Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship | Rothman Orthopaedic Institute (2023)

The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute / Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery fellowship is based at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute (RI), headquartered in center city Philadelphia. The fellowship rotation schedule will consist of 9 months dedicated to Hand, Wrist, & Microvascular surgery, 1 month to Pediatric Hand surgery, and 2 months to Shoulder & Elbow surgery. The faculty members will include RI Hand Surgeons: Dr Pedro Beredjiklian, Dr Asif Ilyas, and others; Shriners Pediatric Hand Surgeons: Dr Scott Kozin and Dr Dan Zlotolow; and RI Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons: Dr Gerald Williams, Dr Joe Abboud, Dr Charlie Getz, and Dr Luke Austin.

The Fellows will also participate with the Thomas Jefferson University Orthopaedic Surgery residency program. The program also maintains a comprehensive conference schedule including weekly didactics, indications conference, anatomy/technique conference, and monthly journal clubs. The faculty is actively engaged in these conferences. Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects or pursue an independent research project.

On average, graduating fellows have performed 1000-1200 CPTs and have published on average 1-3 papers upon completion of their fellowship year.

Letter From the Director

The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute / Sidney Kimmel Medical College’s Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship is accredited by the Accreditation Counsel for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in Hand Surgery. The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute’s Hand Service has quickly become one of the premiere upper extremity practices in the country emphasizing the highest quality patient care and academic excellence. The fellowship is associated with the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and its affiliated sites, and the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

This “modern” hand surgery fellowship has been designed specifically to train the next generation of Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeons in all evidence-based techniques and principles by providing not only comprehensive training in Hand, Wrist, & Microvascular surgery but also exposure to Pediatric Hand surgery and Shoulder & Elbow surgery. The fellows will have the opportunity to work with a faculty that are all fellowship-trained and represent the thought leaders in the field of Hand & Upper Extremity surgery. Annually the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Hand service faculty members perform over 7500 cases consisting of a comprehensive array of upper extremity cases including elective, traumatic, and complex reconstructions. The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Hand service also maintains a robust research portfolio including clinical, biomechanical, and bench research that will be available to the fellows.

Graduates of the fellowship will be poised to immediately begin either a clinical or
academic practice in the field of Hand & Upper Extremity. Furthermore, graduating
fellows will be eligible to take the Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Hand
Surgery. We hope that you will take the time to interview with us and see what we
have to offer you and your career.

Program Director, Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship
Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University


ACGME -Hand Surgery

Number of Fellows
2 per year

Fellowship duration
1 year (August 1 – July 31)

Board Eligible in Orthopaedic Surgery

National Residency Matching Program

6 Hand, Wrist, & Microvascular Surgeons
4 Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons
2 Pediatric Hand Surgeon Fellowship

Preceptorship Fellowship

Hand, Wrist, & Microvascular Surgery
Shoulder & Elbow Surgery
Pediatric Hand Surgery

Rothman Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and affiliates
Shriners Hospital for Children

Microsurgery & Animal Lab
Anatomy Lab
Research Service
Overseas Mission Trip support

(Video) Columbia Orthopedics Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship Program Overview

Application Information

Must complete an accredited Orthopaedic Surgery residency prior to start of fellowship.

(Video) Brown Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship

Application Deadline
December 15

February or March

Application Material
Online ASSH Hand Surgery Fellowship application
3 Letters of Recommendation (including 1 from Residency Director)
USMLE Scores (copy acceptable)

Application Submission

Online via: http://www.assh.org/For-Physicians/Fellowship-Programs

Clinical Experience

The fellow will gain clinical and surgical experience in all aspects of the upper extremity, including:

Fracture care of the upper extremity: The fellows will learn surgical indications and perform closed as well as open surgical treatment for all fractures and dislocations of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, arm, and shoulder. Furthermore, fellows will participate in complex reconstructions of traumatic injuries to the upper extremity.

Nerve surgery: The fellows will learn surgical indications and perform open, mini-open, and endoscopic decompression techniques for peripheral compressive neuropathies. The fellows will also develop skills in nerve repair, grafting, and transfers.

Tendon surgery: The fellows will learn injection techniques and perform surgical releases of all tendinopathies of the upper extremity. The fellows will also develop skills in tendon repairs and transfers.

