Irish Shoulder Fellowship

The Irish Shoulder Fellowship programme began on August 1, 2018. 

As of 2017, there was no dedicated shoulder fellowship program on the entire island of Ireland (Republic and Northern Ireland). The opportunity existed to offer high quality, high volume, specialist training in shoulder surgery from leaders in the field. Fellowship-level training requires organised input from established specialists to guide newly trained orthopaedic surgeons through their shoulder specialist education and prepare them to become leaders themselves. The standard of shoulder fellowships outside the US is variable, however there can be many obstacles to pursuing a US fellowship (visa and immigration requirements, board eligibility requirements etc).  Because of the experience of the fellowship director, this fellowship will offer training that is on a par with top level US fellowships, and therefore offer that opportunity to international surgeons, and will also be a viable option for US-trained orthopaedic surgeons who wish to broaden their experience by pursuing fellowship training overseas. 

Fellowship Program Title: Irish Shoulder Fellowship

Specialty Area: Orthopaedics/Shoulder Surgery

Fellowship Director: Ms. Ruth A. Delaney, FRCS

Fellowship Faculty: Ms. Ruth A. Delaney, FRCS; Mr. Ross E. Kingston FRCS. 

Location:  Dublin and Tralee, Ireland.  

Duration:  6 or 12 months 

Principal Facility: Sports Surgery Clinic, Dublin / University College Dublin 

Other Facilities: Beacon Hospital, Dublin; and  Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee, Co. Kerry. 

Fellowship Program Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Achieve an understanding of the indications for surgery in shoulder pathology
  • Gain competence in shoulder surgical procedures – arthroscopic and open procedures
  • Gain competence in diagnosis and management of shoulder trauma
  • Evaluate outcomes of surgical intervention in shoulder pathology
  • Achieve competence in diagnosis and management of complications of shoulder surgery
  • Exposure to current research methods in shoulder pathology, and deliver at least one research project for presentation and publication
  • Prepare the fellow for entry into practice as an independent shoulder specialist and future leader in the field of shoulder surgery

Delivery Format and Audience:

This is primarily a clinical shoulder fellowship program, with built-in research opportunities, both clinical and basic science. Delivery format is that of an apprentice-based learning program, with graduated responsibility, so that at the end of the fellowship period, the fellow is ready to begin independent practice as a shoulder specialist, and has the foundation to continue to develop as a thought leader and innovator in the field of shoulder surgery.

Typically the fellowship duration will be twelve months. The application process will include a written application, with letters of recommendation, and an interview. Applications will be considered from all suitably qualified orthopaedic trainees who have completed their general orthopaedic training in a recognised, accredited program, including international applicants.

Fellowship Program Description:

The Irish Shoulder Fellowship is a coast-to-coast fellowship across two sites – Dublin and Tralee, Co. Kerry. The fellow will receive comprehensive training in all aspects of shoulder surgery, including open and arthroscopic surgery. There will be exposure to a wide range of cases, from arthroscopic sports, instability and rotator cuff cases, to open reconstructive and arthroplasty cases, as well as trauma cases. Complexity will vary from primary cases to complex revision situations. Modern techniques such as superior capsular reconstruction and patient-specific 3D planning for shoulder arthroplasty will form part of the experience. There will be exposure to outpatient clinics, allowing for training in decision-making, indications for surgery of the shoulder, and follow up of outcomes in shoulder surgery. The fellow will also receive education on practice management approaches.

The fellowship meets all applicable criteria of the new American Shoulder Elbow Surgeons (ASES) Quality Standard Requirements, including:

  • Minimum 200 shoulder cases per year – the fellowship program director alone performed approximately 320 separate shoulder surgeries in 2016, while the other lead clinician performed 310 rotator cuff repairs in 2016.
  • Faculty to fellow ratio 2:1
  • Program Director is an active ASES member
  • Educational Curriculum, as set out below
  • Schedule of Conferences, as set out below
  • Clinical Schedule, as set out below
  • Semi-annual evaluation of the fellow by faculty, and of faculty and the fellowship program by the fellow

Representative Weekly Schedule (Dublin)

  • Monday – academic time/protected research time
  • Tuesday – outpatient clinic; shoulder conference
  • Wednesday – surgery (Mater Private Hospital ) or multidisciplinary academic conference (physiotherapy, sports medicine) followed by outpatient clinic
  • Thursday – surgery (Sports Surgery Clinic)
  • Friday – surgery (Beacon Hospital)
  • Saturday (once per month) – surgery (Sports Surgery Clinic)

The fellow will also spend time in Tralee, Co. Kerry, with Mr. Kingston, in order to further the breadth and depth of exposure to shoulder surgery. The timing of visits to Tralee will largely be determined by the surgical schedule at both sites, to maximise the fellow’s learning opportunities. Typically, the fellow will not go to Tralee more often than one week in a month. Travel and accommodation costs in Tralee will be covered by the fellowship program. Tralee is approximately 300km southwest of Dublin, with multiple daily flights of one hour duration.

There will be ample opportunity for academic endeavour in the field of shoulder surgery. Both practices use Surgical Outcomes System to track clinical outcomes, and to provide a database for use in research. Ms. Delaney has also set up the Shoulder Instability Registry in Dublin, which tracks all operative instability patients and involves collaboration with the physiotherapy department, particularly on return to play protocols for athletes. Ms. Delaney is Assistant Clinical Professor at University College Dublin (UCD), with academic links to UCD via the UCD Academy at Beacon Hospital and directly with the Bioengineering Department at UCD. This offers the fellow the opportunity to engage in basic science research as well as clinical research. The fellow will be expected to complete at least one research project during the year, and submit for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The fellow will be encouraged to submit his/her work to international shoulder meetings.

The fellow will have frequent opportunities to engage in academic discussion with the fellowship director, with once monthly shoulder journal reviews.  There will also be a monthly indications conference at the Dublin site.

The fellowship is based across two private practices, with full resident coverage at each hospital, and therefore no formal on-call responsibilities. The fellow will be expected to round on post-operative patients, whenever there are inpatients. The practice is 100% shoulder, and the fellowship director is a Harvard-trained, Neer award-winning shoulder surgeon who has extensive European and North American shoulder surgery connections, facilitating potential international surgical visit opportunities for the fellow.  page4image18680

This is a rigorous fellowship with extensive commitment to clinical experience.  Furthermore, the fellow is an active participant in the team both in and out of the operating room.  Thus vacations had been an afterthought in the past.  Our policy would be that fellows are entitled to vacation time, but it would be best to try and coordinate with your individual consultant surgeon to take this time when he or she is away.  Furthermore, we are aware of the need for and support your taking time away to interview for potential job opportunities.

In order to participate in this fellowship, the successful applicant must register with the Medical Council of Ireland (on the General Register)   Prospective applicants should ensure that they can meet the Medical Council requirements before applying for this fellowship.  In addition, the fellow must be fluent in spoken and written English. If English is not the applicant's first language, then an IELTS score of minimum 6.5 must be presented.


Applicants should include a cover letter stating why they wish to pursue this fellowship, along with their CV, a photo and two letters of recommendation, preferably from consultant/attending shoulder surgeons. 

NOTE: Applications have now closed.  The next available fellowship position is August 2022.  Applications for the August 2022 - July 2023 fellowship period will open in 2021. Any documents emailed to the office when applications are not open will not be processed.


© Copyright Ms. Ruth Delaney 2014. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Symphony3
Site best viewed in IE9+, Firefox 3.5+, Chrome 3+ at 1024 x 768 pixels resolution.