Alumni

Started in 1987 by Drs. Scott Mubarak and Dennis Wenger, our Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship has grown to support four clinical fellows a year and several international research fellows. This renowned program provides valuable tools to help young surgeons thrive once they graduate and start their own practice.

Here, some of our past fellows share their experiences.

Vineeta Swaroop, M.D. (class of 2008)

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My time at CHSD [Children’s Hospital-San Diego] turned out to be one of the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding years of my life. I was influenced in so many ways, both big and small, and I carried what I learned at CHSD back with me when I started my career in Chicago. At the stimulating morning conferences I learned how to approach unique cases from both my own presentation preparations and from my co-fellows’ presentations. Previewing and reviewing cases at the X-ray board was at times a slightly terrifying, yet sometimes hilarious experience thanks to comments from the senior staff.

The staff at RCHSD provides the backbone of the program. I learned so much both in and out of the operating room from all of them. Dr. Mubarak taught me to never accept anything less than excellence both from yourself and from all those around you (be demanding, when needed). Another great tool I took away from him was the surgical “cookbook” which he advised me to make as detailed as possible. I brought dozens of “cookbook” details back to Chicago with me, and as I started out in practice I found comfort in their detail and organization.

While on Dr. Wenger’s rotation, a time that I enjoyed immensely, I learned much about pediatric orthopedics and many other varied topics of the world. One thing that impressed me was that Dr. Wenger always remained in the operating room until the very end of each case and even placed the cast himself. Probably to my resident’s dismay, I do the same thing now and continue to use the casting concepts I picked up in San Diego. Dr. Wenger also taught me to advocate for myself and helped me to negotiate the political complexities of starting out as a young attending in the program I had trained in as a resident (not always easy to do).

For me, the year in San Diego was a truly special one filled with lots of great memories for my husband, Chris, and I. Both from Chicago, neither of us had ever spent significant time in Southern California before, and we loved it! Despite the fact that it was the year of our engagement and Chris was coming back and forth from Chicago, we have such happy memories of that year, in large part because everyone in San Diego made us feel so welcome starting with the beach party at the beginning of the year through the graduation luncheon event. During the year we attended parties at every single one of the attending’s homes, as well as Padres and Aztecs games.

By far one of the best things I took with me from San Diego was an international network of colleagues and friends, from my attendings and co-fellows to all the previous and future CHSD fellows as well. Every academic meeting is now a chance to reconnect with that network which is incredibly energizing. During the year, I developed a special camaraderie with my co-fellows, John Schlechter (Orange County), Patrick Henderson (Tucson), and Eric Edmonds (San Diego).

David Scher, M.D. (class of 2000)

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I still recall Dr. Mubarak’s words in July of 2000 as my fellowship was coming to an end. “Your fellowship will continue for 5 years after you leave here,” he said. I repeat that advice now to my fellows every year and it is mostly accurate, with the exception that in fact my fellowship has continued to this day. That element of intellectual challenge, which is really intrinsic to pediatric orthopaedics, is one of the most gratifying aspects of this discipline and I am grateful to the staff and the tradition of San Diego Children’s for stimulating my academic curiosity and giving me the foundation to continue my education for decades to come.

After I graduated in 2000, I returned to NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases where I had completed my residency, and began a diverse pediatric orthopaedic practice. Following what is certainly a common pattern, much of my operative practice in the first few years was comprised of pediatric orthopaedic trauma, and I was very well prepared for this after the busy call nights at San Diego Children’s. In fact I remember one of my colleagues commenting on my facility in reducing supracondylar fractures at the beginning of my practice, a skill that was developed only with lots of practice on many call nights.

From the start of my practice I was assigned to run the cerebral palsy clinic and work along side Wally Lehman in the clubfoot clinic. These experiences allowed me to build on the background I had gained in cerebral palsy, gait and pediatric foot disorders in San Diego. Then, in 2004, I got a call from Roger Widmann at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), about 2 and ½ miles to the north, asking if I’d be interested in joining him, Dan Green, Steve Burke and Leon Root in their pediatric orthopaedic group. With the opportunity to become the co-medical director of a world-class gait lab and hone my interest in pediatric foot deformity, I moved to HSS in October 2004.

Since then I have been part of developing the largest pediatric orthopaedic service in the New York region. We now number eight pediatric orthopaedic surgeons with focused interests among us including spinal deformity, limb lengthening and reconstruction, pediatric sports, and now with the arrival of my good friend and “fellow” fellow Ernie Sink, a renowned pediatric and young adult hip center.

As I step back and reflect on my training, my career and my family life, I think I have reached a balance. Pediatric orthopaedics is a wonderful field that allows us to grow intellectually, challenge ourselves, make a difference in the lives of children and live a fulfilling life. The professional and life lessons learned during my time in San Diego have helped to create the foundation for me to build this life on.

