Announcing Our 2023 Annual Interventional Orthobiologics Fellowship

11 years ago back in 2011, we began a Fellowship program. This weekend we announced our 2023 edition of that program. Let’s dig in.

What Is a Fellowship?

To become a Doctor you attend college and then you go through 4 years of Medical school. After that, it’s a year of Internship and then Residency training in a Medical specialty that can last an additional 3-4 years. When all of that’s complete you can begin practicing or go for even more super-specialty training which is called a Fellowship.

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Why Orthobiologics?

All modern Spine and Sports Medicine Fellowships focus on injecting destructive steroids, burning nerves, or implanting devices. All three of these aren’t net positives for your patients. The Doctors that do this stuff all day know that this isn’t the best answer, but they focus on these things because of insurance coverage. It’s really that simple. At Regenexx we don’t believe in that approach.

Let’s take my personal experience. In the early 2000s, I was performing many Radiofrequency Ablations (RFA) of the cervical spine for patients involved in car crash trauma. The good news was that the procedure reduced their pain for about a year. The bad news is that once the RFA wore off and they needed another one, they were worse each time. Why? RFA wasn’t in any way helping their body heal, it was in fact destroying critical nerves that they needed to protect injured joints. That’s when I knew that if I was going to stay in Medicine, I had to focus on treatments that would be a net positive rather than a net negative.

I’ve met many young doctors out there like myself. Even though they are new to Medicine, they don’t want a career where the only option is to perform procedures that they know will harm their patients in the long run. They want to start their careers doing things that will help their patients heal or really recover from their injuries.

Orthobiologics Fellowship?

One of the areas where there is a severe deficiency in Medical education is Orthobiologics. What’s that? See my video below:

The problem is that Academic Medical Centers don’t like things that aren’t covered by insurance. So while we at Regenexx have secured contracts with 500+ companies that will cover Orthobiologic injections, the rest of the world outside of our network has no legitimate coverage. Hence, physicians who are getting trained in Academic Medical centers rarely get exposed to using these game-changing substances.

Even if your Residency program provides a small amount of experience with Orthobiologics, it’s difficult to find a Fellowship program with loads of experience. The problem? Even the busiest Orthobiologics practices on earth perform a tiny fraction of the cases that our Regenexx Colorado headquarters perform annually. Or said a better way, even a busy Orthobiologics practice in the US might perform as many procedures in a week or month as we perform in a day. The more procedures you perform, the more mastery there is of those procedures and the more opportunity for Fellows to learn.

Our Fellowship

The Fellowship program is located at our Regenexx HQ site in Broomfield Colorado. It’s one year with about 1/3 of the total time devoted to research and 2/3rds to clinical training. There are many more details in the video above, but here are some advantages to this Fellowship program:

  • Volume – More cases equal more competency. That’s just a fact of life. We are one of the few Medical practices on earth that perform 100% Interventional Orthobiologics. 99% of the programs you can find still perform traditional steroid injections and other procedures that are not Orthobiologics.
  • Research – As a lab and clinical research group, we publish more research than 99% of the university groups now focusing on Orthobiologics. That means that we now publish 3-4 original research papers a year and our fellows get deeply involved in learning the lab research and clinical trials process as well as scientific writing.
  • Expertise – Our Colorado HQ site started performing stem cell injection procedures in 2005, which means that we were the first clinical site on earth to perform many of these image-guided procedures.
  • What and Where? Perhaps the biggest challenge in Interventional Orthobiologics is deciding what to inject where. This isn’t trivial, as this type of approach rewrites everything from your physical exam to your understanding of pathology. In our fellowship, we focus on these topics, and given that all of our injectables are created in an on-site million-dollar lab facility, there is infinite flexibility in dosing that you just don’t get with the simple bedside centrifuges used by most practices.
  • Spine and Sports – Half of what we do are Spine Orthobiologics and the other half is Peripheral joints. Meaning, we view and treat the WHOLE body and don’t believe in parting it out.
  • Advanced Procedures – Does the patient need Orthobiologics in the Talus bone? How about the SI joint? Or the Intervertebral Disc? Or a Thoracic epidural with Platelet Lysate? Perhaps the right C0-C1 joint? Your ability to learn these skills that you can’t find anywhere else is only limited by your experience level coming in and your ability to quickly learn.
  • Colorado – Most places that you live, you chose because of work or family and you take vacations to cool places outside of that location. Colorado is the only place I’ve lived where every time you return back from a vacation, it’s so special here that you’re glad you’re back home.

We’re recruiting for the July 2023 Fellowship Slots. We usually take two young Doctors a year and we already have our 2022 Fellowship positions filled. To begin the application process, send an email to jpitts@centenoschultz.com. That’s Dr. Pitts’ email, who is the Director of our program.

Join us for a free Regenexx webinar.

 Our Fellows

Since 2011, we’ve educated 15 young Physicians who have become leaders in the field of Interventional Orthobiologics. Some have begun their own practices and others have gotten prime jobs with some of the best Orthobiologics practices in the world. Why? They are highly sought after given that they often have better training in Interventional Orthobiologics than 99.9% of the physicians out there.

The upshot? We’re very proud of our Fellows. In addition, because of their research experience, some have continued to keep the flame of knowledge and research alive by performing research of their own, writing texts, and becoming thought leaders in their own right. Our job is to train the next generation of Doctors who will perform procedures that actually help patients.

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, please email us at info@regenexx.com

NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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