The foundation of the curriculum is to learn how to effectively evaluate and treat common hand and wrist disorders. With 18,450 outpatient visits, 1,800 new patient evaluations, and more than 4,000 surgical procedures performed each year, you will also become well-versed in complex wrist reconstruction, brachial plexus reconstruction, microsurgical reconstruction (replantation, free tissue transfers, tumor reconstruction, toe-to-hand transfers), surgery of the arthritic hand, tendon transfers, and pediatric or congenital hand surgery. Although you and your co-fellows rotate on core rotations, the remainder of the rotation schedule is individualized and tailored to your clinical interests and career goals.
You rotate with one of 12 full-time hand surgery consultants — eight orthopedic and four plastic surgeons — in a team comprised of a midlevel provider and often an orthopedic surgery or plastic surgery resident for six to 12 weeks. This arrangement optimizes your exposure to each consultant while developing your own sense of autonomy.
Your call schedule is typically every fourth night and one weekend a month covering one emergency department and Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus. Primary call is typically the responsibility of the resident or midlevel providers. As such, you take home call on nights and weekends with the understanding that you are to educate and supervise the residents on hand call with consultant backup. Mayo Clinic follows the schedule recommendations of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
You may moonlight with program director approval. Moonlighting should not interfere with the required learning and must not violate the work-hour rules of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or visa regulations.
Domestic and international outreach
If you have an interest in mission work, you will have the opportunity to apply for funding to join the hand faculty who regularly participate in outreach trips through the Mayo International Health Program scholarship.
Research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are outstanding. You are encouraged to participate in research projects with the consulting staff, including clinical studies and laboratory-based projects. To facilitate clinical and basic science research, you have access to the Division of Hand Surgery's immense registry of patients, the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory, and the manuscript office. You are expected to design and complete your own clinical research project.
Research mentorship is initiated as soon as you match into the fellowship program so that you can be as academically productive as you desire starting with the first day of the fellowship.
To prepare you for a possible future in academic medicine, you are asked to teach Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students, visiting students from other medical schools, and Mayo Clinic orthopedic and plastic surgery residents through bedside instruction and formal didactic lectures.
To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop the appropriate technical skills to meet program expectations, your performance is monitored carefully during the Hand Surgery Fellowship. After each clinical rotation, you are formally evaluated by supervising faculty members and meet with the program director to review these evaluations. In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty to confirm that your educational needs are being met.