Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship

ACGME Accredited
Please use Fellowship Application

Fellowship Description

The Spinal Cord Injury Medicine (SCIM) Fellowship is a 12-month program which focuses on specialized training on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of traumatic spinal cord injury, and nontraumatic myelopathies. The program is open to persons who have completed an approved residency program in a specialty relevant to SCIM, such as physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, neurological surgery, neurology, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, plastic surgery, surgery, or urology. Successful completion of the fellowship program satisfies the eligibility requirement to take the Examination in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine to obtain Subspecialty Certification in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine.

The SCIM Fellowship will include clinical experiences in the initial acute care management, acute rehabilitation and outpatient/chronic management of persons with spinal cord dysfunction. During the various clinical rotations, the fellow will work with physicians in the specialties of physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedic surgery, neurological surgery, anesthesiology/ respiratory/ critical care, pediatrics, plastic surgery, urology and neurology. In addition, the clinical experience will involve rotations with other clinical disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and psychology.

Involvement in teaching activities and research are required components of the SCIM Fellowship. Teaching will involve activities within the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab SCI Program, as well as with medical students from Northwestern University and the residency program in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the AbilityLab. It is expected that the fellow will complete a scholarly research activity during the fellowship year sufficient for national presentation or publication.

The clinical, educational and research activities will involve the resources available through the Acute Spine Injury Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) the SCI Rehabilitation Program at the AbilityLab, other departments and programs at NMH and the AbilityLab and Northwestern University Medical School.


Alan Anschel, MD
David Chen, MD
Deborah Gaebler-Spira, MD
Michael Haak, MD
Richard Harvey, MD
Ki (Alex) Kim, MD
Victor Lewis, MD
Christina Marciniak, MD
Steven Nussbaum, MD
Charles Sisung, MD
James Sliwa, DO
Lisa Wolfe, MD

Fellowship Objectives

These objectives are common to all patient physician interaction and should be incorporated into the teaching/education of all rotations.

A. Patient Care

B. Medical Knowledge

C. Communication Skills

A caring and empathic attitude is mandatory for the practice of SCM. Effective communication skills are the vehicle for conveying this caring attitude. Residents should learn and implement:

D. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

E. Professionalism

F. Systems-Based Practice


A. Acute Initial Care

B. Acute Medical Rehabilitation

C. Sustaining/Chronic Care

D. Therapy and Specialty Clinic

Application Process

Applicants will be expected to submit a letter of interest, C.V. and three professional references to the Fellowship Program Director.

The application deadline for theSpinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship is September 15.

Contact Us

David Chen, MD
Director, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship
Phone: 312-238-0764

Housestaff Research Portal

Feinberg has the infrastructure and resources to assist McGaw trainees interested in conducting scientific research. Visit our Housestaff Research Portal to learn more.