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Shaping Future Surgeons Through Fellowship

Dr. Naseer and Dr. Stein

Drs. Naseer and Stein, Shriners Children's Philadelphia spine fellows

One of the unique opportunities that Shriners Children’s Philadelphia offers is a fellowship for up-and-coming surgeons from across the nation. A fellowship program is for physicians who are looking to receive extra-specialized training and experience in a particular field after residency before going into practice. In honor of National Scoliosis Month, we led a Q&A session with spine fellows Alan Stein, M.D., and Zan Naseer, M.D., to learn more about their fellowship and what led them to our hospital.

In your own words, what exactly is a fellowship?

Both: A fellowship is a subspecialty in medicine that provides a unique opportunity to work and train under innovators and leaders.

How did you learn about Shriners Children’s?

Dr. Stein: I learned about Shriners Children’s from prior fellows that were trained in neurosurgery.

Dr. Naseer: I learned about Shriners Children’s from another orthopedic surgeon. I am currently doing a half fellowship with adults at Penn Medicine and the other half at Shriners Children’s.

Why did you decide to become a doctor?

Dr. Stein: I had a strong interest in the nervous system, and spine surgery is a complex and growing field. There is a unique opportunity to help people, and that is rewarding.

Dr. Naseer: Speaking specifically to scoliosis month, I became a doctor because I am able to perform life-changing procedures for children that will positively affect them for the rest of their lives.

What is your favorite aspect about working at Shriners Children's?

Both: Shriners Hospital is a collegial environment that feels like home. Everyone here has a specialized role that they are so good at. Being able to create relationships with patients and their families, as well as using complex pathologies that you would not see anywhere else.

What are your career plans after fellowship?

Dr. Stein: I will be pursuing a complex spine fellowship with adults, specializing in adult and pediatric spine surgery.

Dr. Naseer: I will be graduating fellowship and moving to Maryland to start my job. I am still planning to do scoliosis surgeries and outreach in other countries.

Doctor Samdani with two fellows

Drs. Naseer, Stein and Chief of Surgery Samdani

Many thanks to Drs. Stein and Naseer for participating in a Q&A session. It is always interesting to hear the prospective from providers, especially new and upcoming physicians. It is part of our mission to help train the next generation of physicians and healthcare workers. The fellowship program at Shriners Children’s Philadelphia offers experience in three major orthopedic service lines: upper extremity, lower extremity and spine, with each rotation lasting one to six months. During their rotations, fellows are provided with hands-on exposure to all aspects of pediatric orthopedic care. The program hosts a few dozen fellows each year from surrounding colleges and universities.

“As part of our education mission, we train four spine fellows per year. Currently, we are fortunate to have Alan Stein and Zan Naseer, who are performing exceptionally well and help us to provide optimal compassionate care to our patients,” said Chief of Surgery Amer Samdani, M.D.

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