Ask Dr. Warner: What Is Fellowship Training?
Some physicians’ credentials list fellowship training in addition to an orthopedic residency, but what is fellowship training, exactly? Summit Orthopedics sports medicine physician and fellowship-trained surgeon Dr. Brent Warner explains how his fellowship training informs his practice.
At Summit Orthopedics, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality of orthopedic care. Focused training is critical to that commitment. Every orthopedic surgeon undergoes 13 years of training from college through a five-year residency. Fellowship training requires an additional year of intensive subspecialty training.
“I did a sports medicine surgical fellowship in Colorado at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, which is considered one of the top sports medicine fellowships in the country,” says Dr. Brent Warner, a sports medicine physician and surgeon at Summit Orthopedics. “One of the benefits of a fellowship is the opportunity to train under world experts in shoulder, elbow, knee, and hip surgery.”
During Dr. Warner’s one-year fellowship, he handled about 500 cases, treating injuries of shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. “It’s an intensive year with a lot of procedures,” he acknowledges. “But it’s an amazing experience. I learned from a variety of surgeons renowned for their expertise in specific procedures. You gain so much knowledge in such a short period of time. The most valuable aspect of fellowship training is the ability to consider and evaluate everything I learn. I might really like the way one surgeon takes care of a particular problem because it keeps the surgery efficient or because the patients do really well. But perhaps there’s an aspect of the procedure that another surgeon handles with a different technique that I think is better. A fellowship introduces you to a wealth of techniques that you can mold into your own approach.
“Every patient deserves a specialist with expertise in his or her specific problem. Of course, there are great general orthopedic surgeons who handle a variety of problems. Fellowship training simply introduces you to techniques at the forefront of medical advances. My fellowship gave me access to these new ideas and techniques, and experience performing them so I can bring this knowledge and expertise to my patients.
“Some patients will ask me about how we balance gold standard practice with cutting-edge techniques. I explain that there’s a robust body of literature studying orthopedic techniques. Treatment options are always being compared and evaluated, and I follow that research as it evolves.
“By staying current with new research, and using that information to cautiously incorporate new techniques and medications into my practice, I can use treatments that provide people with the best possible outcomes for their condition and their goals. I look for techniques that let me be more efficient so my patients have less swelling, less pain, less blood loss, a shorter stay in the hospital, and a faster return to work. How well does my patient do? Nothing is more important to me than that.”
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
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“As an athlete, I understand the profound impact that an injury can have on a patient’s life and well-being. My goal is to return people to activity as quickly and safely as possible, whether that’s training for an ultramarathon or walking the dog around the block.”