Department of Surgery | Surgical Innovation Fellowship

  • Clinical Call Required?: Yes
  • Clinical Call Requirements: Typically two weekdays and one weekend day per month
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Program Director: Heung Bae Kim, Program Director; Farokh Demehri, Program Director
  • Source of Support: Foundation Grants

The Surgical Innovation Fellowship (SIF) is a two-year program at Boston Children’s Hospital that provides hands-on exposure for surgical residents to all aspects of healthcare innovation. The Department of Surgery, in collaboration with the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator and Immersive Design Systems, have developed an innovation journey that is supported by a network of advisors who provide fellows with the knowledge and mentorship they need to identify clinical needs and then take an idea from the drawing board to the operating room or bedside. During the two-year program, the fellow will experience the entire device and software innovation pathway, including needs assessment, market analysis, design, prototype engineering, product management, customer discovery, sales, patent and regulatory filing, etc. Fellows have access to the rich innovation environment and infrastructure in the neighboring Harvard campus and Greater Boston area. In addition to the surgical innovation projects, the fellow will gain experience in clinical and scientific research and will remain clinically active within the Department of Surgery, taking in house call (additionally compensated) and participating in didactic activities related to Pediatric Surgery and Transplantation.

To apply, please contact either Farokh Demehri, MD, at, or Heung Bae Kim, MD, at


To create future surgical innovators through hands-on training in an interdisciplinary environment that combines clinical experiences with a unique hospital-based innovation platform.


To be the premier destination for surgeons who wish to become “bridgetenders” between health care challenges and the delivery of innovative solutions at the bedside.


The curriculum is designed around three major pillars:

  • Projects: The surgical innovation fellow will begin their first year by joining multiple projects already in process and becoming oriented to the language and methodologies utilized through teamwork. They will slowly transition into identifying their own projects and ideas, learning the process of needs analysis, feasibility, risks, and ultimately transitioning to a clear, actionable project of their own. By the end of their first year, they will have moved toward execution of their primary project. At the end of their fellowship, fellows should have a product ready for commercialization or licensing.
  • Core curriculum in innovation: The curriculum is dynamic with general themes at specific time points evolve from identifying a need, devising a plan, developing solution, and bringing the solution to market. Core concepts identified can be reordered depending on need and interest. Ultimately, the fellow will have general exposure to all topics with deep dives in specific areas of interest to the deemed innovation study. There are a specific set of topics that are tied to ongoing projects and or advisors.
  • Academic (clinical research and publications): The surgical innovation fellow will be expected to continue with clinical care, clinical research, publication of case reports, review articles, primary research, etc., as well as publications associated with the innovation process. Goals will be set for both academic output as well as areas of interest.


  • Clinical: This two-year fellowship provides fellows the opportunity to work on clinical pediatric surgery research studies in addition to innovation projects. The large volume of patients and the complex surgical conditions often treated at Boston Children’s Hospital represent a great opportunity for fellows to engage in multiple clinical publications during their fellowship. Fellows are expected to submit their work to national and regional scientific meetings.
  • Surgical innovation fellows are part of the clinical staff of the Department of Surgery. They are expected to participate in all departmental academic activities (i.e. grand rounds, lectures, morbidity and mortality conferences), take calls as part of the surgery resident call schedule, and be active on the transplant procurement roster throughout the fellowship.
  • Business: The collaboration with the IDHA and Immersive Design Systems presents a unique opportunity to learn about the business and industry aspect of innovation that physicians are seldom exposed to. The fellows are invited to attend the weekly accelerator team meeting from IDHA, in which the progress of projects going through this accelerator are discussed. This allows fellows to learn about the phases of innovation and the pain points along the way from other innovators. Fellows are also invited to attend the design rounds at Immersive Designs Systems, interactive sessions that aim at prototype design improvement and optimization.
  • Basic Science: Part of the innovation pathway may include testing device prototypes on animal models. Although many innovators outsource this to CROs, this program allows for this intricate part of innovation research to be performed in-house, thus granting fellows the opportunity of basic science publications as well. The fellows work in parallel with the basic sciences research fellowship program from the Department of Surgery. Fellows will attend and present in weekly lab meetings, in which one research fellow presents his or her work to his peers and mentors.