Clinical Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery and Navigation

Dr. Roger Härtl

Dr. Roger Härtl, Spine Fellowship Director, Weill Cornell Medicine

In collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine is proud to offer a minimally invasive and complex spinal surgery and 3D navigation fellowship. Created in 2015, the fellowship complements residency training to promote further expertise in the growing fields of minimally invasive spinal surgery, navigation and complex spinal surgery. The successful incorporation of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) techniques and navigation requires specialized training and preparation rarely offered during regular neurosurgical or orthopedic residency. We train the future leaders of spinal surgery to advance the field and expand our horizon based on the principles of technical excellence, sound clinical judgment and compassion for our patients.

Surgeons who complete our program are able to apply the principles and techniques of minimally invasive surgery and navigation to all types of surgery - including degeneration, trauma, tumor and deformity surgery in all regions of adult and pediatric patients - facilitating career paths in either academic or private practice.

About the Program

MIS and navigation surgery greatly expand the range of pathologies and patients that can be successfully treated with surgery. We believe that the best spinal care can only be delivered in a multidisciplinary setting. Our ability to excel with MIS is dependent upon our surgical team being interwoven with the other specialties in our Center for Comprehensive Spine Care. We are committed to training spinal surgeons that are not only technically excellent but who also understand that surgical success is based on precise diagnosis and sound judgment. Once a pathology has been determined as surgical, technical MIS and navigational excellence allow us to minimize the extent and side effects of surgery while maximizing its efficiency.

Minimally invasive spinal surgery fellows are exposed to all aspects of spinal care, from diagnosis to treatment to aftercare, and provided with complex spinal surgery training with a focus on MIS and navigation. Fellows are expected to engage actively in ongoing research projects as well as present and publish research work. The extent of responsibility assigned to a fellow depends upon the fellow's skills and engagement and the complexity of particular patient pathologies.

Fellow's Responsibilities

Fellows are responsible for covering operating room cases as well as outpatient examination with attending physicians. With the ability to participate in a variety of prospective outcome studies and basic science projects, fellows are also required to complete at least two projects or papers. Our educational process includes a core curriculum of lectures, case conferences and journal clubs. Formal conferences for residents and fellows are held weekly and involve a variety of didactic topics, case presentations and interactive discussions.

For applicants interested in applying, more information is available through the North American Spine Society (pages 81-82 of this PDF) Interested orthopedic and neurosurgery trainees can apply through the SF match website (applications close March 1 each year).


Erma Bell
Administrative Coordinator
(212) 746-5543

Fellowship Details

Affiliated Institutions
  • NewYork-Presbyterian
  • Weill Cornell Medicine

Number of Positions



Roger Härtl, MD, Spine Fellowship Director
K. Dan Riew, MD
Robert Snow, MD, PhD
Kai-Ming Fu, MD, PhD
Michael Virk, MD, PhD
Lynn McGrath, Jr., MD
Ibrahim Hussain, MD
Paul Park, MD

Application Deadline

Applications are now accepted through the SF Match and are due March 1 each year. Fellowships are often awarded a year or more in advance. Applicants interested in applying should visit the NASS and SF Match website for more information.  


Erma Bell, Administrative Coordinator
(212) 746-5543

Fellowship Activity

Percentage of fellowship devoted to:
Operative Care: 70%
Non-Operative Care: 30%

Research/Publication Obligation


Approximate Percentage of Exposure to the Spine by Region
  • cervical: 35 percent
  • lumbar: 50 percent
  • thoracic: 15 percent
Approximate Percentage of Exposure to the Spine by Surgical Technique and Diagnostic Category
  • open: 30 percent
  • MIS: 70 percent
  • navigation: 60 percent
  • deformity: 20 percent
  • trauma: 15 percent
  • tumor: 15 percent
  • degenerative: 50 percent

Neurological Surgery 525 E. 68th St., Starr 651, Box 99 New York, NY 10065