Orthopedic Surgery Physician Assistant Fellowship

Texas Children’s Orthopedics Department is happy to announce the hospital’s first Orthopedic Surgery Physician Assistant Fellowship Program. The 12-month program is the first of its kind in the country, offering didactic and clinical pediatric-specific orthopedic surgery subspecialty training to physician assistants.

"The Department of Orthopedic Surgery is excited to begin its brand new Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Fellowship Program for Physician Assistants,” said Orthopedic Surgery Fellowship Co-Director Kolby Buckner. “Through this program we hope to cultivate future leaders in the field of pediatric orthopedics and champions for the physician assistant profession."

The program includes 10 months of clinical pediatric orthopedic surgical subspecialty experience with designated time for research. The remaining two months of the program are elective months, one month for each elective. Each participating fellow will determine, upon availability, the surgical subspecialty for their final two months in the program. All training will be provided within the Texas Children’s Hospital system, both in the medical center and surrounding locations, through the direct delegation and supervision of department supervising physicians.

“We hope to recruit and train highly competent Physician Assistants to provide world-class orthopedic care to our patients at Texas Children’s Hospital,” said Chief of Orthopedic Surgery Dr. John Dormans. “At Texas Children’s Hospital we continually strive to advance the field of pediatric orthopedics, and we believe this program plays an integral role in that mission.”

Program Leaders


To qualify for the Physician Assistant Fellowship in Pediatric Surgery, eligible candidates must have:

  • Graduated from a PA Program approved by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) prior to matriculation into the program.
  • Masters of Physician Assistant Studies.
  • Current PA license from the Texas Board of Medicine and certified from the NCCPA.
  • National Certification by the NCCPA. New graduates may receive acceptance into the program, pending successful completion of the PANCE.
  • Current Curriculum Vitae.

Additional Requirements:

  • Completed application.
  • Personal statement that focuses on your interest in the program and overall career goals.
  • One professional recommendation letter.

Fellowship and application details

Length of program: 12 Months
Program size: 2 Fellows
Program start date: January 11, 2021

Application Deadline: Septeber 16, 2020
Interviews: August 28 and September 25, 2020

Goals and Objectives

  1. Acquire knowledge of all pediatric subspecialties within Texas Children’s Hospital to allow for diagnosis, treatment and management of the pediatric population
  2. Strengthen physical assessment skills essential for the care of the pediatric and adolescent surgical patient
  3. Develop baseline understanding of potential complications related to the diagnosis and treatment of specific surgical diagnoses
  4. Develop skills in performing invasive procedures
  5. Provide opportunities to explore the physician assistant professional role
  6. Experience the physician assistant collaborative role among MD’s and PA’s within Texas Children's Hospital
  7. Integrate a knowledge base necessary to educate patients and families
  8. Provide fundamental knowledge on the physician assistant first-assist role within the operating room


Didactic curriculum

Structured to provide the PA with a solid foundation of fundamental knowledge in which to develop and hone clinical acumen in the care of the surgical patient, the didactic curriculum will combine live lectures and conferences to be complemented by reading assignments, PowerPoint presentations and written articles. The content is vast, encompassing topics in physiology and pathophysiology, surgery, critical care management and the advanced surgical techniques associated with the treatment of department-specific disease processes.

Clinical curriculum

Developed to work in concert with the didactic portion, the clinical curriculum features strategically formulated OR days, inpatient rounds and division-specific surgical procedures. The PA fellow will be expected to perform daily rounds, present to patients articulately and accurately, describe and implement the plan of care, perform therapeutic procedures, and participate and become proficient in all surgical aspects of the intra-operative care of the surgical patient. The final goal is to foster and instruct the PA so that they develop proficient clinical skills in the pre-, peri-, and post-operative care of the surgical patient.

Credentials Awarded

Upon successful completion of the program, fellows will be awarded a Certificate of Completion for the Texas Children’s Hospital Physician Assistant Fellowship in Pediatric Surgery.


  • Stipend - $65,000
  • Professional liability insurance
  • $75,000 group term life insurance
  • Uniforms
  • Paid time off (PTO) accrual
  • Medical and dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Prescription drug program
  • Health Care reimbursement account
  • Retirement program

Contact information

For questions or more information, email Jordan Rodriguez at jlmcandr@texaschildrens.org or call 832-826-6294. 

Surgical Physician Assistant Fellowship FAQs

What are all the required documents needed to fulfill the application?
CV, Personal statement, professional recommendation letter.

Do you have to have passed your PANCE (national exam) before start date?
No, but you must have the exam scheduled.

Application due date?
September 16, 2020

Do you have to be licensed in Texas prior to starting the program?

What are the rotations, what are the electives?
Core rotations are congenital heart surgery, general pediatric surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, trauma, urology, and an innovative new addition, surgical hospitalists. Electives are interventional radiology, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, emergency center, critical care medicine, or any core service.

How many hours a week do you work?
60-80 hours per week

Do you pay for travel expenses for interviews?
Travel is not paid by TCH; however, if selected, it is encouraged that you move to Houston by the time the health assessment is scheduled.

When are interviews scheduled?
August 28 and September 25, 2020

Are there hotels close to the interview?
Texas Children's Hospital is located in the heart of the Medical Center; there are several that are within walking distance to the hospital.

Number of fellows or positions available?
There are 2 openings.

What is the stipend, benefits?
$65,000 annual salary; professional liability insurance; PTO; Medical and Dental insurance (See more on benefits section above).

How long is the program?
12 months

When is the start date?
January 11, 2021

More about Texas Children’s Hospital and the Department of Orthopedics

Texas Children’s Hospital is the largest pediatric hospital in the country and is ranked No. 4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to the hospital and clinics in the Texas Medical Center, Texas Children’s has two full-service children’s hospitals in our communities – Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the latter of which will open outpatient services this fall. The full-service hospital will open in 2017.

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery sees patients at eight locations across the greater Houston area. These community locations offer a unique educational experience for physician assistant fellows without the competition of outside learners.

“It is a new day for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital,” Dormans said. “Our department is excited to be expanding its faculty ranks and collaborating across the hospital to create the best combination of musculoskeletal, sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiology and genetics professionals in the United States.”