Sports Medicine Surgery Fellowship

Dates: August 1 through July 31

Program Training DirectorDean C. Taylor, MD
Associate Program Director: Brian Lau, MD

Associated facultyAnnunziato “Ned” Amendola, MDAlison P. Toth, MDRichard C. Mather III, MDOke A. Anakwenze, MD, MBAJocelyn R. Wittstein, MDTally E. Lassiter, MD, MHABrian Lau, MDJonathan Dickens, MDKendall E. Bradley, MD, Liz Scott, MD

Number of fellows: Four (ACGME accredited)

AOSSM Web Site

Current fellows

  • Lizzie Bond, MD
  • Grant Cochran, MD
  • Ryan O’Donnell, MD
  • Myra Trivellas, MD

Program description

The mission of the Duke Sports Medicine Surgery Fellowship is to prepare fellows to be outstanding clinicians and surgeons, dedicated researchers, skilled educators, and effective ethical leaders in the field of orthopaedic sports medicine.

Clinical experience

Emphasis will be placed on the development of diagnostic skills in treating knee, shoulder, ankle, and other sports injuries. These skills include:

  • Arthroscopic and open intervention
  • Knowledge of the principles and practice of the physiology of the human performance as it relates to training
  • Prevention and rehabilitation
  • Daily management of athletic injury
  • Development of knowledge of the scientific basis of injury mechanisms, treatment, and prevention

Fellows will be exposed to complex knee reconstruction, including multi-ligament knee injuries and chondral surgery. The program also emphasizes the diagnosis and treatment of acute and degenerative conditions of the shoulder, including rotator cuff injury, instability, fractures, and arthrosis. Fellows will receive an excellent educational experience in hip preservation and arthroscopy as well as sports foot and ankle surgery.

The satisfactory completion of the clinical experience requires the following:

  1. Outpatient office experience: Fellows will be expected to rotate with assigned attending at all outpatient office visits that the attending has scheduled, which average two to three times weekly. Fellows will be responsible for evaluating both new and returning patients, performing comprehensive physical examinations, ordering and interpreting appropriate radiographic tests, and providing a well-organized and thorough patient assessment and plan. The assessment and plan, in addition to the history and physical examination fellows, will gather, will be discussed with the attending contemporaneously with the patient’s visit. The examination with the fellow, by the attending, will further facilitate the fellow’s education.
  2. Surgical experience: Fellows will rotate with their assigned attending approximately two times weekly for surgical cases. Fellows will receive increasing responsibility under direct supervision in the operating room with fellowship faculty. The comprehensive experience will be gained at the conclusion of rotating with each of the attendings.
  3. Training room and event coverage: Fellows will be required to attend training room clinic approximately two to three times weekly. The training rooms are held at Duke University and North Carolina Central University. The evaluation of injured athletes will occur under direct supervision and independently over the course of the fellowship year. Fellows will care for athletes of all levels—high school through professional teams—in various training rooms throughout the year. Essential skills will be emphasized, including the team approach to athletic care, which involves good communication between physicians, trainers, parents, family, and coaches. Team coverage includes opportunities from high school to Division 1 college teams at Duke and NC Central University. Coverage sports include football and basketball during the year; however, each fellow will also be assigned an Olympic-style sport based on their particular interest. These include baseball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, etc. Home and away game coverage will vary depending on the school and sport. Fellows will work closely with the athletic training staff to triage orthopaedic injuries and provide medical coverage for the athletes at the various levels of competition. Injury clinics will be held on Sundays during the football season in the Fall.
  4. The 80-hour work week limit will be enforced throughout the year. This usually limits your ability to moonlight. The program director will oversee the hours you work per week.

Research experience

The research experience is divided into both a clinical and basic science component. Fellows will be provided on average one day per week or two half-days for research. Opportunities exist for clinical, basic science, and translational research. Fellows are expected to complete five manuscripts during the year, with an opportunity for additional research work as desired. There is protected time for research, available funding, and support through research coordinators, medical editors, medical librarians, and statisticians. Fellows can also make use of world-class facilities such as the Coach K Human Performance Lab.

Fellow research participation will be monitored through monthly research meetings with the entire sports medicine faculty and the other fellows. At that point, the progress of each clinical and basic science project will be ascertained, criticisms and advice given, and aid in completion of all projects with the appropriate faculty member facilitated. These meetings occur monthly. In addition, fellows will participate in a weekly Sports Medicine Conference and Human Fresh Tissue Skills Lab. Fellows will have the opportunity to customize their cadaveric skills lab experience and utilize this time to help build their teaching and mentoring skills with the residents.

