Fellowship Goals

The primary focus of this six-month fellowship is to provide the environment where a fellow can develop best-practice diagnostic and treatment abilities for a wide range of hip disorders. The fellowship has particular focus on direct anterior approach for hip arthroplasty, as well as advanced arthroscopic preservation techniques. Opportunities also exist for clinical research and involvement with area high school and collegiate sports teams.

Duration: six months, one fellow
Deadline: November 15
Stipend: $30,000 w/offered benefits

The Experience

  • Two days per week focused on direct anterior approach total hip replacement
  • Two days per week focused on hip arthroscopy
  • One day per week on clinical research; one published paper is expected
  • On Call: assist as needed with trauma calls
  • Sports coverage is optional but encouraged

Clinical and Operative Environment

Fellows will interact with patients who have likely sought specialized treatment at the Bone & Joint Center due to the practice’s growing reputation for hip excellence. The Bone & Joint Center is a medical group within Holland Hospital, and reflects the hospital’s commitment to clinical excellence in all areas, including Spine and Orthopedics. The hospital opened a $10 million Spine & Orthopedics inpatient wing in 2013, and is ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation for outstanding patient experience. It has also been awarded Healthgrades’ Outstanding Patient Experience Award five years in a row (2009–2013) and is recognized as one of Healthgrades’ 2014 “America’s 100 Best Hospitals” for Joint Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery and Critical Care.

Working with state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical technology, fellows will be exposed to current hip arthroplasty and arthroscopic reconstructive procedures. The team relationship of the medical and admin staff will also expose fellows to the daily workings of an efficient, highly specialized practice.

The Surgical Team

Dr. Carl Wierks, Program Director

The fellowship program is under the direction of Carl Wierks, M.D. Dr. Wierks completed a world-renowned fellowship at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO, where he trained with J. Richard Steadman, M.D. Steadman is credited with popularizing the microfracture technique of the knee; the most common treatment for knee cartilage damage. Dr. Wierks helped Dr. Steadman to treat professional athletes from around the world with complex knee problems such as revision Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction.

During his sports fellowship, Dr. Wierks also worked with Marc Philippon, M.D., an international leader in the emerging field of hip arthroscopy.

Dr. Derick Johnson

Derick Johnson, D.O., is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon credited with bringing anterior approach hip arthroplasty to Western Michigan. The first in Michigan to conduct a bilateral hip replacement in a single surgical setting, Dr. Johnson has performed more than 1,000 hip replacements with outcomes that far exceed national averages.

Dr. Johnson received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was inducted into the Sigma Sigma Phi National Osteopathic Honor and Service Fraternity. Dr. Johnson trained with Charles A. Engh, Sr., M.D., a pioneer who helped develop porous-coated cementless implants for joint replacement surgery and with Gerald A. Engh M.D., a past president of the Knee Society, who has developed innovative partial knee implant technology.

The Community

With its natural beauty, economic vitality, and gracious hospitality, the Holland, Michigan area is one of the nation’s most desirable locations to live. Holland has been recognized by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index as the #2 happiest, healthiest place to live and by Forbes Magazine as one of the Top Five Cities in the U.S. with the lowest crime rate. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa, Holland offers abundant year-round recreation and is within easy driving distance of Chicago.