Stem Cell Fellowship Training – What Patients Should Know About Their Doctor

By /

stem cell fellowship training 2

Recently, we’ve noticed several physicians advertising that they have completed “stem cell fellowship training”. So what is this and is it a real medical fellowship in the same way your cardiologist or other specialist went through fellowship training, or is it something else?

What is Fellowship Training?

A fellowship is usually a dedicated 1-2 year training program, where a physician who has completed his basic specialty training becomes a subspecialist. This means that the doctor becomes even more specialized. For example, a doctor completing internal medicine training may opt to pursue subspecialty training in cardiology by undergoing a fellowship. During this 1-2 year period, the doctor in training typically works 50-60 hours a week, at first under supervision and then as he or she learns more, under less supervision. So at the end of a one-year fellowship, the doctor has had thousands of hours of hands on training. In addition, the physician is usually required to pursue and publish research in the area, demonstrating a deep knowledge of the subject.

How Their “Stem Cell Fellowship Training” Differs from a Real Fellowship Program

The “stem cell fellowship training” we have seen advertised on stem cell clinic websites is very different from the real deal. This “fellowship” is comprehensive course given by a for-profit organization – The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (a.k.a. A4M). This program is five modules and unlike a real fellowship, has a minimal hands-on component. So rather than a year spent intensively learning a subject over thousands of hours and publishing research to demonstrate mastery, this is four “do it yourself” online courses that total less than a hundred hours of education, a three day “hands-on” course, and a test. So in under 130 hours, you can learn everything there is to know about stem cell therapy in all major disciplines including cardiology, pulmonary, orthopedics, neurology, dermatology, vascular disease, cosmetics, and more!

Compare this “stem cell fellowship training” to our Interventional Orthopedics Fellowship that focuses heavily on stem cells:

stem cell fellowship training

Also note some big differences. To be qualified for a real fellowship, you have to take years of prerequisite training in that specialty area. There is no such training required for the A4M stem cell fellowship training. In fact, you don’t even need to be a medical doctor, you can be a dentist! That last part is a bit scary, as this “fellowship” covers everything from cardiology to cosmetic surgery. Also note that the A4M “fellowship” requires you to pay almost twenty thousand dollars for this training! Contrast that to a real fellowship where the doctor is paid a salary and benefits for the 1-2 year period while he learns.

What a Real Stem Cell Fellowship Looks Like

We’re on our fourth year of running a real stem cell fellowship focused on Interventional Orthopedics. To be able to call it a “fellowship” we offer thousands of hours of didactic and hands-on training over a one year period. Fellows have to demonstrate competency in about 100 separate image-guided injection procedures just in the world of orthopedic injury. They also have to complete original research and hopefully publish this in the peer reviewed literature. In addition, they must have a prerequisite medical specialty board (like Physical Medicine), plus they should have mastered basic fluoroscopy-guided spine and ultrasound peripheral joint injections just to be considered a candidate. For this reason, we turn away about two-thirds of the doctors with the right specialty training because they don’t have the additional advanced injection education.

The real differences between the two programs came into sharp focus when I went back and forth with the chat box on the A4M website. This was a sales person trying hard to get me on the phone so he could sell me a 20K course. He boasted that the program was affiliated with a medical school, but when I asked if the 3 days of “hands-on” training actually happened at a medical school, I was told that this would happen in a private family practice clinic focusing on facial aesthetics! When I balked at paying 20K for the training, he boasted that the “fellowship” had a thousand hours of content. When I corrected him that it only really had about 120 hours of education, he admitted his math error.

The upshot? When you see a doctor advertising that he is “fellowship trained” in stem cells by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (a.k.a. A4M), this is a bit of a stretch and tells you quite a bit about the doctor and the clinic. In the wild west of weekend stem cell courses, this is just another course, albeit a comprehensive and expensive one. Given that we run one of the few legitimate “stem cell fellowships” in the country (which is actually focused on interventional orthopedics), it’s very unlikely that any US physician has taken a real one year fellowship in any subspecialty where the focus was stem cell therapy. So don’t be fooled, as calling this expensive course a fellowship is a huge stretch!

Request a Regenexx Appointment

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.

Get Blog Updates by Email

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

Category: Latest News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 thoughts on “Stem Cell Fellowship Training – What Patients Should Know About Their Doctor

  1. mark d winarski

    How do I know if my doctor is qualified in your procedures?

    1. Regenexx Team

      The only doctors which have been trained in, or can perform our procedures are Regenexx Providers. This link contains our 31 locations in the US. We are incredibly selective! You can enter your city and state or zipcode and find the one closest to you.

  2. Dr Susan Ellis

    I have just made an appointment with one of your doctors in Florida and am very comfortable knowing how rigorous his training has been I am excited about the possibility of walking and exercising without pain.

    1. Regenexx Team

      Dr. Ellis,
      Great news! Please keep us updated on your progress!

  3. Larry Roelofs

    Thanks for the article and education. I am interested in finding a doctored trained in your fellow ship but don’t see any in St. Petersburg , Florida. Can you tell me if any doctors in St. Pete is being trained?

    1. Regenexx Team

      We don’t have a Regenexx Provider in St. Petersburg and not aware of anyone currently being trained there, however we do have one in Bradenton and Ocala:

  4. Sandra Partridge

    I would be interested in one of your fellowship trained Dr’s in Iowa/Bettendorf or Davenport

    1. Regenexx Team

      We do have a Regenexx Provider in Iowa: . But depending on where you are others might be closer. Here is the “Find a Physician” link:

  5. Dr K Srinivas Rao

    I am Consultant Orthopaedics and Joint replacement surgeon from Hyderabad India
    How can I get into a proper fellowship program at Regennex
    I am very keen in a fellowship in Stem cell therapies ( Orthopaedics)
    Can Regennex consider my request
    Dr K S Rao
    Mobile 0091-9490190411


    I have a bulging disc in my neck, stenosis and some arthritis. I had 2 years of PRP therapy (I don’t think he used stem cells) and after spending a small fortune, got ZERO results from it. I now have an appt with a renowned spine surgeon who uses advanced robotics. I also have mild tennis elbow and a ‘loose’ ligament in an ankle. I may contact Regenexx for those.

    1. Regenexx Team

      Hi Gary,
      This the type of complex treatment needed to address the scenario you describe:

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet


Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar


Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog


9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021


Copyright © Regenexx 2021. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.