The Justin Parker Neurological Institute (JPNI) offers a fellowship in conjunction with Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates (BNA). This fellowship is open to both neurosurgical and orthopedic trainees that are graduates of U.S. accredited orthopedic or neurosurgery residency programs and eligible for an unrestricted Colorado medical license, malpractice insurance, and hospital privileges. We are unable to accept applications from physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the U.S. and have not completed an accredited neurosurgical or orthopedic residency program in the United States. The fellowship program is of 12 months duration commencing in August of one year and ending in July of the following year.

The fellow will gain clinical knowledge and practical experience required to treat patients with spinal disorders including degenerative disc disease, fractures, spinal deformities, infections and tumors. The fellow will be instructed by a faculty of five surgeons while he/she rotates through neurosurgical and orthopaedic spine services. BNA is a group of neurosurgeons with dual neurosurgical and orthopedic spine training. BNA has affiliations with The Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, Boulder Community Hospital, Longmont United Hospital, Platte Valley Medical Center, Avista Adventist Hosptial, and Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center and Foothills Surgery Center located in the northwest region of Colorado. A fellow will be able to get extensive exposure to various minimally invasive techniques, interspinous process devices, artificial disc technology and kyphoplasty. There is also broad exposure to state-of-the-art spinal instrumentation, as well as intraoperative image guidance and imaging, and treatment modalities including stereotactic radiosurgery (CyberKnife).

Although the subspecialty training in spine surgery is mainly focused on surgical skills, it involves all aspects of conservative management, postoperative patient care, and clinical research. There will be ample opportunity to participate in a clinical research project(s) that will lead to publication and presentations at the national meetings during that year.

Percent of Fellowship devoted to Operative Care: 70%
Non-Operative Care: 30%
Research/Publication Obligation: Yes


Approximate percentage of exposure to the spine by region:

Cervical: 35%
Thoracic: 15%
Lumbar: 50%


Approximate percentage of Fellowship exposure to the spine by diagnostic category:

Degenerative: 70%
Trauma: 15%
Deformity: 10%
Tumor: <5%


Learning Objectives

The fellow will be able to:

  • Display competence in non-operative management of spinal disorders
  • Display knowledge in interpretation of advanced investigative techniques
  • Display clinical competence in evaluation of spinal disorders, differential diagnosis and management
  • Appreciate indications for surgery for spinal disorders
  • Understand principles of multiple surgical techniques and approaches with their implications regarding complications
  • Display surgical competence in complex spinal instrumentation with regards to indications
  • Recognize and manage postoperative complications
  • Develop communications with patient and family skills showing respect, empathy and compassion
  • Understand the principles of medical ethics and gain the fundamental background for practicing medicine in an ethically responsible manner
  • Develop inter-professional relationships and work effectively with physicians and other allied health professionals
  • Critically apprise medical literature and research methodology, develop knowledge of current scientific literature and apply it to daily patient management
  • Successfully complete a research project(s) including presentations at national meetings and publications.

To inquire or apply for the fellowship, please contact us at

Past JPNI Fellows

Benjamin Serxner, MD

Benjamin Serxner, MD received his MD from the University of California, Irvine, and recently completed his Neurosurgery residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery with the Justin Parker Neurological Institute (JPNI) and Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates (BNA) in Boulder, Colorado, in July of 2012.

The mission of JPNI is to advance scientific discoveries and innovative medical technologies into clinical practice by conducting clinical trials in order to implement best practices and disseminate to the medical community. JPNI also provides fellowship and internship opportunities to neurosurgical and orthopedic spine surgeons and students who are pursuing careers in medicine. Dr. Serxner was able to complete a top-notch fellowship and gained clinical knowledge, practical skills and research experience necessary to the management of a spine surgery practice. During his fellowship Dr. Serxner has prepared papers for publication1 and several presentations for meetings.2,3,4


  1. Villavicencio AT, Babuska J, Serxner BJ, Nelson EL, Mason A, Burneikiene S. A Preliminary Report on the CO2 Laser for Lumbar Fusion: Safety, Clinical Outcomes and Technical Considerations. J Orthop Surg and Res. Submitted.
  2. Serxner BJ, Burneikiene S, Nelson EL, Mason A, Rajpal S, Villavicencio AT. Preliminary Clinical Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Interspinous Process Plate Fixation as an Adjunct to Pedicle Screws. 80th AANS Annual Meeting, Miami, FL, April 14 -18, 2012.
  3. Villavicencio AT, Serxner BJ, Babuska J, Nelson EL, Mason A, Rajpal S, Busch E, Ashton A, Burneikiene S. The Duration of Symptoms and Clinical Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) for Degenerative Disc Disease and Radiculopathy. NASS 27th Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, October 24 -27, 2012.
  4. Serxner BJ, Burneikiene S, Nelson EL, Mason A, Rajpal S, Villavicencio AT. Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) with Interspinous Process Fixation Plate as an Adjunct to Unilateral Pedicle Screws: Radiological Outcomes. CNS Annual Meeting, Chicago IL, October 6 – 10, 2012.