Group photo of three men

Drs. William N. Levine, Charles S. Neer II, and Louis U. Bigliani

The Shoulder Service at the New York Orthopaedic Hospital is the oldest and most prestigious in the world–founded by Dr. Charles S. Neer, who is known as the “father of modern shoulder surgery.” The Shoulder Service has been responsible for developing and refining many of the major procedures in shoulder surgery today.

Total shoulder replacement was introduced by Dr. Neer in the early 1970s and shoulder replacement has continued to be at the forefront of innovation at Columbia with the development of the Bigliani-Flatow Prosthesis and the next generation of implants developed by Dr. Levine. Dr. Neer also made major contributions with his classification of proximal humerus fractures, as well as the development of acromioplasty for impingement syndrome and the capsular shift procedure for glenohumeral instability.

Fellowship training offers extensive exposure to the shoulder and elbow including arthroscopy, reconstructive, and trauma surgery. Because NYP/Columbia University Irving Medical Center is a tertiary care facility, our fellows are exposed to complex and interesting cases and benefit from working with nationally and internationally known specialists. The Shoulder & Elbow fellowship program is enhanced by the resources of CUIMC, the interactive educational opportunities such as early morning didactic conferences, grand rounds, journal club, service rounds, indications conferences, clinic coverage, and numerous prominent guest lecturers.

My fellowship year was one of the best experiences of my life. My family and I loved our time in New York City and I consider my training in all aspects of shoulder and elbow surgery to be unsurpassed. I went straight from fellowship to an academic position without any other shoulder/elbow fellowship-trained surgeons as partners. Drs. Levine and Ahmad gave me the tools, experience, and wisdom I needed to care for the most difficult shoulder and elbow cases with confidence from day one out of fellowship. They were indispensable advocates in helping me secure my academic position and in helping me advance academically throughout my career. The mentorship I experienced with Drs. Levine and Ahmad in fellowship has transformed into a long-standing friendship for which I am grateful. I am honored to be a part of the rich history and tradition of the Columbia Neer-Bigliani-Levine legacy.

John-Erik Bell, MD
Fellow 2005-2006