Scholarships & Funds

L. Ray Lawson, M.D., International Pediatric Spine Fellowship

So that Dr. L. Ray Lawson's years of dedication and tremendous accomplishments may continue to inspire and educate future generations of orthopaedists, the International Pediatric Spine Fellowship was formed. Through the support of family, friends and colleagues, Dr. Lawson's legacy will have a lasting influence on research and treatment advancements that address pediatric spinal deformities. Please join us in honoring Dr. Lawson's legacy with a contribution to the fellowship commemorating his life's work. Your financial gift will be a lasting tribute to Dr. Lawson and his groundbreaking achievements, which are respected by members of the medical community around the world.

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"Throughout his career Ray Lawson had an abiding love for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children as well as the care and treatment of children with spinal deformities. We can think of no better way of honoring Dr. Lawson than continuing his legacy and memory by establishing the L. Ray Lawson, M.D., International Pediatric Spine Fellowship. Please join us in our effort to provide educational opportunities to young doctors from around the globe who share Ray Lawson's passion."

W.Z. Burkhead Jr., M.D. • Peter Carter, M.D. • Sally Stout • David Lawson • Mac Lawson


The L. Ray Lawson, M.D., International Pediatric Spine Fellowship at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) was established in memory of our longtime friend, respected colleague and pioneer of the spine service at TSRHC, Dr. Ray Lawson. After completing his medical education at Baylor University College of Medicine, orthopaedic surgical training at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and receiving a Fulbright scholarship in England, he returned to Dallas. He then joined the renowned Carrell Clinic, which was started by Dallas' first orthopaedic surgeon and founder of TSRHC, William Beall Carrell, M.D.

In the 1950s, as pediatric scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) referrals to the hospital increased, TSRHC had a growing need for a specialist in spine conditions and Dr. Lawson was recruited by then Chief of Staff Dr. Brandon Carrell to join the TSRHC medical staff.

Dr. Lawson also trained with Paul Harrington, in the use of a groundbreaking surgical spinal implant called the Harrington Rod, which was used to straighten and stabilize a curved spine. Dr. Lawson was instrumental in developing anterior approaches to the spine and performed the first spinal surgery using a Harrington Rod at TSRHC.

Dr. Lawson, Dr. Harrington and several others were the founding members of the Scoliosis Research Society in the mid-60s. In 1999, the National Scoliosis Research Society awarded Dr. Lawson the prestigious Walter Blount Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Lawson established the hospital's first scoliosis clinic. He selflessly gave his time and effort to serve this growing population with spine disorders and orthopaedic conditions.

This fellowship honors Dr. Lawson's lifetime commitment, dedication and phenomenal impact on orthopaedics and the treatment of pediatric spine disorders. A reception and dedication was hosted at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in his honor. View photos from the event.

About the Fellowship

The L. Ray Lawson, M.D., International Pediatric Spine Fellowship is available to postgraduate surgeons who have completed an orthopaedic residency. The fellowship provides the recipient the opportunity to pursue advanced study, in-depth training, management and research in spine deformity. This fellowship revolves around the active services of 15 full-time, board-certified pediatric orthopaedic surgeons who evaluate and treat more than 12,000 orthopaedic pediatric patients per year.

The recipient of this fellowship will rotate with a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon as a member of the team, observing in the operating room, participating in pre- and post-operative assessments and care of the surgical inpatients, as well as evaluation and assistance with the plan of care for the orthopaedic outpatients. The fellow has the opportunity to participate in clinical research in conjunction with a faculty sponsor.

Striving for Excellence

The excellence in the treatment of spinal deformity demonstrated by Dr. Ray Lawson throughout his career is the standard to which the Lawson International Pediatric Spine Fellowship aspires. Fellows will be exposed to forums of experts representing many disciplines and will participate in numerous challenging surgeries.

The fellowship will occur within an environment of collaborative medicine pioneered by Dr. Lawson that continues today as the foundation of the hospital's Center for Excellence in Spine Research.

Pioneering Breakthroughs

243Scoliosis is the most commonly referred diagnosis to TSRHC, which treats more than 6,000 children with this condition each year. The hospital has pioneered spinal deformity treatments since its early years. In the 1970s, TSRHC Chief of Staff Dr. Tony Herring and the orthopaedic staff launched a groundbreaking initiative to develop new and innovative procedures and implant systems for treating spinal disorders. The initiative included development of the TSRH® Spinal System, which became the most widely used spinal deformity implant system in the world. In 2005, TSRHC modified the original design to create the TSRH® SILO 5.5 Spinal System, a lower profile, more versatile system that allows improved scoliosis treatment.

Scoliosis Treatment & Research at TSRHC

Scoliosis affects approximately two to three percent of school-age children in the United States. Scoliosis surgical costs are estimated in the billions of dollars each year. Through the commitment of researchers and physicians like Dr. Lawson, TSRHC has earned an international reputation for its patient care, as well as its efforts to improve treatment and ultimately identify the genetic cause of scoliosis.