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The UAB hand fellowship provides comprehensive training in hand, upper extremity, and microvascular surgery during a one-year program.

It is a unique program in its clinical breadth which includes experience in acute trauma, sub-acute and chronic conditions from injury, overuse, aging, and rheumatic or autoimmune conditions. The fellowship is a true upper extremity fellowship that includes shoulder and elbow. Fellows have the opportunity to work with Division 1 athletes and attend an arthroscopy course. Children's hand fractures, a wide variety of congenital malformations, and brachial plexus injuries are seen regularly and treated at the premiere children's hospital in the state, Children's of Alabama.

It is your education, take control of the experience

Fellows participate in all aspects of patient care — in clinics, the operating room and, on occasion, the emergency room. There are weekly conferences, monthly journal clubs, and a formal microvascular training course. Quarterly cadaver labs are held at Andrew's Sports Medicine Institute. Fellows regularly attend the ASSH meeting as well as a nerve course. Fellows are encouraged to attend additional meetings of their choice.

Clinical and/or lab research is also available to round out the training. Fellows regularly collaborate with residents on research projects and have the availability of an animal lab, biomechanics lab, cadaver lab and any other resources UAB has to offer. The program is integrated with the Orthopaedic Residency Program and the Plastic Surgery Program at UAB. There are three, two-month rotations in distinctly different settings and each fellow has the opportunity to see each setting twice. Fellows also have the flexibility to tailor their fellowship experience to their specific interests.

Rotation Locations

UAB Hospital

At this busy Level 1 Trauma Center, fellows gain valuable experience in severe traumatic injuries including the mangled hand, plastic surgery coverage of the upper extremity and replantation. Fellows work with Dr. Karlee Lau and Dr. Erin Ransom regularly but also have the opportunity to work with trauma faculty including Dr. Clay Spitler and Dr. John Quade if they have a special interest in shoulder or elbow trauma. Fellows also have the opportunity to work with Dr. Ali Kilic in plastic surgery and Dr. James Hwang in reconstructive burn care on select cases on an elective basis.

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UAB Hospital Highlands

UAB Hospital Highlands is the heart of the fellowship where the majority of rotations occur. This includes a wide variety of rotation experiences including shoulder and elbow training with Dr. Brent Ponce, Dr. Will Brabston, and Dr. Richard Meyer. Fellows rotate with Dr. Joseph Sherrill - who with 30 years of experience - is a very well respected hand surgeon and will frequently incorporates UAB Athletes cases into his curriculum. Fellows also work with Dr. Karlee Lau who treats a wide variety of hand conditions including traumatic injuries, tendon transfers and microsurgical work. Fellows will also gain experience treating nerve conditions including thoracic outlet syndrome, brachial plexus injuries, nerve repair and transfer, as well as tendon transfer for nerve conditions with Drs. Richard Meyer, Joseph Sherrill, Karlee Lau and Erin Ransom. UAB Hospital Highlands also includes a hand therapy practice within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and fellows have the opportunity to work with hand therapists throughout their clinic experience.

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Children's of Alabama

Children's of Alabama is a Level 1 state-designated trauma facility and its expertise draws patients from throughout Alabama and neighboring states. Fellows will gain experience in congenital conditions and pediatric trauma with Dr. Erin Ransom. Fellows will also participate in a multidisciplinary brachial plexus clinic and work with Drs. Richard Meyer and Erin Ransom in reconstructive surgeries.

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Andrews Sport Medicine and Orthopaedic Center

Andrews Sport Medicine and Orthopaedic Center is a well known and respected privademic practice located in Birmingham, Alabama. Fellows will work with Dr. Kathleen McKeon in a private practice setting to learn the principles of hand surgery, the business side of medicine, as well as the care of elite athletes with hand injuries.

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Southlake Orthopaedics

Southlake Orthopaedics is a well respected private practice located in Birmingham, Alabama. Fellows work with Dr. Ekkehard Bonatz, who has been faculty for the fellowship for over 20 years. Fellows see a variety of pathology and have the opportunity to learn about the management of a hand practice in a private practice setting.

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Meet the Faculty

Application Process

Graduates of this ACGME-approved program are eligible for CAQ certification. Three fellowship positions are offered each year; they must be eligible for Alabama licensure, DEA and have passed Step 3 of the USMLE.

Interested applicants should contact Gilda Fuller at gfuller@uabmc.edu for more information.