Joint injury and arthritis treatment: The fellows will learn the indications and perform arthroscopies of the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Fellows will also perform fusions of the hand and wrist, and arthroplasties of the fingers, wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Skin and wound management: The fellows will learn the indications and techniques for skin grafting and be exposed to flap techniques.

Pediatric Hand surgery: The fellows will be exposed to congenital hand conditions and assist in their diagnosis and surgical management.

(Video) Hand, Upper Extremity and Microvascular Fellowship

Microsurgery: The fellows will learn the principles and develop skills in microvascular


Rothman Orthopaedic Institute has a full-time research staff and facilities dedicated to Hand & Upper Extremity research. The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Hand service manages multiple clinical, biomechanical, and bench research studies. On average, the service publishes 15 peer-reviewed articles and presents 25 national podiums and posters annually.

Topics of active current study include:

- Upper Extremity Fractures
- Pain Management Strategies
- Wide Awake Hand Surgery
- The Role of Adjunct Imaging
- Compression Neuropathies
- Infections of the Hand
- Biomechanical Analysis of Fracture Implants
- Tendon Repair and Healing
- Resident & Fellow Education

The faculty presents regularly at meetings such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), American Association of Hand Surgery (AAHS), the Eastern Orthopaedic Association
(EOA), and the Pennyslvania Orthopaedic Society. Similarly, the fellows will be expected to participate in on-going research or initiate a new study of their interest.

The fellows will also have access to seed money for independent study. Furthermore, the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Research Database will be available and is an invaluable resource for clinical studies. Monthly research meetings will be held with the faculty to review on-going studies and discuss future studies. Lastly, an emphasis on the research process, study design, and statistical analysis is prioritized.


Hand & Wrist Service

Service Chief

Dr. Beredjiklian is the Chief of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Hand Surgery service and is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Thomas Jefferson University. He is a native of Mexico City and moved to Philadelphia at the age of 16. He is a graduate of Haverford College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. Dr. Beredjiklian completed an internship and residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He then completed a fellowship in Hand & Upper Extremity surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Prior to joining the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute he was on staff at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Beredjiklian is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has a Certificate of Added Qualification for Surgery of the Hand. He is a member of various societies including the American Society of Surgery of the Hand, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Orthopaedic Association, and the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. He has served in multiple committees within each society, and served as the Chair of the Crucial Elements Committee of the American Society of Surgery of the Hand. He has authored over 60 manuscripts in the peer reviewed literature, as well as multiple non peer reviewed articles and textbook chapters. He has been the editor of three textbooks in the area of Orthopaedic and Hand Surgery. He serves in the editorial boards for over ten peer reviewed journals, is an Associate Editor of the Review Section of the Journal of Hand Surgery, and an Associate Editor of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Dr. Beredjiklian has a keen interest in basic science research, and has received multiple research grants for investigations in the topic of the biology of scar tissue formation after tendon injuries. He has served as principal investigator in several grants which have originated from prestigious funding sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation. Dr. Beredjiklian has received numerous honors and awards including selection into Young Members Leadership Forum of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the Leadership Fellows Program of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has a profound commitment to education and has been the recipient of several teaching awards, including (twice) the Jesse T. Nicholson Award for outstanding clinical teaching in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the John J. Gartland Award for outstanding commitment to teaching residents in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery of Sidney Kimmel Medical College.

Program Director

Dr. Ilyas is the Program Director of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute / Sidney Kimmel Medical College Hand & Upper Extremity fellowship. He is also an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Thomas Jefferson University. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Wilkes University and an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine (now known as Drexel University College of Medicine). Dr. Ilyas completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Temple University. He then completed a fellowship in Hand & Upper Extremity surgery as a Harvard Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Prior to joining the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute he was on staff at Temple University Hospital where he was Director of the Temple Hand Center and the Residency Director of the Orthopaedic Surgery residency program. Dr. Ilyas is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has a Certificate of Added Qualification in Surgery of the Hand. He is a member of various societies including the American Society of Surgery of the Hand, the American Association of Hand Surgery, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Orthopaedic Association, and a faculty member of the AO North America. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, review papers, and book chapters. He serves as a Reviewer for a number of journals including the Journal of Hand Surgery. He has served as the Guest Editor of multiple Hand and Ortho Clinics and Symposiums as well as the co-Editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Contemporary Surgical Management of Fractures and Complications textbook. Dr. Ilyas has a keen interest in clinical and bench research with a particular focus on wide awake hand surgery, distal radius fractures, pain management, anesthesia strategies, traumatic nerve injuries, hand infections, and biomechanical evaluation of fracture hardware. Dr. Ilyas has received numerous honors and awards including selection in the Emerging Leader’s Program of the American Orthopaedic Association. He has also been identified as a Top Doc by both the Philadelphia and Main Line magazines.



(Video) Meet Dr. Pater (Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery)



Shoulder & Elbow Service





Pediatric Hand Surgery



Contact Information

For more information, contact:

AsifIlyas, MD
Program Director

Kelly Quici
Resident, Fellowship and Medical Student Coordinator

(Video) Mount Sinai Hand Fellowship


How competitive is hand surgery fellowship? ›

Matching into hand surgery fellowship is very competitive, and requires applicants to employ careful consideration and planning skills. The understanding of the process is usually guided by hand surgery attendings, recent graduates or fellows. There is a lack of literature regarding the hand surgery fellowship match.

How competitive are Ortho fellowships? ›

In 2022, orthopaedic surgery had a total of 1435 applicants and 875 spots. This equates to 1.64 applicants per position. Of the 1068 U.S. MD seniors who applied, 365 did not match.

How long is a hand surgery fellowship? ›

After a residency is successfully completed, hand surgeons complete a one year ACGME accredited fellowship in hand surgery.

What is a fellowship in hand surgery? ›

The Hand Surgery Fellowship Training Program is a one-year program that teaches the fundamentals of a career in hand and upper extremity surgery. Fellows will be exposed to the full spectrum of adult and pediatric clinical activities, teaching and research.

Which Ortho subspecialty makes the most money? ›

Pick a High-Paying Subspecialty

As we saw from the data in the field, some top-paying orthopedic surgery subspecialties include spine, oncology and joint replacement.

What is the most competitive surgery fellowship? ›

Plastic Surgery

It is one of the most competitive medical residencies that provides many positions for the future residents. Though plastic surgery is a new medical field compared to other fields, it is still the most competitive specialty as it offers many diverse opportunities.

Is it hard to become a hand surgeon? ›

Hand surgeons must have a four-year college degree and complete medical school. A potential hand surgeon then enters a residency program for clinical training in one of three specialties: Orthopedic surgery, which takes five years. General surgery, which takes five years.

How many hand surgeons are there in the US? ›

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) includes a membership of more than 3,800 prestigious hand surgeons in the United States and around the world. Hand surgeon members of ASSH are required to meet rigorous standards.

What do you call a hand surgeon? ›

Orthopaedic hand specialists treat not only hand issues as well as provide surgical and non-surgical treatments of the upper extremities of the body.

What are the best hand fellowships in the US? ›

The Curtis National Hand Center is home to the most prestigious hand fellowship program in the U.S. Established at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in 1977, the one-year fellowship training offers a diverse approach to the assessment and treatment of common and complex hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder problems.

Are you a doctor during fellowship? ›

A fellow is a doctor who is currently in training for a subspecialty. The training is known as the fellowship, and it typically takes between 1-3 years, depending on the subspecialty. A fellowship only occurs after a doctor has completed medical school and residency, and it is completely optional.

Can fellows perform surgery? ›

Medical students are not allowed to operate on patients in private practice, and resident physicians are usually present in a hospital training institution. Fellows have already finished their Plastic surgery residency and sometimes assist with surgery since they're very experienced.

Are fellowships harder than residency? ›

Taking a fellowship will make sense if you have the passion and the drive to hone your skills on what you really want to do. The experience of it will definitely be harder than residency so you have to make sure that you spend your fellowship on something where your passion and your skills match.

Do fellowships pay more than residencies? ›

Fellows may work in hospitals, but can also have a private practice. Many residents work in hospitals to complete their residency. A fellow has a higher average salary than a resident.

Where do ortho surgeons make the most money? ›

1. Maine
Total Orthopedic Surgeon Jobs:45
Average Annual Salary:$141,395
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$87,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$228,000
Location Quotient:3.47 You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Apr 6, 2021

How wealthy are orthopedic surgeons? ›

Orthopedics is among the five wealthiest specialties, with 25 percent of survey respondents reporting a net worth of more than $5 million, according to Medscape's 2022 "Physician Wealth & Debt Report." 6. Medscape reported the average compensation for orthopedic surgeons was $557,000 in 2022, up from $511,000 in 2021.

