesmotic Screw Removal. J Orthop Trauma. 2020 Jun;34(6):327-331. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000001766. PMID: 32433196.
  • Tatman LM, Obremskey WT. Patient Reported Outcomes: The Foundation of Value. J Orthop Trauma. 2019 Nov;33 Suppl 7:S53-S55. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000001613. PMID: 31596786.
  • Avilucea, Frank R. MD*; Joyce, David MD†; Mir, Hassan R. MD, MBA, FACS‡ Dynamic Stress Fluoroscopy for Evaluation of the Femoral Neck After Intramedullary Nails: Improved Sensitivity for Identifying Occult Fractures, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma: February 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 88-91 doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000001343
  • Attum, Basem MD*; Douleh, Diana BS†; Whiting, Paul S. MD‡; White-Dzuro, Gabrielle A. BA†; Dodd, Ashley C. BS*; Shen, Michelle S. BA*; Mir, Hassan R. MD, MBA§; Attum B, Douleh D, Whiting PS, White-Dzuro GA, Dodd AC, Shen MS, Mir HR, Obremskey WT, Sethi MK. Outcomes of Distal Femur Nonunions Treated With a Combined Nail/Plate Construct and Autogenous Bone Grafting. J Orthop Trauma. 2017 Sep;31(9):e301-e304. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000000926. PMID: 28708782.
  • Francis T, Washington T, Srivastava K, Moutzouros V, Makhni EC, Hakeos W. Societal costs in displaced transverse olecranon fractures: using decision analysis tools to find the most cost-effective strategy between tension band wiring and locked plating. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2017 Nov;26(11):1995-2003. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2017.07.017. Epub 2017 Sep 18. PMID: 28927668.
  • Whiting, Paul S. MD*; Anderson, Duane R. MD†; Galat, Daniel D. MD, FCS(Orth), ECSA‡; Zirkle, Lewis G. MD§; Lundy, Douglas W. MD, MBA‖; Mir, Hassan R. MD, MBA, FACS State of Pelvic and Acetabular Surgery in the Developing World: A Global Survey of Orthopaedic Surgeons at Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN) Hospitals, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma: July 2017 - Volume 31 - Issue 7 - p e217-e223 doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000000826
  • Stinner DJ, Johnson AE, Pollak A, MacKenzie E, Ficke JR, Mabry RL, Czarnik J, Schmidt A. "Zero Preventable Deaths and Minimizing Disability"-The Challenge Set Forth by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. J Orthop Trauma. 2017 Apr;31(4):e110-e115. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000000806. PMID: 28323766.
  • O’Toole RV; Joshi M; Carlini AR; Murray CK; Allen LE; Scharfstein DO; Sethi MK; Gary JL; Bosse MJ; Castillo RC; METRC. Local Antibiotic Therapy to Reduce Infection After Operative Treatment of Fractures at High Risk of Infection: A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial (VANCO Study). Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. 2017;31 (Suppl)1:S18-S24.
  • Streubel PN, Moustoukas M, Obremskey WT. Locked plating versus cephalomedullary nailing of unstable intertrochanteric femur fractures. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2016 May;26(4):385-90. doi: 10.1007/s00590-016-1743-5. Epub 2016 Feb 26. PMID: 26920361.
  • Obremskey W, Agel J, Archer K, To P, Tornetta P 3rd; SPRINT Investigators - Truchan L. Character, Incidence, and Predictors of Knee Pain and Activity After Infrapatellar Intramedullary Nailing of an Isolated Tibia Fracture. J Orthop Trauma. 2016 Mar;30(3):135-41. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000000475. PMID: 26496180; PMCID: PMC4761290.
  • Avilucea FR, Sathiyakumar V, Greenberg SE, Ghiam M, Thakore RV, Francois E, Benvenuti MA, Siuta M, Smith AK, Ehrenfeld JM, Evans JM, Obremskey WT, Sethi MK. Open distal tibial shaft fractures: a retrospective comparison of medial plate versus nail fixation. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. 2016 Feb;42(1):101-6. doi: 10.1007/s00068-015-0519-7. Epub 2015 Mar 25. PMID: 26038037.
  • Matthews JR, Margolis DS, Wu E, Truchan LM. Brachial Plexopathy Following Use of Recombinant Human BMP-2 for Treatment of Atrophic Delayed Union of the Clavicle. JBJS Case Connect. 2015 Sep 23;5(3):e81-e5. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.N.00187. PMID: 29252591.
  • Corrigan CM, Greenberg SE, Sathiyakumar V, Mitchell PM, Francis A, Omar A, Thakore RV, Obremskey WT, Sethi MK. Heterotopic ossification after hemiarthroplasty of the hip - A comparison of three common approaches. J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2015 Mar;6(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2014.11.004. Epub 2014 Dec 26. PMID: 26549944; PMCID: PMC4551151.

