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Hand Fellowship

Hand Fellowship

The University of Michigan Hand Fellowship offers two positions available to board-eligible plastic and orthopedic surgeons who wish additional training in the evaluation and management of upper extremity problems. Trainees at Michigan benefit from our in-depth experience in the full breath of hand surgery, from the common to the complex. In addition to a busy clinical service, fellows will benefit from a comprehensive teaching curriculum and mentorship in research. Both positions are a one-year training program, running from August 1 through July 30 each year.

Faculty, Facilities, and Rotations

The fellowships are shared between the Section of Plastic Surgery, within the Department of Surgery, and the Orthopedic Surgery Department. Our core hand surgery faculty consists of 7 surgeons

Dr. Chung is the Chief of Hand Surgery at University of Michigan, and also the hand fellowship Program Director. Dr. Haase serves as Associate Program Director. Although the faculty are evenly distributed between Orthopedic and Plastic Surgery, we think of ourselves first and foremost as Hand Surgeons, and we function as a unified group. The majority of training is carried out at the University of Michigan Medical Center, which includes the University Hospital and the adjacent C. S. Mott Children's Hospital. Outpatient clinics and ambulatory surgery centers are situated "off-campus", but these facilities are within 2-3 miles of the Medical Center.

The rotation schedule (see grid below) is set up in blocks to allow continuous immersion in the practice of these faculty members. The fellows accompany the faculty member to both the clinic and the operating room during these rotations, providing continuity of care between the initial evaluation, the operative management, and postoperative rehabilitation of each patient. The fellows are given incrementally increased responsibility throughout the year, as they move through the program.

Rotation Schedule













Fellow 1





Fellow 2






Curriculum & Research

The teaching curriculum has been carefully structured to cover the entire spectrum of hand surgery in a series of weekly conferences held jointly with the Plastics and Orthopedic Hand Teams. These conferences are the joint responsibility of the fellows, residents, PA, and faculty on the hand surgery service. The discussions are typically case-based, with occasional didactic lectures as well.

Conference Topics

Fingertip & Nailbed Injuries Soft Tissue Tumors
Replantation & Microsurgery Bone Tumors
Amputations & Prosthetics Intrinsic Hand Flaps
Compartment Syndrome Regional and Distant Flaps
Infections & Bites Congenital Hand
High Pressure Injection Injuries Thumb Reconstruction
Thermal Injury (Frostbite & Burns) Brachial Plexus Palsy
Dupuytren's Disease Tetraplegia & Cerebral Palsy
Phalangeal Fractures (Extra-articular) Basal Joint Arthritis/CMC Arthroplasty
Metacarpal Fractures (Extra-articular) Inflammatory Arthritis
Intra-articular Hand Fractures Arthroplasty & Arthrodesis in the Hand
IP and MP Dislocations Joint Contractures
Scaphoid Fractures Swan-neck & Boutonniere Deformities
Distal Radius Fractures Carpal Instability
Malunions of the Hand and Wrist DRUJ Disorders
Flexor Tendon Injuries Kienböck's Disease
Extensor Tendon Injuries Forearm Fractures
Tenosynovitis Wrist Arthroscopy
Vascular Disorders Hand Therapy
Nerve Injuries Pain Syndromes
Compression Neuropathies Stress & Response to Injury
Tendon Transfers Worker's Compensation/Insurance
Skin Tumors Ethics/Legal Medicine/Depositions
CPT Coding

Our curriculum has been carefully designed to address the six core competencies set forth by ACGME:

  1. Medical knowledge
  2. Patient care
  3. Practice based learning and improvement
  4. Interpersonal and communication skills
  5. Systems based practice
  6. Professionalism

Microsurgical Training

Beginning in 2016, we are pleased to announce the inauguration of a new Microsurgery Training Course available at Michigan, sponsored by our Hand Surgery group. Fellows will participate in this full 5-day course, which is conducted in live animal models, early in their fellowship year. The course director is Dr. Ozer, and the hands-on teaching is provided by highly trained instructors in a state-of-the art training facility. In addition to the Basic course, more Advanced Microsurgery Training options are available in select cases.

Additional practice in microsurgical technique is possible at the University of Michigan Clinical Simulation Center (UMCSC). This Center is certified as a Level 1 Training Center by the American College of Surgeons. At this Center, a fully functioning operating microscope and a variety of realistic non-animal models are available for our trainees to practice their techniques with vessel anastomosis and nerve coaptation.

Duty Hours & Call Schedule

At Michigan, the ACGME duty hour restrictions are strictly monitored and enforced for both residents and fellows. Hand surgery fellows at Michigan cover emergency hand call on average every third night. Junior residents provide "first call" coverage for floor calls and consults; the hand fellows are expected to supervise the residents when evaluating new emergency consults. When on call, the fellows are always backed up by attending surgeon.

International Service Trips

Each of our fellows is given the opportunity to complete a service trip (usually about a week or so) to perform hand surgery in an underserved area of the world. In the 2015-2016 academic year, for example, Dr. Brown travelled to Hue, Vietnam, while Dr. Michelotti spent time in Coimbatore, India. This has proved to be an educational, eye-opening experience that our fellows have greatly appreciated.

Our Graduates

Graduates of the University of Michigan Hand Fellowship program have been universally successful at obtaining placement in their desired career path. Whether our graduates continue with a career in academia or pursue private practice, our goal is to prepare them to be excellent, responsible, ethical surgeons wherever they put down roots. Here is a look at where our graduates are now:

2011 Nathan S. Taylor, MD Private practice, Marquette, MI
2012 Jennifer F. Waljee, MD, MPH, MS Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
2013 Kate W. Nellans, MD, MPH Assistant Professor, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
2014 Joshua M. Adkinson, MD Assistant Professor, Chief of Hand Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine
2015 Erika D. Sears, MD, MS Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
2016 Matthew S. Brown, MD Private practice, Midland, TX
2017 Brett F. Michelotti, MD Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI


Current and future fellows who have matched at Michigan:

2017 Kate Elzinga, MD University of Alberta, Canada (plastic surgery)
2017 Paymon Rahgozar, MD University of Southern California (plastic surgery)
2018 Brian Kelley, MD University of Michigan (plastic surgery)
2018 Elizabeth Qiu, MD, PhD Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (orthopaedic surgery)

Application Process

The two University of Michigan Hand Fellowship positions have full accreditation. Applications for the Hand Surgery Fellowships are due on December 31st. Please submit the following in your application packet:

  • Completed Universal Hand Fellowship Application (pdf)
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Medical school transcript
  • Copy of USMLE Steps I, II, and III scores
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from your program director
  • E-mail address where we can contact you
Mail your completed application to:
Surgery Education
1500 E. Medical Center Drive
2110 Taubman Center
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5342

Interview Dates

January 27, 2017

February 17, 2017

Please contact the Department of Surgery Education Office for additional details on the application process.


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