​Hospital del Trabajador—Santiago, Chile

Hospital del Trabajador - ACHS
Ramón Carnicer, 185 - Providencia
CP: 750 1239 Santiago

Phone: +56 2685 3333

Spine Center Director:
Dr. Vicente Ballesteros

Team members:
Ignacio Cirillo
Jorge Garrido
Marcos Gimbernat
Alejandro Urzua

Center description

Hospital del Trabajador’s Spine Surgery Unit is part of one of the biggest Traumatology and Orthopedics department in Chile. With over 40 attending subspecialty fully trained orthopedic surgeons. Weekly, the unit has three surgery days with one or two operating rooms assigned as needed.

Most frequent pathologies

Trauma, Degeneration

Number of cases per year:



  • Cervical trauma 
approx. 3 per month
  • Degenerative cervical spine 
approx. 4 per month
  • Degenerative lumbar spine 
approx. 8 per month
  • Dysraphic Conditions
approx. 1 per month
  • Thoracic & Lumbar Trauma 
approx. 6 per month
  • Thoracolumbar deformity 
approx. 1 per 2 months

Fellowship types

Long-term, Short-term, Observership

Language requirements


Vacancy per Year

One Long-term Fellowship, Three Short-term Fellowships

Fellowship start:

Long-term Fellowship starting in May; Short-term Fellowship depends on availability

Special Conditions:

Foreign Fellows must validate their diploma in the Chilean International Relations Ministry, according to the following description:

Title Validation:
* Applicants with graduation in Equador, Colombia, Uruguay or Brazil have an automatic validation.
* Applicants graduated in Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua or Peru must take a qualification exam at the University of Chile.
* Applicants graduated in others countries should validate their title in University of Chile and must apply for an evaluation process, which can take up to a year.

For further information, please access the link below.

Ignacio Bravo - Chief of the Teaching & Research Department of the Hospital del Trabajador

Program Characteristics

To train an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon in the whole management of the spine pathology.

The fellowship will give to the sub-specialist theoretic concepts and practical skills in the diagnosis and treatment of the spine pathology, with a solid knowledge of basic sciences related to the spine.

General subjects:
Biomechanics of the spine
Spine images
Specific subjects
Degenerative spine
Spine trauma in adults
Tumors and infections of the spine
Spine pathology in children (deformities)

Activities (long-term fellowship):
The fellowship considers on 10,5 months dedicated to adult spine pathology and 6 weeks to children deformities (Recife AO Spine Centers).
For 4 weeks, during the afternoon from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM the fellow will do a rotation in the MRI unit.
For 4 weeks, during the afternoon from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM the fellow will do a rotation with the EMG-specialist of the spine group.

Clinical practice:
Daily round to hospitalized patients with residents and medical students of the spine unit.
Clinics with the surgeon-in-charge of the fellowship, once a week.
Weekly round with the whole spine unit (team of ortho-spine surgeons, psychiatrist, psychologist, rehabilitation specialist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, social worker and nurse)
Weekly spine unit meeting (on Monday), where the group reviews the cases done the week before, discusses complex cases and plans the surgery for coming week.
Programmed surgery: the fellow will participate as scrub-in assistant in the surgeries of the spine group. Depending on his or her skills and complying with medico-Legal subjects: he or she can also operate some patients, always assisted by the surgeon-in-charge of the fellowship or one of staff spine surgeons.
Emergency surgery: the fellow could be called at any time when a case that requires emergency surgery is admitted in the hospital. The fellow will participate in the evaluation of the patient as well as in the surgery, the same as in programmed surgery as assistant or surgeon.
Six weeks in the spine unit of a children orthopedic department, devoted to the management of spinal deformities.

The fellow will participate in the clinical research of the Spine Unit. During the fellowship at least two papers in which the fellow has been participate must be submitted to the Chilean Orthopedic Annual Congress, and then for publication.

The fellow must prepare at least two reviews during his or her fellowship. Those monographs will be programmed to be presented orally in the weekly orthopedic department meeting. They will also be considered to be published in the Hospital Scientific Bulletin.

The fellow will be evaluated by spine surgeon-in-charge together with the staff surgeons of the spinal unit, at 6 months and again at the end of the year of the fellowship.

Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

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