Spinal cord injury

Our program

"Our goal is to provide fellows a comprehensive experience with exposure to diverse and complex spinal cord injuries and disorders. The SCI medicine fellow will strengthen both physiatric and rehabilitation skills in a nurturing environment."

-Lance L. Goetz, M.D., Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship program director

The Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship program is co-sponsored by the VCU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. This is a one-year clinical fellowship that will enable the fellow to sit for the spinal cord injury medicine board examination.

The fellowship offers a comprehensive educational experience in a variety of clinical and research settings carefully supervised by faculty at the McGuire VA Medical Center, VCU Health and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. It provides training in the diagnosis and classification of various types of SCI, pathophysiology of the spinal cord and affected body systems, clinical decision-making and management of traumatic and atraumatic SCI, urological and pain interventions, spasticity management, research statistics in SCI medicine, rehabilitation technology/engineering, exercise physiology, biomechanics and cognitive/behavioral management strategies for persons with SCI. Fellows attend multidisciplinary specialty clinics for persons of varying ages with meningomyelocele/spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related diseases. A two-year research fellowship in advanced SCI medicine is also available to qualified candidates.


  • In-patient SCI: 25 weeks at McGuire VA Medical Center, 18 weeks at VCU Health
  • Outpatient SCI and affiliated SCI: Various times throughout the week
  • Urology SCI: One afternoon weekly for 28 weeks, plus 2 week GU mini-rotation
  • Pediatric SCI: Every third Wednesday at CHoR
  • Electives: Two months including research


Candidates must have successfully completed an ACGME accredited program in one of the following: anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurological surgery, neurology, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, PM&R, plastic surgery, surgery or urology.

How to Apply

This fellowship participates in the SCI Medicine Match through the NRMP. Send current Curriculum Vitae, personal statement, three (3) letters of recommendation (one must be from program director), USMLE or COMLEX Transcript, Medical School Diploma, and completed application downloaded from our website to:

Lance L. Goetz, M.D.
Program director, Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship Program
Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Service (652/128)
1201 Broad Rock Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia 23249
Email: lance.goetz@va.gov

Fellow application 2020

Current fellows

  • Vacant


  • Call schedule – none
  • Salary – PGY 5 – $65,021
  • Professional development allowance for approved conferences (e.g. ASCIP, ASIA)
  • Books allowance provided 
    • Recommendations include:
      • Spinal Cord Medicine: Kirshblum S. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia. Spinal Cord Medicine: Principles and Practice: Lin V. Demos Medical Publishing.
  • Vacation – three weeks plus holidays
  • Moonlighting – discouraged, but allowable within departmental and GME policy

Contact information

Rondia Smith
GME coordinator, PM&R
(804) 828-8693