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Our fellows receive clinical training under the supervision of the attending staff of twelve full-time hand surgeons. Patient exposure is both in the office (40,000 visits per year) and in the operating room (5,500 procedures per year). The program emphasizes decision-making skills in which there is a progressive responsibility in patient management and treatment commensurate with the Fellow’s ability.

Fellows are challenged to contribute to the advancement of Hand Surgery through anatomic and clinical research, and to present their findings at scientific meetings. Upon completion of the program, we expect that participants will have completed a manuscript that can be submitted for publication in a peer review journal.

Our goal is to provide a comprehensive education in hand and upper extremity surgery. We anticipate that our Fellows will devote most of their practices to this specialty and become active members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Didactic Training

The following schedule is followed throughout the year except holidays.


6:30-7:30 am
Problem Conference

6:30-7:30 am
Spit Balls, Curves, Sliders by Dr. Stern

6:30-7:30 am
Anatomy Sessions
(once a month)

6:30-7:30 am
Selected Readings and Journal Club

6:30-7:30 am
Didactic Lectures in Hand Surgery

Problem Conference: Each fellow prepares a case for presentation and discussion every Monday throughout the year. All cases are collected in the fellowship folder from previous years. Dr. Stern leads the discussion among the faculty highlighting differences of opinions and approaches to some of the common as well as the uncommon cases in hand surgery.

Spit Balls, Curves, Sliders: A life-long Reds Fan, Dr. Stern uses these three words, aka SCS conference, to illustrate some of the most interesting and unusual cases throughout his career.

Selected Readings and Journal Club: Selected readings consists of carefully chosen, extensively discussed, classic articles in 50 topics of hand surgery. Collection was created by Dr. Stern, revised and enriched by faculty over the years. These topics are coordinated and complemented with didactic lectures the next day. Full program can be found here. Once a month, we discuss the latest publications in hand surgery during Journal Club.

Didactic Lectures: 50 topics in hand surgery are covered by the faculty every Friday after reviewing its selected readings the day before. Full schedule can be found here.

Anatomy Sessions

Once a month (usually on second or third Wednesday of the month), we cover basic anatomy of the hand and upper extremity, as well as specific surgical techniques including wrist arthroscopy, soft tissue reconstruction, principles of AO, TMR (upper and lower extremity).

Rotation Schedule and Call Responsibilities

Fellows will be on call approximately once every fourth night and every fourth weekend. Fellows take call at the University Hospital with primary Hand Call every odd day and at two local private hospitals with an attending physician present. 

Clinical rotation follows the schedule below:

Clinical rotation schedule





Microsurgery Training

One of the critical aspects of training is offered on site and starts with a weeklong course on the basics of microsurgery training followed by advanced microsurgical techniques throughout the year.


One of the oldest traditions of our fellowship is the Tristate Hand Surgery Meeting in which faculty and fellows from three of the nations’ oldest hand surgery programs from Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati get together to present state of the art scientific studies conducted at their institution. Fellows are expected to present at least one study during that meeting.

Visiting Professor

The Mary S. Stern Visiting Hand Surgery Fellowship. We invite a renowned leader in hand surgery to spend a day with fellows giving lectures and sharing wisdom in person. We had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Jennifer Wolf in 2023 and will be hosting Dr. James Chang in 2024.

Hand Day at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: a 38-year tradition of luminary visiting professors in pediatric hand and upper limb surgery. A wide range of topics are covered, from both orthopedic and plastic surgeons. Truly a who’s who of pediatric hand and upper limb surgery.


International Mission Trips

This is one of the highlights of the fellowship. Traditionally, we set up two trips a year. One group goes to South America and Caribbean, primarily focusing on post-traumatic reconstruction. The other group goes to India and treats congenital differences and post-traumatic deformities. Fellows are provided funds to participate mission trips, set by the ASSH and other organizations.

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Department of
Orthopaedic Surgery

Medical Sciences Building Room 5506
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670212
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0212

Mail Location: 0212
Phone: 513-558-2978
Fax: 513-558-2220