University of Colorado Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship

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The Pediatric Neurosurgery fellowship uses a transition to independence model through which the fellow has a faculty appointment at the University of Colorado. It is designed to build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in general residency in Neurosurgery with strong and consistent emphasis on the very special disorders and management of neurosurgical problems in children. Children’s Hospital Colorado has the most comprehensive pediatric neurosurgical program in the Rocky Mountain region, with particularly strong programs in neuro-oncology, epilepsy surgery, and cranio-facial, movement and vascular disorders. With 7 MD faculty members, the service completes over 900 major procedures per year. The fellowship is a busy clinical experience augmented by a rich educational environment and a suite of educational conferences on all aspects of pediatric neurosurgical care. Children’s Hospital Colorado regularly ranks as a Top Ten Children’s Hospital in the nation. Pediatric Neurosurgical care spans two campuses, the Pediatric Level I Trauma Center at the Anschutz campus, and the Pediatric Level II Trauma Center in Colorado Springs 70 miles to the south.

Drs. Michael H. Handler, C. Corbett Wilkinson, Todd Hankinson, Allyson Alexander and Thomas Ridder, our board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons, have more than 60 years of combined experience and focus solely on children. They are joined by our board-eligible partners D. Clay Samples, and Mohammed Alshareef.

One Pediatric Fellowship training opportunity at  the University of Colorado is the one year program certified by the Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowships (ACPNF). The fellow is based at Children’s Hospital Colorado, on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, (just outside of Denver). Application for the fellowship is through the San Francisco Match Program for Pediatric Neurosurgery. The fellow, a junior faculty member and attending, will be involved in patient care throughout training. The match fellow does not have primary call responsibility, but is part of the faculty call rotation, with back-up from more senior MD faculty members. He or she has a half-day clinic for consultations, pre- and post-operative evaluations, and follow-up patients. The inpatient activities include seeing inpatient consults and very active involvement in the pre-operative, operative, post-operative and non-operative management of pediatric neurosurgical patients. The fellow will scrub into operations being done by the more senior pediatric neurosurgeons, and will progress in a graded fashion to the stage of  performing some operations independently. Provision can be made for the fellow to have protected time to support a strong research interest. There is a proactive approach to providing the fellow with academic opportunities and to identifying a desired attending level position following completion of the fellowship. 

In addition to the ACPNF fellow, we host one international fellow each year, chosen outside of the match.  The international fellow is a fully trained and practicing neurosurgeon from outside North America, who has passed Steps 1, 2 and 3 of the USMLE, and who wishes to augment his or her training with a focused experience in pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He or she functions as a neurosurgical resident, with first call responsibilities. Inquiries about the international fellowship can be sent to Dr. Michael Handler (

In the running of the service, we are also joined by one junior resident from the University of Colorado at a time, and 9 neurosurgical Advanced Practice Providers.

Current Fellows

Raphael Santiago

Raphael Santiago
Pediatric Neurosurgery


Swetha Sundar
Pediatric Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue


Aurora, CO 80045


CU Anschutz

University Hospital - Neurosurgery Patient Affairs

12605 E 16th Ave

Aurora, CO 80045


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