Hand Surgery Fellowship Information

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The UF Hand Fellowship Program participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

The Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Florida offers two fellowship positions in upper extremity surgery per year beginning every August 1st. There is a strong emphasis on all aspects of upper extremity surgery including the shoulder. These fellowship positions are best suited for applicants with a strong orthopaedic background. The fellows work in a collegial, multidisciplinary environment with wide exposure, supervised self-directed study, and excellent support from the attendings.

History

There are four full-time academic upper extremity orthopaedic surgeons at the University:

Dr. Chidgey, Dr. Dell, and Dr. Matthias have similar practices, which include a wide variety of adult acquired and post-traumatic hand and upper extremity issues. Dr. Dell performs most of the congenital hand surgeries. Dr. Chidgey and Dr. Matthias perform most of the elective microsurgical, tendon transfer, and degenerative arthritis procedures. Dr. Matthias’ scope also includes nerve transfers and brachial plexus birth and traumatic injuries. Dr. Wright has a predominantly shoulder practice with particular interest in complex shoulder arthroplasty including reverse and revision total shoulders. All four individuals address elbow trauma as well as elbow arthroplasty. There is excellent exposure to principles of rheumatoid reconstruction, arthroscopy of wrist, elbow, and shoulder, and primary reconstruction procedures. There is also a large tertiary referral base, which leads to a significant introduction to complex cases of the upper extremity. The exposure in the year for each fellow is roughly 8 months of hand surgery and 4 months of shoulder surgery with the year’s schedule split into 6 month rotations. One 6 month rotation includes time spent with both Drs. Dell and Matthias every week; the other 6 month schedule is spent working alongside Drs. Chidgey and Wright each week. The vast majority of surgical cases are at the new Florida Surgical Center where each attending runs 2 rooms supporting the fellow in gaining early independence balanced with close supervision. Next door is the new Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Institute where all clinics are held.

Didactics

Every Monday morning there is an hour of dedicated hand & upper extremity educational time. This is in the form of didactics, a journal club, or case conference depending on which Monday of the month it is. There is also a schedule of topics covered regularly during the year on the 3rd Tuesday and a Friday on a monthly basis. For each topic there are a few critical classic and current articles covered. Informal indications preop conference is run Monday afternoons with the attendings specific to each rotation.

There is an opportunity and requirement for a research project. The 1st Tuesday of every month Dr. Wright and the research coordinator meet with the fellows to help guide their year’s research project. Each fellow may start their own project or complete a prior year’s project. There is funding available to support the biomechanics lab, cadaver study, and clinical studies with statistical support and a database of Dr. Wright’s shoulder patients with multicenter studies in progress. Fellows may arrange sawbones labs and cadaver dissection labs in areas of their interest with the attendings’ support. On Dr. Dell’s service there is a 30 minute weekly meeting with Dr. Dell, the fellow and the hand therapists to facilitate the fellow’s learning of postoperative rehabilitation and coordinate patient care for more complex problems such as tendon repairs, transfers, intrinsic tightness, and RA.

Hand Call

Basic problems are usually handled by the on call orthopaedic residents and attending, and a junior resident is always available for first call. For complicated surgical cases, home Hand Call is evenly divided between Orthopaedics Hand Fellows and Plastic Surgery. The Medical Center is a Level One Trauma Center but not a replant center so replants may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. There is a wide spectrum of fractures spanning the fingertips to the shoulder, though the majority are scheduled on an outpatient basis.

Benefits

The annual salary is dependent upon post-graduate years. There is no moonlighting allowed since this is an accredited Hand Fellowship, though there is an after-hours orthopaedic clinic available to work at if desired. Each Fellow may attend two meetings; one, the annual American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and second, the annual University of Florida Hand Fellow Alumni Meeting. Often there is a shoulder conference that the fellow may attend as well. There is a two week vacation. There is an additional stipend to cover a pair of loupes for each fellow plus conference registration and travel. Health insurance is provided for each individual as well as their family.

Contact Beth Keene via e-mail or call 352-273-7374 for further information.

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