The resident is exposed to hand surgery from two sources. The first is during rotation at the University Hospital, since the Orthopaedic service takes hand call every other day. Injuries range from single fingertip amputations to complex industrial trauma. The junior resident manages minor injuries within the Emergency Department under the guidance of a senior resident or an attending physician. The hand service headed by John Wyrick, M.D. also includes exposure to soft tissue coverage and microsurgery, which is performed in conjunction with the Plastic Surgery service and rotating Hand Surgery fellows.
A more formal exposure occurs during a three month PGY3 rotation with Hand Surgery Specialists, a private group comprising of six hand surgeons. A large volume of hand problems is encountered in the clinic and operating room. The resident is on call every fourth night. The three weekly conferences entail case presentations, selected readings, and didactic lecture. In addition, a weekly Hand Clinic at the University Hospital generates cases for the hand fellow and resident. Numerous hand surgery presentations at the national and regional meetings have resulted. A microsurgical laboratory ensures hands-on training in the fundamentals of microvascular skills.