Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship


This 12-month accredited program provides unique access to the knowledge base for optimal Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders care. The Spinal Cord Injury fellowship provides unique access to the knowledge base for optimal spinal cord injury and disorders care.

The Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship partners with the Department of Neurosurgery to broaden the educational experience and enhance the fellow's learning experience. Fellows also have access to the resources and researchers in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, well known for their impact on SCI research. 

Program Goals

Focus is placed on clinical and academic excellence, with protected research/elective time to encourage exploration and personal growth.

Fellows benefit from the breadth and depth of Jefferson Health System, a level 1 trauma center, and the designated Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley (RSCICDV). The RSCICDV System is a longstanding center caring for patients with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). We have extensive opportunities for education and a breadth of exposure that is hard to match. From our “cord alert” system that engages SCI physicians very early in the care continuum to our SCI Medical Home at Magee Rehabilitation, you will be exposed to the entire continuum of care with a host of well-respected and seasoned SCI physicians, Neurosurgeons, Hand surgeons, Urologists, Therapists, Nurses, and Researchers.

Program Objectives

Objectives to be demonstrated by graduating fellows include: 

  • Performing a comprehensive neurologic assessment and determining the injury level of the patient
  • Performing a functional assessment based on neurological, musculoskeletal, and cardiopulmonary examinations and psychosocial and prevocational evaluations
  • Evaluating the stability of the Spine
  • Coordinating and managing the transition from acute care to rehabilitation
  • Prescribing appropriate vehicle modifications and motor retaining and conditioning activities to promote independence in mobility and transportation, orthoses, and the adaptive equipment needed to meet the rehabilitation goals.
  • Determining when the rehabilitation goals have been achieved, finalizing the discharge plan, and arranging for the appropriate level of care to match the patient’s needs
  • Evaluating and managing inter-current diseases with a special emphasis on the prevention and management of these diseases in patients at various levels of spinal cord injury
  • Evaluating and managing the use of appropriate surgical procedures for skin problems, including resection of bone, the development of flaps for soft tissue coverage, and the pre-and post-operative management of these patients
  • Evaluating and managing Orthostatic hypotension and other cardiovascular abnormalities during the initial mobilization of the patient
  • Pain disorders associated with spinal cord disease/injury
  • Musculoskeletal disorders associated with spinal cord disease/dysfunction, including shoulder pain, overuse syndromes, neck pain, shoulder subluxation, and heterotopic ossification
  • Skin problems utilizing specialized beds, cushions, wheelchairs, and pressure mapping
  • The medications of patients with spinal cord injuries, including changes in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug interactions, over-medication, and compliance
  • Providing regular follow-up, evaluation, and preventive health care to keep the patient at his/her maximum health and rehabilitation status and coordinating this care with the patient’s personal community physician
  • Implementing over the course of the individual patient’s lifetime, a health maintenance and disease prevention program with early recognition and effective treatment of complications.
  • Working with interdisciplinary and inter-specialty teams in managing pre- and post-operative care of patients undergoing operative procedures that enhance extremity function, including muscle and tendon transfers.

Learning will occur within an intended focus on the six core competencies of medicine: medical knowledge, patient care, professionalism, systems-based practice, interpersonal and communication skills, and practice-based learning. The fellow’s performance will be regularly evaluated annually by fellowship faculty.


Interested candidates should send a curriculum vitae, fellowship application, and two letters of recommendation to:

Kristin Gustafson, DO

Director, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship
Associate Professor


c/o Catherine.Rahman@jefferson.edu
Residency and Fellowship Coordinator

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Thomas Jefferson University
130 South 9th Street
Philadelphia PA 19107

As an employer, Jefferson maintains a commitment to provide equal access to employment.  Jefferson values diversity and encourages applications from women, members of minority groups, LGBTQ individuals, disabled individuals, and veterans.

SCI Fellow

Mina Na, DO

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Undergraduate: Temple University
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine