Fellowship + Resident Education

Established in 1977, the hand fellowship program at the Curtis National Hand Center has grown to become the most prestigious and respected in the country. Fellows receive world-class training with the opportunity to treat challenging cases, perform cutting-edge research and collaborate with alumni. In this section, you will learn all about the Fellowship program, how to apply, and benefits provided by MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. You will also learn about the Baltimore area, with links to an abundance of resources for housing, childcare and education, points of interest, local sports, dining, shopping, arts, history and entertainment.

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.


Nearly all of the clinical training is performed at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. Each fellow is appointed to the professional staff and has admitting privileges. He or she works with an attending physician in a clinic that attracts all types of hand and upper extremity problems. Each has the opportunity to conduct clinical and laboratory research and to utilize a fully staffed microsurgery lab. Orthopedic and plastic surgery residents from Johns Hopkins Hospital, Georgetown University and Union Memorial Hospital, as well as hand fellows from Walter Reed, also work closely with our hand fellows.

The teaching program includes

  • Weekly conferences
  • Lectures covering all aspects of hand surgery, microsurgery and anatomy
  • Monthly journal club

Clinical categories are well balanced in acute trauma, replantation, and soft tissue reconstruction, as well as rheumatoid, congenital, and acquired non-traumatic problems.

In addition, each fellow spends one month at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  An apartment is furnished for them.  Fellows are fully credentialed at CHOP for the entire year so that as interesting cases arise, they may participate in complex congenital cases even if they occur outside of the designated month rotation. See the CHOP Hand Fellow Manual and the CHOP Curriculum Goals and Objectives.

With an alumni of almost 200 doctors, fellows at Curtis National Hand Center have access to some of the most complex hand and upper extremity cases, and the ability to collaborate with the best hand surgeons in the world.

Fellowship Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the fellows are broad. Each fellow will benefit from clinical rotations and time in the laboratory. Each fellow is expected to complete at least one research project with a faculty member as a mentor that will be suitable for presentation and/or publication. Grant funding is available for these projects through the Hand Research Committee and generous donations from the Blaustein Foundation. We have an active teaching schedule with clinical, surgical, and laboratory teaching. Surgical procedures of the week are discussed at a weekly conference that includes case presentations. There is a monthly Congenital Clinic and Journal Club. Fellows will attend national and local courses on hand surgery. Fellows are actively involved with resident education.


Clinical Rotations

The Hand Service is arranged into five teams and each fellow spends time on each team. The fellow is assigned to a team with a resident and several attending physicians.  11 months of the year are spent rotating through our five busy teams.

One month is spent at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with Drs. Ben Chang, Robert Carrigan, Ines Lin, and Apurva Shah.  This rotation allows added time for immersion in congenital and pediatric surgery.  This is the only rotation outside of MUMH/CNHC.

Clinical Responsibilities

  • Patient clinics (2 days/week)
  • Surgery (2 or 3 days/week)

Each patient clinic is staffed by a hand fellow, physician assistant and hand therapist. The “Fellows Clinic” provides a setting for new patient and postoperative visits for house staff patients as appropriate.


  • Monday hand conference (fellows’ responsibility)
  • Morbidity and mortality and ethic case conference (fellows’ responsibility)
  • Didactic hand lecture
  • Anatomy
  • Anatomy Dissection
  • Specialty Skills Lab
  • Microsurgery/plastic conference
  • Congenital hand clinic
  • Journal club
  • Indications/didactic conference
  • Therapy lecture
  • Research project quarterly conference

At the weekly hand conference, the fellows present cases to the residents, attending staff, visiting specialists, therapists and interested hand and orthopedic surgeons in the community.


Each fellow takes call. The call schedule will not impact on vacation, meeting, or sick time. The fellows take second call for the emergency room for hand and upper extremity trauma. The Hand Service has three Physician Assistants that carry the first call pager Monday through Friday during the day and on Tuesday and Thursday until 8:30 pm. The first call pager is then passed to the resident on call for the day. Residents from Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Union Memorial and residents on an elective rotation from various institutions take first call. Second call is taken by the fellow and third call is taken by the attending.

