Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Hand Surgery Fellowship Curriculum


Clinical Component

The four hand surgery fellows rotate through various institutions in four equally divided rotations. At each institution, the fellow works with assigned clinical attendings. The fellow assumes progressive responsibility and accountability, applicable to all clinical settings, including inpatient, outpatient, operating rooms, emergency room, and private office.

During the year, each fellow achieves clinical competence in the full breadth of hand and microsurgery under the guidance of faculty from both Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery who are fully trained in hand surgery. This training includes skeletal and soft tissue trauma, peripheral nerve, brachial plexus and microvascular surgery, congenital, pediatric, and adolescent surgeries, Dupuytren contracture, posttraumatic contractures, elbow and wrist instabilities, minimally invasive and arthroscopic procedures, as well as degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis.

Microsurgery Training

Irrespective of the background training of the fellow, all fellows attend the week-long microvascular skills course early in the training year- this includes live animal surgery for end-to-end artery and vein anastomosis, interposition vein graft, and free flap transfer.

Anatomy Skills

Opportunities arise throughout the year for fresh cadaver dissection for understanding general basic upper extremity anatomy and soft tissue flap design. In addition to the annual flap course, there are other opportunities in bioskills sponsored by industry and orthopedic device companies. These allow fellows to become familiar with specific orthopedic devices and endoscopic equipment and provide anatomy skills, extensile exposure, and carpal kinematics.

Hand Surgery Fellowship Research

This program strongly encourages research activity. A research project is required of each hand fellow to be completed and presented. Many of these have led to acceptance for publication. 

Research may involve direct participation in clinical and academic projects, helping with writing book chapters or technical articles, case reviews, biomechanical studies, and systematic reviews.