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Learn about the Burn Surgery Fellowship position within the Department of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Burn Surgery Fellowship

The Indiana University School of Medicine Burn Surgery Fellowship at the Eskenazi Hospital Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center and Riley Hospital for Children Speedway Burn Unit offers two fellowship positions. The 12-month fellowship (July through June) focuses on all clinical aspects of acute and reconstructive burn care in both the adult and pediatric populations. To qualify, applicants must have completed a minimum of three years of training in general or plastic surgery as a resident. All applicants will be considered through a rigorous and competitive selection process.

Clinical Experience

Burn surgery fellows will gain experience in working with both adult and pediatric burn patients. The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Hospital houses a 15-bed inpatient burn unit, all beds with ICU capabilities, in addition to private burn operating rooms, procedure rooms, multi-disciplinary ancillary services, and the outpatient clinic. There are 300 admissions and 500 outpatient burns seen annually. The burn team manages burn resuscitations, inhalation injuries, burn physiology derangements, wound care, and surgical debridement and wound closure for acute burn patients.

The Speedway Burn Unit at Riley Hospital for Children houses a 10-bed burn unit within walking distance from the adult hospital. There are 120 admissions and 400 outpatient burns seen annually. There are dedicated advanced practice providers to assist with daily patient care, outpatient evaluations, and coordinating burn reconstructions. The burn team, with assistance from the PICU services, manages all medical aspects of acute burn care along with the surgical debridements, wound closures, and reconstructive procedures.

Apply for the Burn Surgery Fellowship

Interested applicants should email the following credentials and documents to Sarah Owens, who can also address additional questions about the program.

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • ABSITE or ABPS In-Service scores
  • USMLE scores
  • A personal statement describing interest in pursuing a fellowship in burn surgery
  • Three letters of recommendation


Our fellows will participate in all aspects of acute burn management, including external hospital acceptance, pre-hospital management, post-burn reconstruction, traumatic road rash injuries, and desquamating dermatologic conditions. Providers utilize advanced wound coverage techniques including spray skin cells, cultured epithelial autografts, and dermal regenerative templates in addition to traditional autografting. The reconstructive opportunities are robust as all patients are followed long term by the plastic surgery providers offering laser treatments, scar revisions, fat grafting, contracture releases, and tissue expansion if indicated.

There are weekly conferences on Monday and Wednesday mornings focused on case indications and topical didactics regarding reconstructive and plastic surgery. Additionally, the burn team joins in the trauma morbidity and mortality conference at Eskenazi quarterly and hold independent morbidity and mortality and quality improvement conferences monthly. Upon completion of the burn fellowship, fellows will be expected to be competent in caring for burn patients from admission to discharge as well as managing their long-term reconstructive needs.

Research and Academic Opportunities

The fellows are expected to participate in clinical research with the support of burn unit resources, focused on some aspect of burn care, and submit research to present at one of the regional or national burn meetings.


The fellowship is run by the Division of Plastic Surgery within the Department of Surgery. The primary burn faculty are Brett C. Hartman, DO, burn unit director, and Leigh Spera, MD, Burn Surgery Fellowship program director and burn unit associate director. They are assisted by other members of the Division of Plastic Surgery, the Divisions of Trauma and Pulmonary Critical Care, and the Division of Pediatric Critical Care. The fellows will work closely with Drs. Hartman and Spera as well as other faculty to learn all aspects of burn care and will also receive mentoring to support their career development, multi-disciplinary team management and medical education. 

21877-Spera, Leigh

Leigh Spera, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery

Burn Surgery Program Director

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