Performance feedback

Each fellow will spend two months on a team. A written performance evaluation will be completed mid-term (by the Program Director) and at the end of each rotation by a faculty member from their assigned team. The evaluation will be compiled and reviewed with the trainee with an assigned member of the faculty.

The fellow will complete a program evaluation twice a year and faculty evaluations at the end of each two month period on each faculty member from their team. 360 degree behavioral and technical assessments are completed quarterly by nursing staff from the OR, floor and ED, physician assistants, therapists, clinic staff, and therapists. The mid-term meeting with the Program Director ensures that goals and expectations are being met and provides performance feedback and guidance.


Ongoing clinical research takes place throughout the year.

Our research department is dedicated to advancing the knowledge base of our research fellows, faculty, and the orthopedic community in general. Clinical practices and basic sciences of the musculoskeletal system have begun to be closely examined in the past several decades in formal research studies, making an understanding of scientific method, research practices and data analysis critical skills for today’s practitioner. Technical advances also require an ability to assimilate new information and evaluate different surgical techniques, new prosthetic devices, new drugs therapies and biomaterials.

In addition to providing administrative and regulatory support for fellow projects, the research department is actively involved in the development of intramural studies and participation in commercially sponsored and NIH studies.

Each fellow at CNHC, along with a faculty member as mentor, is expected to complete at least one research project that will be suitable for presentation and/or publication.

Research projects may take the form of retrospective evaluation of data collected in clinical studies or a focused study of medical records, biomechanical evaluations of devices, anatomical studies or prospective studies of specific diagnoses or treatments.

The objectives of the research program are:

Objective 1: Identify appropriate research questions and design a well-controlled study, including understanding independent and dependent variables and potential sources of error.

Objective 2: Conduct a literature search, critically read the literature (understanding the difference between peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed literature), and interpret pertinent research to formulate scientific hypothesis.

Objective 3: Evaluate facility and equipment needs including staffing, time frame, and budget for the study.

Objective 4: Develop specific objectives to address the hypothesis, understanding of the statistical tests necessary to analyze the data, methodology to address each objective, and an understanding of basic technologies associated with the area of hand surgery/orthopedics being investigated.

Objective 5: Select sample size, design questionnaires and/or data collection sheets and conduct pilot studies, when applicable, to assess effectiveness of the procedures. In clinical trials, the Fellow/Resident will present a professional manner and show respect for the patient. In laboratory trials, the Fellow/Resident will work methodically, practice safety, clean up, and use research etiquette. In both cases, the Fellow/Resident should work in a repeatable manner and understand the importance of handling all patients, specimens, and data collection consistently.

Objective 6: Develop a basic understanding of statistical tests and why they are appropriate, including the relevance of a p value, alpha and beta error, standard deviation, standard error of the mean, and confidence intervals.

Objective 7: Interpret the data and results, apply findings to the original questions, determine if the results have answered the basic research question, evaluate whether the objectives have been met, and accept or reject the hypothesis based on these findings.

Objective 8: Discuss the results and conclusions, compare the methodology and findings to other papers, understand the contribution of the results to the general body of knowledge, and relationship to clinical applications and implications for future studies.

Objective 9: Present at the Visiting Professor Lectureship, and/or regional or national meeting via a poster or podium presentation. For written publication, obtain the advice of the editor in the selection of an appropriate journal based on the scope/results of study and the journal audience, follow the journal format for submission of articles, and gain an understanding of the publishing process including editing and creating effective figures and tables.

Timetable for Completion of Research Projects


Research Orientation: Introduction to key personnel involved in research and introduction to the research requirements. Start developing ideas for potential studies. Select and meet with faculty advisor to formulate question and discuss scope of project.


Begin developing study design, conduct literature search, write protocol, calculate budget and complete IRB or IACUC forms. Complete submission for Hand Center Research Committee approval and funding request.


Submit completed IRB or IACUC application.