Our Current Fellows

Stephen Bigach Stephan Bigach, MD
Hometown : Cleveland, OH
Undergrad : University of Iowa
Medical School : Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Residency : Northwestern
Michael Quancinella Michael Quancinella, DO
Undergrad : University of California, Santa Cruz
Medical School : Touro University California
Residency : Naval Medical Center San Diego

Our Past Fellows

Our past fellows include:


Jaclyn Kapilow, MD: Currently practicing at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ.
Nathaniel Schaffer, MD: Currently practicing at Western Washington Medical Group, Everett, WA.


Andrew Tyler, MD
Nicole Stevens, MD


Lauren Tatman, MD: Currently practicing as a faculty member at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Orthopaedic Trauma Division.
Donald Adams, DO: Currently practicing at RWJ Barnabas Jersey Medical Center, Jersey City, NJ.


Brock Foster, MD: Currently practicing as a community physician in Yakima, WA.
Tyler Morris, MD: Currently practicing as a community physician in Clarksville, TN.


Cesar Cereijo, DO: Currently practicing at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH. 
Kurt Yusi, MD: Currently practicing as a community physician in Greenville, SC. 


Seth Cooper, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. 
Adam Lee, MD: Currently practicing and teaching in Phoenix, AZ.


Norele Cutrera, MD: Currently practicing as a community physician in Lake City, FL.
Jeffrey McLean, MD: Currently practicing and teaching in San Jose, CA. 


Paul Whiting, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI. 
Frank Avilucea, MD: Currently practicing and teaching in Orlanda, FL.


David Joyce, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL.
Chad Corrigan, MD: Currently practicing and teaching in Wichita, KS.


Daniel Stinner, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.
Drew Fras, MD: Currently practicing and teaching in Grand Rapids, MI.


Kyle Judd, MD: Currently practicing and teaching in Rochester, NY.
Damien Billow, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH. 


Manish Sethi, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. 
Phillip Streubel, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
David Polga, MD: Currently practicing at the Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield WI. 


Wren Gardner, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN. 
Aaron Perdue, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 


Brian Fissel, MD: Currently practicing in St. Louis, MO. 
William Hakeos, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI. 


Kevin Kahn, MD: Currently practicing at Southwest Washington Medical Center, Portland, OR. 
Kurtis Staples, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at Sonoran Ortho Trauma Surgeons, Phoenix, AZ. 


Bradley Dart, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at Advanced Orthopaedic Associates. Wichita, KS. 
Catherine Humphrey, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. 


Erika Mitchell, MD: Currently practicing as an orthopedic surgeon hospitalist in Sacramento, CA.
Marc Tressler, MD: Currently practicing at Hughston Clinic Orthopaedics, Hendersonville, TN. 


Gregory Tennant, DO: Currently practicing and teaching at Kaiser Fontana Medical Center, Kaiser, CA.
Lisa Truchan, MD: Currently practicing and teaching at University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ.