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The Mary S. Stern Hand Surgery Fellowship

Our program is a one-year fellowship, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and TriHealth/Beacon Hand Surgery Specialists for residents seeking certification in hand and microsurgery. Established in 1987 by Peter J. Stern, MD, it underscores his strong commitment to education which is shared by the faculty involved in this program.

The Mary S. Stern Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship Program is designed to prepare the orthopedist and/or plastic surgeon for a career in clinical hand surgery on all aspects of hand surgery including acute adult and pediatric trauma, reconstruction, arthritis, congenital, and microvascular surgery (including brachial plexus). It is our philosophy to teach not just “how”, but also “why” of hand surgery as we strongly believe that learning the art of diagnosis and non-surgical management are as important as mastering surgical techniques.

Designed for Orthopedic and Plastic surgeons who have completed their residency training, the Fellowship is divided into six 2-month rotations during the fellowship year.

  • Two 2-month rotations at University Hospital including complex trauma, reconstruction and microsurgery/free tissue transfer.
  • One 2-month rotation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital including trauma, congenital hand, brachial plexus and cerebral palsy.
  • The remaining 6 months are spent with the TriHealth/Beacon Health Care systems, which includes hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder trauma and reconstruction, nerve injury/compression, arthritis reconstruction, contracture management, arthroscopy, tendon repair and reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The Fellowship is accredited by the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education). An accredited fellowship is a required component of the Certificate of Added Qualifications in surgery of the hand. This certificate is the medical establishment’s imprimatur for doctors aspiring to the hand surgery specialty.

About The Combined University of Cincinnati Hand Surgery Fellowship

Our Fellowship has a broad educational curriculum and a clinical experience for three fellows. There is exposure to 13 faculty members, all with a CAQ in hand surgery. Faculty expertise varies from general hand and trauma, to microsurgery, pediatric, brachial plexus, peripheral nerve and complex trauma and reconstruction. As fellows become more experienced in the management of hand and upper extremity problems, they are given increased responsibility.

Fellows learn through a large volume of exposures to surgery (approximately 5,000 cases annually) as well as exposure in the outpatient clinic (approximately 40,000 visits annually). They attend several weekly conferences, have exposure to two visiting professors and attend a combined meeting with the Louisville and Indianapolis hand groups. They are on call every fourth night.

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 the majority of their practices to this specialty and become active members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Our Philosophy

The following principles make up the core of our philosophy:

Our physicians must know the “why,” and not just the “how,” of hand surgery.

Hand surgery is a science that must be thoroughly understood in order to provide the highest quality patient care.

That learning the art of diagnosis and conservative non-surgical management is as important as mastering surgical techniques.