Fellowship in Clinical Pediatric Neurosurgery

Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto
Hospital for Sick Children


Peter Dirks, James Drake, George IbrahimAbhaya KulkarniJames RutkaMichael Taylor 

Term of Appointment

1 year 

Positions Available

Funded posts for 2 fellows per year. Additional fellows with external funding can be accepted.


The Division of Neurosurgery at The Hospital for Sick Children is Canada's oldest paediatric neurosurgical unit.  The six staff neurosurgeons provide tertiary and quaternary care on a provincial, national and international basis for children with structural disorders of the brain and spinal cord.  The unit is allied with the University of Toronto and the Division enjoys collaboration with expert paediatric neurologists, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists and intensivists.  There are active neurosurgical laboratories, educational programs and a structured clinical fellowship.

Two types of funded clinical fellowships are available annually:

Chief Fellow

The first, pertains to the Chief Fellow who is selected through the American Match Service.  A number of individuals seek these opportunities at various programs within the United States, which, like our own, have been certified as providing excellent fellowship experience in pediatric neurosurgery.  At the moment there are about 16 such programs that are part of this Match service.  That allows candidates, most of them from Canada and the United States, an opportunity to visit various programs, rank them and thus make their choices for training. For more information on this fellowship match service go to www.sfmatch.org.

International Scholar

We also have a second funded Clinical Fellowship position known as the International Scholar.  The funding available for this position dictates that the individual is from outside the North American continent.  This position works in alliance with the Chief Fellow position.

Lastly, we offer self funded fellowship positions with us.  This would depend on when you were interested in coming and if we could accommodate you at that time.

Fellowship Candidates

The clinical fellow in paediatric neurosurgery at HSC is an individual who has completed his or her neurosurgical training and is interested in an academic career in paediatric neurosurgery. He or she will be exposed to a wide variety of clinical material and is provided with ample time for clinical research. The neurosurgical laboratory is available for specific research projects.


The neurosurgical fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children is responsible for the entire neurosurgical service. The fellow makes rounds with all the residents and students each morning before the day begins. This activity is carried out during the week and on the weekends as well. The fellow has independent operating privileges although surgery is booked under the name of the surgeon who is primarily responsible for the care of the patient. The fellow assigns and supervises the residents, and can choose which cases he/she wishes to scrub on. It is expected that the fellow will provide second call for the emergency room and come in at night or on weekends to assist the resident with trauma or emergency procedures at night and weekends. A supervising staff neurosurgeon is always available.

Clinic Opportunities

Neurosurgical outpatient clinics are held five days a week and the neurosurgical fellow has the choice of attending a clinic run by one of the staff neurosurgeons or going to the operating room.

Leadership Opportunities

The neurosurgical fellow organizes the neurosurgical teaching rounds. In collaboration with the chief resident in neurology the fellow organizes the Combined Neurology-Neurosurgery Conference each week, and in collaboration with the neuro-oncologists structures the Neuro-oncology Rounds. The fellow is also in charge of the monthly journal club which is held in the home of one of the staff neurosurgeons.


In past years men and women from across Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Israel, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy and South Africa, have completed fellowship training in the Division of Neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children.Contact Information

Peter Dirks, MD, PhD, FRCSC
The Hospital for Sick Children
Division of Neurosurgery
555 University Avenue 
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8
Tel:  (416) 813-6428
Fax: (416) 813-4975

For inquiries:  ross.cockfield@sickkids.ca

For more information:  www.sickkids.ca/neurosurgery 

Application Procedure: Please review our pediatric neurosurgical fellowship program descriptor.

If you have interest in our fellowships and wish for us to open a file for you in our academic office, please submit the following by email to the Fellowship Contact:

Letters of reference (3)
Cover letter indicating

Proposed type of fellowship
Proposed start date
Details of any self-funding for the fellowship
Specific title and hospital of the fellowship for which you are applying

All correspondence should be addressed to the Neurosurgeon-in-Chief, Dr. Peter Dirks at The Hospital for Sick Children.