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You will thoroughly train in all aspects of hand surgery through clinical and research activities.

Clinical Training

During the Hand Surgery Fellowship, you will rotate on a quarterly basis with one of the ten full-time hand consultants in a "team" format with an orthopedic surgery or plastic surgery resident. This arrangement optimizes your exposure to each consultant.

Each "team" consists of at least two consultants, a hand fellow and a senior orthopedic or plastic surgery resident and an orthopedic junior resident or physician assistant. You will be responsible for emergency hand service on a rotating basis, as well as the weekend, with both direct patient care and back-up call to senior residents.

During the first three months, you will participate in a one-week course on microvascular surgery with additional laboratory training available as scheduling permits. A second one-week course in the Microsurgical/Microvascular Laboratory is available for further development of microsurgical techniques during the second six-month period of the fellowship. A two-day course on Advanced Anatomy of the Upper Extremity is also given during the first quarter of the fellowship. Specific training in advanced surgical techniques including arthroscopy is offered throughout the academic year.

Didactic Training

Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are all an integral part of the Hand Surgery Fellowship.

Teaching conferences include:

  • Weekly Friday morning breakfast conference at which interesting cases, and a thirty-minute hand topic are presented by the hand fellows, residents or staff
  • Weekly Monday morning general Orthopedic Fracture Conference with six hand topics per year
  • Weekly Journal Club given on a Wednesday morning
  • Six other Saturday morning hand conferences per year as part of the orthopedic teaching

Teaching Opportunities

You will have the opportunity to teach Mayo Medical School students and visiting students from other medical schools through bedside instruction and formal didactic lectures.

Resident Responsibilities

As a hand surgery fellow, you will be responsible for the examination and diagnosis of new patients, with staff supervision in the clinic and operating room. You will serve as first assistant on staff surgical cases. Your responsibilities and prerogatives will be commensurate with ability.

Call Frequency

Your call schedule is typically every fourth night. There is always a resident on first call. Mayo Clinic follows the schedule recommendations of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.


To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop your technical skills, your performance will be monitored carefully during the course of your fellowship. You will be evaluated formally by your supervising faculty member after each clinical rotation. In addition, you will regularly evaluate the faculty to ensure that your educational needs are being met.

Research Training

Your research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are outstanding. You are encouraged to participate in research projects with the consulting staff. This includes opportunities for clinical studies and laboratory-based projects.

Each hand fellow will be encouraged to plan a course of study that includes a clinical research project.

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