Revise protocol, budget or ICF in response to stipulations for IRB or IACUC approval. Obtain final approval. Order supplies or tissue, if needed.


Begin experiments/subject enrollment/data collection. Design database to record data. Begin drafting abstract, introduction, background, and methods sections of manuscript. Discuss potential journals to submit to with editorial staff to determine manuscript requirements.

January – May

Complete experiments/subject follow-up/data collection. Meet with statistician for data analysis. Begin preparation for presentation (oral or poster). Continue work on manuscript, moving on to results and conclusion.


Finalize presentation for Visiting Professor Weekend. Submit manuscript to Faculty Advisor for review and comment. Turn manuscript in to editorial staff. Turn in raw data files to Hand Center Research office.


Complete any manuscript revisions. File Study Termination forms with IRB or IACUC.


Each fellow is allocated four weeks of vacation during their one-year training. However, only one week of vacation may be taken per quarter. Vacation may be taken in conjunction with, but not in addition to, specialty meetings and national hand surgery courses. Prior approval must be arranged with the Program Coordinator to ensure adequate clinic, OR and call coverage.

How to Apply

The hand fellowship is accredited by the ACGME as a post-graduate 12-month fellowship open to applicants who have completed their orthopedic, plastic, or general surgery residency training. The fellowship commences August 1st to allow time to prepare for the orthopedic board examination in July.

The fellowship attracts top candidates in the field and is one of the most well-respected training programs of its kind. Through clinical and research excellence, our program has remained at the forefront of the subspecialty. We are interested in applicants from diverse backgrounds with unique experiences who display technical and intellectual talents. All applicants will be considered based on merit.

Although most fellows are from the United States, we accept graduates of foreign orthopedic residency programs who have passed the required ECFGME examinations to obtain a J-1 visa.

To be considered for an interview, applicants must submit a completed application on the ASSH website.   Please also download UMH Hand Surgery Policies for your review.  Deadline for applications is December 16, annually.

How to Apply

UMH Hand Surgery Policies 2014_2015

Faculty Contact

For more information on fellowships at the Curtis National Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital, contact Tori Wilson, Program Coordinator, at 410-554-6593, or e-mail tori.wilson@medstar.net.


Access the application here.

Employer Information

As a Curtis National Hand Center fellow, you are an employee of Union Memorial Hospital and entitled to all hospital benefits, including:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision care coverage
  • Prescription drug program
  • Disability insurance: short-term and long-term
  • Life insurance
  • Malpractice liability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts: healthcare and dependent care
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Free meal or meal allowance for every night on call
  • Reimbursement for books, research presentations, conferences and travel
  • Free parking
  • Tax-sheltered annuity
  • Loan program
  • Vacation

All House Staff must have a license to practice medicine in the State of Maryland or be registered as an unlicensed medical practitioner (UMP) with Maryland’s Board of Physician Quality Assurance. Only those house staff in an ACGME-accredited residency program may apply as a UMP; all other house staff must have a Maryland license.

House staff must also complete a pre-employment health screening, which can be provided by their private physician or through Employee Health & Safety. House staff will be tested for illicit drugs and alcohol through Employee Health & Safety prior to employment. Employee Health & Safety also provides treatment and referral of job-related injuries and illnesses.


Whether you opt for the serenity of the suburbs or the vibrance of downtown, Baltimore has dozens of diverse communities to call “home.” The Baltimore County area is perfect for families with children. Some of the most desired areas are Towson, Perry Hall, White Marsh and Pikesville. Be sure to do your research for traffic and commute times for all counties. The links below will point you to helpful resources about housing in the Baltimore area.

Live Baltimore – Housing
Rentals in Baltimore
Johns Hopkins University Department of Housing & Dining Services
Discussion Forums about Baltimore

Child Care + Education

Child care and education are vitally important aspects of family life, and Baltimore provides a plethora of high quality options. There are private nursery school and kindergarten programs, public pre-k programs, after school programs and summer camps for child care to public and private K-12 schools, magnet schools, charter schools and transformation schools for education choices. To learn more about child care and education in the Baltimore area, browse the links below.

