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Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship

About the program

Program Director: Peter Tang, MD, MPH, FAOA
Accreditation: ACGME
Program Length: 1 year (August 1 through July 31)
Fellows per year: 2

The Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) Hand, Upper Extremity & Microvascular Fellowship is one-year in length, from August 1 through July 31, and is ACGME accredited for two positions.

The AGH Hand & Upper Extremity Division treats a wide spectrum of upper extremity disorders. AGH is designated as a Regional Resource (Level 1) Trauma Center. The 750-bed hospital serves as a five-state referral base for trauma, microsurgery,and reconstructive surgery. The facility includes a modern, well-equipped 64-bed orthopaedic unit, 18-bed pediatric unit, and a surgery center. The fellows primarily are based out of AGH but also provide care at satellite offices and surgery centers, as well as Forbes Regional Hospital which is designated as a Level II Trauma Center. A variety of hand and wrist trauma, including replantation and revascularization procedures, are performed routinely. Additionally, the fellowship covers the treatment of acute and reconstructive upper extremity trauma including forearm, elbow, arm and shoulder injuries.

The fellowship provides experience in common and complex acquired and degenerative disorders. Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons and therapists have extensive experience treating an array of problems including nerve compression and injury, arthritic disease (degenerative and rheumatoid), sports injuries, and other routine upper extremity conditions. There is comprehensive experience in wrist, elbow, and shoulder arthroscopy and arthroplasty making it a true upper extremity fellowship.

Fellows learn in a collegial environment with a focus on resident and fellow education. The year is divided into one month blocks and fellows are evaluated every three months. Each of the surgeons cover the entire upper extremity from shoulder to fingertip. Fellows will work with the following attending surgeons: Dr. Edward Birdsong, Dr. Brad Palmer, Dr. Colin Brabender, Dr. Steven Regal and Dr. Peter Tang. The pediatric experience consists of a four week rotation at Shriner’s Hospital of Philadelphia with Dr. Scott Kozin and Dr. Dan Zlotolow.

The core principles of hand surgery will be taught including diagnosis, disease history, science, classification, non-operative treatment, peri-operative care, surgical technique including soft tissue handling, and post-operative care including therapeutic protocols. There is a weekly Hand & Upper Extremity Conference on Wednesday’s from 6:30 to 7:15am, which is dedicated to all aspects of reconstructive, trauma, congenital, microsurgery, and rehabilitation. Upper Extremity Fracture Conference immediately proceeds Hand Conference starting at 6:00am every Wednesday. There is Hand Research Meeting on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to 6:30am (no fracture conference on these Wednesdays). There is also monthly Hand Journal Club, Departmental Morbidity & Mortality, and Patient Safety Meeting.

Fellows are funded for a week-long Microsurgical Course in August and the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, which includes a Flap Course.

There is an opportunity for teaching, research, and scholarly activity. One publishable research project and one other scholarly activity is to be completed by the end of the fellowship year. There is an active biomechanics lab with a state-of-the-art elbow simulator and there is opportunity to participate in multiple clinical studies. Fellows work with residents and medical students in the office, hospital, emergency room, and operating room and are expected to contribute to their education in a meaningful manner throughout the year.

About Graduate Medical Education

The Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship program is part of the graduate medical education (GME) opportunities offered by the AHN Medical Education Consortium. Learn more about graduate medical education.

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