The Hand Fellowship program at Wake Forest School of Medicine prepares fellows for a career as a clinical or academic surgeon. In this program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, fellows will learn to treat complex disorders of the hand—affecting everything from the brachial plexus to the fingertips.
Why Train at Wake Forest?
All fellowship faculty have advanced training in hand and shoulder/elbow and perform all aspects of upper extremity surgery, including shoulder trauma, arthroplasty, reconstruction and arthroscopy.
We also provide the traditional hand curriculum, with excellent and broad exposure to trauma, reconstruction and microsurgery.
The fellowship is designed to provide a complete experience in upper extremity problems. At the completion of the fellowship, you should be competent in treating congenital and acquired disorders in either a private practice or academic setting.
Our program will help you:
- Develop clinical expertise in the diagnosis and management of all disorders involving the upper extremity.
- Refine clinical skills so that new problems can be addressed using pathophysiologic and patient-oriented information, allowing an appropriate course of action to be initiated in patient care.
- Attain technical and surgical expertise in traumatic, congenital and acquired disorders of the upper extremity.
- Develop a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology of the upper extremity.
- Gain experience in basic science investigations, including clinical review, clinical outcome and basic research.
We use these educational methods:
The clinical preceptorship includes experience in the offices of the attendings as well as fellow-directed clinics, the emergency room and the operating room. New patients are followed from diagnosis through the selection of a treatment plan, preoperative planning, operative intervention and postoperative management. Follow-up patients allow you to observe the recovery process and long-term results after surgical procedures
Fellows attend lectures given by the faculty during the Hand Conference, Trauma Conference, Core Conference, Musculoskeletal Pathology Conference and guest lectureships.
Socratic conferences include preoperative conferences, case presentations at the Hand Conference, one-on-one discussions and interchanges during rounds and direct evaluation of patients in the office.
Basic Science Instruction
Basic science instruction includes didactic lectures and direct educational experience in physiology, pathology and anatomy. The department has direct access to fresh and embalmed anatomy specimens through the Department of Anatomy. Fresh-frozen upper extremities are available for prosection, dissection and anatomic studies.
Formal Research Experience
Research experience includes clinical follow-up studies, prospective outcome analysis and studies and basic science. You’ll be given eight hours per week of protected research time. Research endeavors are supported by the orthopaedic extremity laboratory and research facilities.
Typical Week of a Hand Fellow
Three fellows are expected to cover the half-month that orthopaedics is responsible for hand call. Typically, this is either the first or last two weeks of each month.
Hand fellows do not admit patients to the hospital or operate alone. The fellows may operate with orthopaedic, plastic surgery or neurosurgery attendings.
Hand fellows change clinics every two months, and will have the opportunity to work with all hand faculty in both the fall and the spring. Please see the typical week overview calendar below.