Live Baltimore – Education

Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center
Baltimore’s Child Magazine 

Public Schools in Baltimore:
Baltimore City Schools 
Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore Elementary Schools

Private Schools in Baltimore:

Local Area

Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, is historical, beautiful and culturally diverse. There are abundant attractions for adults and children, restaurants, shops, sporting events, and distinct neighborhoods. In each section below, you will find a list of resources and web site links to help you explore Baltimore and learn everything you want to know about our magnificent city.

About Baltimore

Commonly known as “Charm City,” Baltimore is family friendly and offers plenty of things to see and do for people of all ages. While the city is simply a tourist destination for many, nearly 650,000 people call Baltimore home. Visit the links below to learn what makes Baltimore a great place to live.

Visit Baltimore – Official tourism site for all things Baltimore; excellent and comprehensive resource for what to do, what to see, where to eat and where to shop. You’ll definitely want to bookmark this site!

Live Baltimore – Provides a great list of city services and resources in Baltimore, as well as links to cultural and lifestyle interests.

Wikipedia – Baltimore

Demographic and Economic Data about Baltimore

Discussion Forums about Baltimore

Points of Interest

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the cultural epicenter of the city. Surrounded by museums, attractions, restaurants, nightclubs, shops, major league sporting events and more, both locals and tourists flock to the Harbor to sample its many offerings. Learn more about the Inner Harbor using the links below.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
National Aquarium
Maryland Science Center
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Top of the World Observation Level

Local Sports

If you’re a sports enthusiast, Baltimore is a great place to be. Spectator sports include everything from professional football, baseball and soccer, to top-notch college tournaments in various sports. For those who also want to participate in athletic endeavors, you can golf, climb, jog, walk, skate, and of course, sail your way through Baltimore.

Visit Baltimore – Sports
Baltimore Ravens Football
Baltimore Orioles Baseball
Baltimore Blast Soccer
Bowie Baysox (Minor League Baseball)
Johns Hopkins University
Golf Courses
Department of Recreation & Parks Sports Programs

Dining & Nightlife

In Baltimore, your dining and nightlife options are nearly endless. You’ll find an amazing array of cuisines and every ethnic menu you can think of. And don’t forget our world-famous Chesapeake Bay cuisine, most famous for those succulent Maryland crabs. When you want to let loose, you can choose from comedy clubs, dance clubs, live music, taverns, pubs, sports bars, and much more.

Visit Baltimore – Dining & Nightlife
About Maryland Crabs
How to Eat Maryland Crabs

Dining Deals: Restaurant.com

Make a Reservation: Opentable.com

Discussion Boards: Chowhound

Restaurant Reviews:

Nightlife reviews: Yelp.com


Whatever your taste, you’ll find a vast array of shopping choices in Baltimore. From upscale malls and outlet stores to quaint antique shops, eclectic gifts and hand-made crafts, there is something for everyone.

Visit Baltimore – Shopping

Shopping Reviews: 
Yahoo! Local

Harborplace & The Gallery 
Baltimore’s Antique Row
Towson Town Center
THE AVENUE at White Marsh
Queenstown Premium Outlets
Arundel Mills

Arts, Culture & History

Baltimore boasts of numerous art museums and galleries, science museums, music and theater venues, historical sites and museums, incredible architecture and points of ethnic and multicultural importance. With its thriving arts, culture and history scene, Baltimore abounds with rich learning experiences for people of all ages.

Visit Baltimore – Arts & Culture

Baltimore Museum of Art
The Walters Art Museum
American Visionary Art Museum
The Baltimore Museum of Industry
Maryland Science Center
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Lyric Opera House
France-Merrick Performing Arts Center
Maryland Historical Society
Cylburn Arboretum

Attractions & Entertainment

With all the attractions and entertainment options in Baltimore, you will never be at a loss for something fun and interesting to do. Attractions and venues offer plenty of family-friendly events with fun activities for both young and old.

Visit Baltimore – Attractions
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
Historic Ships in Baltimore
National Aquarium
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore