Join us for the 2024 Clinician Scholar Career Development Program

October 3-5, 2024
Rosemont, IL

The Call for Applications is Now Closed. Acceptance Notifications will be sent out by the end of May 2024. 

The Clinician Scholar Career Development Program (CSCDP) is an annual two-day training workshop for orthopaedic residents in their PGY2-PGY5 years, surgeons in fellowships, and junior faculty (through year three) who have the potential and desire to become orthopaedic clinician scholars. Clinician scholars advance the field of orthopaedics through innovative research and peer-reviewed funding.

The CSCDP seeks the best and the brightest; CSCDP participants are selected via a highly competitive application process. The program was created in 2003 to address a growing concern over the steady decline of orthopaedic clinician researchers and to confront the lack of basic and clinical research in many residency programs.  

The CSCDP covers a wide array of issues spanning the career timeline of a clinician scholar. General session topics that include: 

  • Beginning Your Career as a Clinician Scientist (Scholar)  
  • Orthopaedic Research: Bench or Bedside?
  • Building Blocks for a Successful Clinician Scientist Career
  • Challenges and Successes: Personal Experiences from CSCDP Graduates
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Research Collaboration
  • Resources and Opportunities for Research Funding

Program participants seek to enhance the competencies needed for success as both a surgeon and a scientist: scientific knowledge, professionalism, responsible conduct of research, research skill development, management and leadership skills, and communication skills.

The CSCDP has a proven track record of success and offers world-class scientific faculty mentors, including department chairs, NIH R01 and other grant recipients, and highly published authors. The two-day program includes didactic lectures, interactive small group breakout discussions, networking meals, and interactive panel discussions with faculty. Participants in the program gain insight into pathways to success in a scholarly career through departmental support, protected research time, collaboration, funding resources, and work-life balance. They learn to maximize efficiency based on individual career priorities and increased awareness of grant funding opportunities. By the end of the program, participants are able to create 5- and 10-year plans for their career development with concrete clinical and research goals.

Aim 1. To provide participants with increased insight into pathways to success in a scholarly career through departmental support, protected research time, collaboration, funding resources, and work-life balance and strategies aimed at maximizing efficiency based on individual career priorities.

Aim 2. To provide participants with increased awareness of grant funding opportunities and the requisite skills to compete successfully for peer-reviewed funding with an emphasis on funding mechanisms to support their transition to independent investigators.

Aim 3. To provide participants with guidance to create 5- and 10-year plans for career development with concrete clinical, research, and personal goals.

Participants are exposed to faculty mentors, enriching their education and expanding their professional network. All participants are encouraged to submit an abstract to the upcoming Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) annual scientific meeting, participate in grant review, and publish scientific research.

2024 CSCDP Agenda TBA 

Kurt P. Spindler, MD (R13 PI, CSDCP Chair)

Dr. Spindler completed medical school and an orthopaedic residency, including one year of translational research training, at the University of Pennsylvania. He then completed a one-year orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Following his fellowship, Dr. Spindler spent over 22 years at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where for over a decade he was Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation. He led the development of Vanderbilt Sports Medicine as the Director of the program from 1993 through 2013. From 1992-2013, he was also the Head Team Physician for Vanderbilt University’s SEC Division I athletic program. In January of 2014, Dr. Spindler joined the Cleveland Clinic as Vice Chair of Research to further develop a clinical outcome tracking system in clinical practice, promote expansion of the NIH-funded MOON research program as well as other multicenter clinical research, and to lead sports medicine education initiatives. Dr. Spindler is an active member of numerous regional, national, and international orthopaedic and sports medicine professional organizations. He has published more than 125 peer-reviewed publications and presented over 400 talks, principally on clinical outcomes, evidence-based medicine, and knee ligament healing. He is an NIH-funded researcher since 2006 and is an active reviewer on study panels for NIH grants. Dr. Spindler’s clinical expertise includes the evaluation and treatment of all sports medicine injuries, with specific surgical focus on arthroscopic knee surgery, especially ACL reconstruction. Dr.Spindler is the current chair of the AAOS Research Development Committee. 

Timothy M. Wright, PhD (CSCDP Co-Chair)

Dr. Wright is the FM Kirby Chair in Orthopaedic Biomechanics at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and Professor of Applied Biomechanics in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He also serves as the Coordinating Program Director of the Weil Cornell NIH-sponsored Clinical and Translational Science Center. Dr. Wright’s research efforts focus on orthopaedic implant performance through approaches that integrate clinical, radiographic, and biomechanical measures. Other studies center on translational research, applying the results of performance studies and techniques such as stress analysis and implant retrieval analysis to adapt clinical ideas into useful devices for the treatment of arthritis. He has helped develop devices for knee, hip, and elbow replacement that have gone on to commercial distribution to hundreds of thousands of patients. Dr. Wright is a past Whitaker Fellow and past recipient of a Research Career Development Award from the NIH. He received a Director’s Special Citation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for his work on a forum of academic, industry, and FDA representatives striving to improve the regulatory process for orthopedic devices. He was the Director on an NIH-funded T32 Training Program in Musculoskeletal Research at HSS for more than a decade and served as the first Director of the Hospital’s NIH-sponsored Core Center for Skeletal Integrity. He is a recipient of honors for excellence in research from the Hip Society and the Knee Society and earned a Kappa Delta Award from AAOS. Dr. Wright served as president of the Orthopedic Research Society in 1992. He is a former consulting editor for research of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and was co-editor of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research® from 1996 to 2014. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Wright is also the recipient of the Alfred Shands Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society for significant lifetime contributions.


The Call for Applications is Now Closed. 

We are pleased to announce 47 participants were sponsored for the 2023 program.

American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS)

American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS)

American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH)

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS)

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)

American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES)

Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA)

Limb Lengthening Reconstruction Society (LLRS): ASAMI-North America

Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS)

North American Spine Society (NASS)

Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA)

Pediatric Orthopaedic Society North America (POSNA)

Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS)

Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)

Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS)

J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society (JRGOS)

Hospital for Special Surgery

Mayo Clinic

Medical College of Wisconsin

NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital – Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Rush University Medical Center

The Ohio State University


University of Maryland Orthopaedics

University of Michigan

University of Minnesota

University of Rochester Department of Orthopaedics

Thank You to Our 2024 Sponsors and Supporters

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by (1R13AR076258-01) from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S.

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