What is the lowest orthopedic surgeon salary? ›

How much does a Orthopedic Surgeon make in the United States? The average Orthopedic Surgeon salary in the United States is $521,730 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $410,170 and $674,950.

How much does the richest orthopedic surgeon make? ›

Gary Michelson, MD, is the wealthiest orthopedic and spine surgeon in the U.S. with a net worth of $1.8 billion, making him the 1,573th richest person in the world according to Forbes' live net-worth tracker. Dr.

What are the hardest fellowships to get into? ›

The 2022 NRMP fellowship match report reveals that some subspecialties are for more competitive than others. Overall, the average subspecialty fellowship filled with 51% U.S. MD degree graduates.
Highly competitive subspecialties
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology. ...
  • Surgery. ...
  • Pediatrics. ...
  • Internal Medicine. ...
  • Emergency Medicine.
Mar 30, 2022

What is the hardest residency to match? ›

10 Most Competitive Specialties to Obtain a Residency Training Position
  • Plastic Surgery.
  • Otolaryngology.
  • Dermatology.
  • Orthopedic Surgery.
  • Neurological Surgery.
  • Interventional Radiology.
  • Ophthalmology.
  • Diagnostic Radiology.

What is the most difficult surgeon to become? ›

  • Being an Orthopaedic Surgeon is incredibly satisfying because the results are typically positive. ...
  • Apart from the top 5 specialties mentioned above, Interventional Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Vascular Surgery, General Surgery and Med/Peds are among the most difficult domains to become a doctor.
Jul 25, 2022

What is the highest paid Dr? ›

What is the best paying job in medical specialties and fields? Anesthesiologists are among some of the highest earners in the medical field. According to the BLS, these professionals earned an average income of $331,190 in May 2021. However, earning potential may vary by state.

What is the most common hand surgery? ›

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

One of the most common hand surgeries is performed to address carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is excess pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the wrist. The compression of the median nerve causes pain in the hand and wrist.

Do you need good hands to be a surgeon? ›

Because of this complexity, even when using equipment to perform operations, surgeons' movements need to be meticulous and controlled. Hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity often come down to natural ability; however, practice also helps improve those skills.

Who is the best hand surgeon in America? ›

Alejandro Badia answers your questions. Dr. Badia is an internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon and an innovative leader in the treatment of osteo-arthritis, trauma and other painful or diseased conditions of the hand & wrist (expert in thumb-related injuries), elbow and shoulder.

Are most surgeons left handed? ›

Sixty-four percent of the participating plastic surgeons were left handed (significantly higher than the approximate 12% of the general population; P = 0.007). Many of the left-handed doctors admitted to practicing musical instruments and various arts, crafts, and other hobbies.

Which state has the most orthopedic surgeons? ›

California ranks among the highest states in the U.S. with 2,406 active orthopedic surgeons. The state has 800 more orthopedic surgeons than Texas, which is ranked second with 1,621. Washington D.C. and Vermont have the least number of orthopedic surgeons in the U.S., with 58 and 54 respectively.

Are fellowships competitive? ›

Fellowships are extremely competitive, but the likelihood of winning varies.

Is orthopaedic surgery competitive? ›

Orthopaedic surgery has always been a popular and competitive field, but in 2022, approximately 40% of applicants for orthopaedic surgery residency positions did not successfully match, despite their immense talent and commitment.

Are trauma surgeons competitive? ›

General surgery residency is middle of the road in terms of competitiveness, with an average matriculant Step 1 score of 234, with the national average at 230. As with most surgical specialties, trauma surgery is male-dominated, although not as much as some other surgical specialties like neurosurgery or orthopedics.

How competitive is minimally invasive surgery fellowship? ›

Currently, the MIS match rate is solidly in the middle of fellowship match rates, less competitive than pediatric surgery and surgical oncology but more difficult to match into than vascular surgery or surgical critical care.


1. Meet Dr. Nikola Lekic, a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon hand & upper extremity specialist.
(South Florida Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine)
2. Meet Allison Hunter, M.D. — Fellowship-Trained Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon
(Baldwin Bone & Joint PC)
3. James Verheyden, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Hand & Upper Extremity Specialist
(The Center Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Care)
4. OrthoCarolina Hand Fellowship - Overview
5. Hand, Upper Extremity, Microvascular Surgery Fellowship Video 2021
(Duke Orthopaedics)
6. David Holt, MD, Orthopedic Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon
(The Center Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Care)
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