Leadership experience

Fellows will be given the unique opportunity of applying to the annual John A. Feagin Jr., MD Leadership Program. This year-long curriculum brings together selected members of the medical profession with leadership development opportunities based on core ethical leadership principles. The program culminates in a capstone Feagin Leadership Forum where the Feagin Scholars present their team projects and interact with key leaders from all professions (for example, past speakers have included Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Johnson and Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, and former Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker). Learn more about this program.

With this exceptional leadership experience, you will accumulate a network of mentors and role models to help guide your medical career.

Alumni society

Graduating fellows of the Duke Sports Medicine program will become part of the prestigious Piedmont Orthopedic Society. Induction into this group of life-long learners includes access to an annual meeting and alumni reunions at events such as the AAOS annual meeting and the annual meeting of the Piedmont Society.

Sports medicine goals and objectives

There are several key educational goals of the Duke Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship:

  1. Obtain a broad knowledge base of medical issues surrounding exercise and athletic competition.
  2. Develop skills in evaluating and treating common orthopedic injuries.
  3. Experience team physician duties at many levels, from high school to Division 1 College.  Experience will often include caring for professional athletes who seek out Duke Sports for their care.
  4. Become proficient in common orthopedic office procedures.
  5. Examine and critically evaluate current orthopedic and sports medicine literature.
  6. Gain experience in performing, writing, and publishing research.
  7. Prepare and participate in weekly sports medicine conferences and attend one to two national orthopaedic conferences.
  8. Cultivate leadership skills necessary for future success in medicine.

How to apply

Accepting applications: Closed for 2024-2025

Match participationSF Match (Program #4430)

ACGME program number: 2683631091

Application deadline: November 1

We accept applications through the Central Application Service (CAS), a service provided through SF Match that distributes applications to training programs. The use of CAS assures that applications are uniform, complete and distributed in an orderly fashion. You must register with the SF Match and pay an additional fee in order to access CAS. Please refer to SF Match for more information.

What you’ll need

The following application materials are required and should be submitted through CAS:

  • CAS Distribution Choices and Payment (online submission)
  • CAS Application Service (online submission)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation:
    • Letters must be on official letterhead and may not be older than six months
  • Copy of USMLE/COMLEX transcript (all three steps; passed within three attempts)
  • ECFMG Certificate (applicable to international graduates)

ACGME application requirements

In order to be eligible for ACGME-accredited fellowship training, you must adhere to the following application requirements:

  • You must have completed an ACGME-accredited residency program or RCPSC-accredited or CFPC-accredited residency program located in Canada. Exceptions may apply for exceptionally qualified applicants (and institutional GME approval is required). For details, please refer to the Fellowship Appointments section of the ACGME Program Requirements for Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Surgery (approved but not in effect until 2016).
  • You must provide proof that you have taken and passed all three steps (within three attempts) of appropriate medical licensure examinations (USMLE/COMLEX). This is required by the North Carolina Medical Board and is a Duke institutional policy for all graduate medical trainees—whether U.S. or international medical school graduates at the PGY-3 level or higher—as well as qualify for a resident training license in the state of North Carolina in order to be eligible for employment at Duke University Hospital.

Foreign medical graduates: additional requirements

Foreign medical graduates must hold a valid and current ECFMG certificate in addition to meeting the above requirements. Your ECFMG Certificate must be valid as of the start date of the program. For foreign nationals who are medical graduates of LCME-accredited schools in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, copies of the diploma will suffice in lieu of an ECFMG certificate.

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery will provide visa sponsorship, J-1 Clinical House Staff Visa (ECFMG sponsored) sufficient for clinical fellowship training, for individuals participating in an ACGME accredited fellowship. Non-ACGME positions are not eligible for visa sponsorship. For more visa information, please visit the Duke Visa Services web at The department does not sponsor an H-1B visa nor has the appropriate funds to support associated fees (petition, fraud detection, premium processing).

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Contact Us

Stacey Herrera
Interview Coordinator, Sports Medicine Fellowship
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Duke University School of Medicine

Wendy Thompson/ Tyranicia Green
Residency and Fellowship Program Coordinators
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Duke University School of Medicine