Children’s Mercy Hospital

The Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics of Kansas City is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in pediatric orthopedic patient care, education, and basic and clinical research.  The Hospital and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery has been consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  The Department of Orthopedics, led by our Chair, Norman Otsuka MD, has 12 pediatric orthopedic surgeons, two pediatric plastic surgeons, one pediatric orthopedic fellow and 4 non-operative sports medicine and general musculoskeletal physicians in addition to 26 advanced practitioners.  All disciplines, including general orthopedics, trauma, sports medicine, upper extremity, spine, hip, limb lengthening and deformity, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular, and musculoskeletal tumor are represented.  Our research program has a variety of over 30 different prospective and retrospective clinical studies.   We have close collaborative relationships with, UMKC School of Medicine, UMKC Dental School, KU Medical School, KCUMB and KU Lawrence School of Engineering.

Our pediatric orthopedic faculty includes John Anderson MD, Lisa Berglund MD, Christine Cheng MD, Caleb Grote MD, Dale Jarka MD, Katherine Keeler MD, Kevin Latz MD, Norman Otsuka MD, Richard Schwend MD, Mark Sinclair MD, Micah Sinclair MD, Caroline Tougas MD


Research Fellow Opportunities

  • Direct mentorship from orthopedic residency faculty
  • Co-author 5-10 research manuscripts, abstract or meeting presentations with opportunity to serve as lead author
  • Gain practice experience in the development and execution of successful research endeavors
  • Present research at regional and national orthopaedic conferences
  • Network with orthopedic surgery residents, fellows, and attending surgeons
  • Participate in departmental educational activities including lecture series on various research topics, orthopedic didactic teaching sessions for students, residents and fellows, and Grand Rounds lectures
  • Gain clinical and surgical exposure working with faculty mentors


Research Fellow Duties and Responsibilities

  • Reports to Richard M. Schwend MD, Director of Research, Department of Orthopedics, Children’s Mercy Hospital.
  • Manage ongoing Department research projects
  • Time allocation will be 50% spine and the remainder of research fellow’s time will be dedicated to other pediatric orthopedic projects within the Department. Opportunity to collaborate with orthopedic studies with University of Missouri Kansas City Orthopedic Residency.
  • Conduct monthly research/QI meetings with attending surgeons and research personnel. Present monthly dashboard data at these meetings about status of the Department research projects. Projects and research ideas are tracked on REDCap data base.
  • Collaborate with medical students and orthopedic residents on their research projects.
  • Perform literature reviews, formulate research hypotheses and proposals
  • Draft and submit IRB protocols
  • Recruit and obtain informed consent for prospective research projects
  • Manage data entry for involved research projects. Collect, organize, and execute data analysis
  • Draft manuscripts for subsequent publication
  • Work closely with Department Research Coordinator.
  • Assure that all funded research projects get priority.
  • Participate in weekly research working meetings.



  • Obtain experiential education in the depth and breadth of the clinical research process
  • Gain clinical experience and knowledge of orthopedic and spinal deformity surgery
  • Obtain experience that supports the student to enter competitive orthopedic surgery residency programs.
  • Experience mentorship with an academic staff member(s) and orthopaedic residents
  • Encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and research among Children Mercy trainees and professional staff.
  • Learn to teach research methodology to our medical students and residents
  • Develop lifelong learning and curiosity.
  • Self-study curriculum
  • Support and encourage the pursuit of orthopedic surgery as a career for women and underrepresented minorities.

Requirements for Application

Eligible students:
 Medical students who have, at a minimum, completed their first year of medical school and are in good standing, from both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools are eligible. Students from outside of the Kansas City area are considered and encouraged to apply.  Unmatched medical school graduates are also encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant will be motivated, energetic, intellectually curious, diverse in experiences of community service and leadership and work well with a team. They should possess an interest in orthopedic surgery with an ability to work independently and efficiently.

Program Duration. The research fellowship position is a 12-month commitment beginning July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.  Start and end dates are flexible according to the needs of the individual applicant but should last a minimum of 12 months.

Submission of application:

  • Cover letter or letter of interest
  • CV
  • Proposed start date
  • 1-2 letters of recommendation
  • For unmatched orthopedic surgery applicants, as it can be difficult to get letters from letter writers on ERAS, 1 letter is acceptable but 2 are preferred.

Please send required documents to:

Julia Leamon, RN MSN, CPN
Clinical Research Coordinator
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
Please cc our current research fellow, Jonathan Warren, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For additional questions, please contact us at the above email addresses or we can be reached by phone at: (816) 460-1036


Application Timeline

Medical School Gap Year Applicants
Application submission: Deadline: 5:00 P.M. CT on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Interview offers extended: Monday February 6th, 2023
Virtual interviews: Monday, February 13th- Monday, March 6th, 2023. Applicants will be notified of selection on Friday, March 17th, 2023

Unmatched Applicants
Application submission: 2:00 P.M. CT on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
Interview offers extended: 
For unmatched applicants, virtual interviews will begin after 12:00 P.M. on Wednesday March 15th and continue through the morning of Friday March 17th. We will select a candidate by the morning of Friday, March 17th so unselected applicants can seek other research positions or seek a match through the SOAP. We realize this is a stressful time and don’t want anyone to be left waiting for a response.  Candidates who aren’t selected will be notified by email the morning of March 17th