Residents in Neurosurgery are exposed to patients with spinal disorders throughout their residency. This occurs both at RAH and UAH sites. According to principles of graduated responsibility, neurosurgical residents at the University of Alberta gain direct experience with instrumentation of the entire spine (from the cranio-cervical junction to the pelvis), for etiologies including trauma, deformity correction, infection, and spinal column tumor surgery. Experience is also gained, both through the complex spine group and the neurosurgery division, with intradural disease pathologies such as spinal intradural tumors, syringomyelia, and vascular malformations.
Residents in Orthopedic Surgery are exposed to patients with spinal disorders during their rotation on the spinal service at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (under the mentorship of Dr. Jiang, Kortbeek and Mahood), and also during their University Hospital rotation (under the mentorship of Dr. Lavoie). Exposure to the entire spectrum of spinal disorders, including spinal cord injury, is gained by orthopedic residents during these rotations.
All types of spinal disorders (with the exception of intradural lesions, covered by neurosurgery) are treated by both the neurosurgical and orthopedic members of the complex spinal surgery program. As such, residents in both neurosurgery and orthopedics are exposed to the entire spectrum of spinal disorders. There is close collaboration between orthopedic and neurosurgical spinal surgeons and as such, residents in both programs have exposure to both orthopedic and neurosurgical spinal programs. We feel that this is a major strength of our program.