Quality, consistency and academic qualification are key elements to a fellowship program. To ensure we achieve these criteria it is necessary to reaffirm the principles and guidelines for AO Spine Europe and Southern Africa (AO SESA) fellowships.
The purpose of an AO SESA fellowship is to provide additional experience for trained
orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons interested in spinal surgery.
It is the responsibility of the host Center to ensure that the fellow becomes conversant in the principles, indications, planning, techniques and complications of spinal surgery and develops the hands-on surgical skills for general spinal practice.
Fellows are expected to enthusiastically immerse themselves in all aspects of the program offered by the host Center.
AO Spine Centers
Short-term fellowships are offered in official AO Spine certified Spine Centers (further details on the AO Spine website), namely hospitals or clinics throughout the regions.
Applicants must choose and prioritize a minimum of 3 Spine Centers, which increases their chances of being accepted. However, the final decision regarding choice of AO Spine Center will be made based on the number of applications and availability of the AO Spine Center.
A fellowship cannot take place in an AO Spine Center where the fellow already works, or in a hospital that is no certified as AO Spine Center.
AO Spine offers short-term fellowships that range in duration from 1 week up to 8 weeks. In case the fellow would like to do a 12-week fellowship, the additional 4 weeks must be self-financed by the fellow and approved individually by the Spine Center.
An AO SESA stipend for each fellow will be transferred to the bank account of the fellow once the fellowship has started, based on availability of the required budget. If a regular bank transfer is not possible, additional fees (e.g. for a Western Union transfer) will be deducted from the fellow’s stipend.
The stipend is calculated based on the current World Bank Purchasing Power Parity in order to cover the costs for food and accommodation in the host country. All travel expenses are the responsibility of the
fellow or sponsor.
The long-term Fellowship application form for the following year opens annually at June 1 and closes at June 30. Fellows are kindly asked to use the correct form for long-term fellowship.
A fellowship is granted at the discretion of AO SESA, based upon the candidate’s application
and experience. Successful candidates must meet the following criteria:
• Be a paying member of AO Spine. Non-members can also apply and the membership fee will be deducted from the AO SESA stipend
• Be a spine physician or specialized in Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, or Trauma surgery with a strong interest in spine surgery
• Speak and understand English, as English is the first language in South Africa
• Submit a complete online application form and required documents in time (1–30 June)
• Have previously participated in at least 5 hours of AO Spine education (including handson courses, seminars, local seminars, Global Spine Congress, webinars)
• Have not participated in any other AO fellowship within the past three years (from the date when the application is handed in)
• Live and work in a Sub-Saharan African country or the Republic of South Africa
• Registration (or ability to register) with the Health Professions Council of South Africa
• Neurosurgery / Orthopedic surgery specialty completed
• To be practicing in a Sub-Sahara country and to provide a written letter of intent to return to their country of origin to practice for three or more years upon the end of the fellowship period is considered an advantage
• Female candidates will be given priority, in order to enhance the access of women to training opportunities
• Letter of Motivation, including country of origin, and their expectations on where to
practice after the fellowship (country, description of the environment, private or nonprivate practice/hospital position)
• Curriculum Vitae
• Copy of medical school diploma
• Copy of medical specialization diploma
• Certificate of AO Spine Educational Events
• Letter of intent to return to civil service in her/his country of origin at the end of the
fellowship, for a period not inferior to 3 years
• Letter of recommendation from your superior (signature and contact details)
• Letter of recommendation from one other professional (signature and contact details)
• Recent passport sized photograph
Application Deadline: June 30th 2021
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