Past Fellows

2012-2013

Brian Scannell, M.D.
The Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, NC
Christopher Souder, M.D.
Scott & White
Temple, TX
Avrum Joffe, M.D.
North Jersey Pediatric Orthopedics
Ridgewood, NJ
John Kemppainen, M.D.
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
Grand Rapids, MI

2011-2012

Christopher Bray, M.D.
Greenville Health System
Greenville, SC
Eric Fornari, M.D.
The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
Bronx, NY
Matthew Schmitz, M.D.
San Antonio Military Medical Center
San Antonio, TX
Jacob Schulz, M.D.
The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
Bronx, NY

2010-2011

Eric Eisner, M.D.
Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital
Hollywood, Florida
Hilton Gottschalk, M.D.
Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics
Austin, TX
Ryan Ilgenfritz, M.D.
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
Nirav Pandya, M.D.
Children’s Hospital and Research Center of Oakland
Oakland, CA

2009-2010

Robert Cho, M.D.
Shriners Hospital for Children
Los Angeles, CA
Raymond Liu, M.D.
Case Western Reserve
Cleveland, OH
Robert Lark, M.D.
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC
George Gantsoudes, M.D.
Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN

2008-2009

Humberto Guzman, M.D.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Meagan Imrie, M.D.
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Stanford, CA
Alison Rozansky, M.D.
Encino, CA
Abigail Allen, M.D.
Mt Sinai School of Medicine
New York, NY

2007-2008

Vineeta Swaroop, M.D.
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL
John Schlechter, D.O.
Adult and Pediatric Orthopaedic Specialists
Orange, CA
Patrick Henderson, M.D.
Children’s Orthopedic Specialists
Tucson, Arizona
Eric Edmonds, M.D.
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, CA

2006-2007

Tamir Bloom, M.D.
UMDNJ
Newark, NJ
Christine Caltoum, M.D.
Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN
Todd Ritzman, M.D.
Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Akron, OH

2005-2006

Prerana N. Patel, M.D.
Children’s Hospital
New Orleans, LA
Avi C. Baitner, M.D.
Miami Children’s Hospital
Miami, FL
Firoz Miyanji, M.D.
BC Children’s Hospital
Vancouver, BC Canada

2004-2005

Roderick Capelo, M.D.
Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates
Grapevine, TX
Mark J. Adamczyk, M.D.
Akron Children’s Hospital
Akron, OH
Scott E. Van Valin, M.D.
Milwaukee, WI
Shyam Kishan, M.D.
Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN

2003-2004

Stefan Parent, M.D.
St. Justin Hospital
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Michael T. Rohmiller, M.D.
Cincinnati Spine Institute
Cincinnati, OH

Jay C. Albright, M.D.
The Children’s Hospital-Denver
Denver, CO

Ryan C. Goodwin, M.D.
The Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH

Sohrab Gollogly, M.D.
Monterey, CA

2002-2003

Maya E. Pring, M.D.
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, CA

John E. Tis, M.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

Gary S. Shapiro, M.D.
Glenview, IL

Scott C. Nelson, M.D.
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA

2001-2002

David S. Brown, M.D.
Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates
Grapevine, TX

Timothy S. Oswald, M.D.
Atlanta, GA

Adam Barmada, M.D.
Portland, OR

2000-2001

Sean D. Early, M.D.
Santa Barbara, CA

Walid K. Yassir, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Detroit, MI

Philip L. Wilson, M.D.
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Dallas, TX

1999-2000

Afshin Aminian, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Orange, CA

David M. Scher, M.D.
Hospital for Special Surgery
New York, NY

Ernest L. Sink, M.D.
Hospital for Special Surgery
New York, NY

1998-1999

Laura L. Meyers, M.D.
St. Louis, MO

Gregory V. Hahn, M.D.
Children’s Orthopaedics and Scoliosis
St. Petersburg, FL

Michael J. Elliott, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Central California
Madera, CA

Francois D. Lalonde, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Orange, CA

1997-1998

Steven L. Frick, M.D.
Nemours Children’s Hospital
Orlando, FL

Neal P. McNerney, M.D.
Hollywood, FL

Kevin G. Shea, M.D.
Intermountain Orthopedics
Boise, ID

1996-1997

Christopher K. Kim, M.D.
Richmond, VA

Gregory R. White, M.D.
Phoenix, AZ

Anthony K. Kahn, M.D.
Austin, TX

1995-1996

J. Marc Cardelia, M.D.
Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Norfolk, VA

Christopher P. Comstock, M.D.
Corpus Christi, TX

Karl E. Rathjen, M.D.
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Dallas, TX

1994-1995

Scott W. Beck, M.D.
St. Petersburg, FL

Raymond M. Stefko, M.D.
Sports Orthopaedics and Spine
Jackson, TN

C. Douglas Wallace, M.D.
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, CA

1993-1994

Mark E. Moran, M.D.
Palos Heights, IL

Robert J. de Swart, M.D.
Orthopaedic Associates, Inc.
Westlake, OH

1992-1993

Donald Kim, M.D.
Riverside, CA

1991-1992

Laurel J. Benson, M.D.
The Children’s Hospital-Denver
Denver, CO

1990-1991

Jon R. Davids, M.D.
Shriners Hospital
Sacramento, CA

Francisco G. Valencia, M.D.
University Orthopedic Specialists
Tucson, AZ

1989-1990

Henry G. Chambers, M.D.
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, CA

Edward B. Elmer, M.D.
Pleasanton, TX 78064

1988-1989

Mark F. Abel, M.D.
Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation and Research Institute
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Christopher M. Sullivan, M.D.
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

1987-1988

Reid A. Abrams, M.D.
University of California San Diego
San Diego, CA

1986-1987

James Bowler, M.D.