New Endoscopic Spine Fellowship officially begins

The Department of Anesthesiology is excited to welcome Rohan Sarna, M.D., the first fellow of our new Endoscopic Spine Fellowship under the direction of Sanjeev Kumar, M.D.

Endoscopic spine surgery is a groundbreaking, minimally invasive technique that can address a wide range of pathologies with only a small incision. As a relatively new procedure, there are few full fellowships that teach this technique, and those that do are usually located in neurosurgery departments.

Learning how to perform the procedure is challenging. Kumar says it takes at least one year of dedicated training to fully develop the skills necessary to perform the technique.

“Formal training in endoscopic spine surgery doesn’t exist in many places,” said Kumar, associate professor of anesthesiology, medical director of the UF Health Springhill Pain Clinic, and director of the Endoscopic Spine Fellowship. “The technique has a steep learning curve and requires a master trainer to walk students through the process. It’s very easy for a small incorrect movement to make a procedure more difficult.”

Sarna heard about the fellowship at his wedding in Boston, where he ran into a friend who was one of our current Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine fellows.

“I was working in pain medicine,” said Sarna, “but felt like something was missing. Treating the symptoms of pain felt like fitting a square peg into a round hole. When I looked up Dr. Kumar and saw how this procedure treats the problem rather than the symptom, I felt like this was what I was missing in pain medicine.”

Sarna said working in a new fellowship in a growing field is challenging, but that it’s also exciting to work with Kumar to shape future generations.

“Dr. Kumar applies clinical knowledge like nobody I’ve ever met before,” he said. “He’s getting patients from all over the country just from word of mouth. He doesn’t even advertise.”

Outside of work, Sarna is a huge soccer fan. He also enjoys swimming and cooking with his wife.

Learn more about our Endoscopic Spine Fellowship.