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Find information on the Hand Surgery Fellowship program in the Department of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Hand Surgery Fellowship

The Hand Surgery Fellowship at Indiana University School of Medicine is a challenging and multidisciplinary program that covers the full breadth and depth of the specialty. Fellows gain a unique expertise in the full scope of hand surgery and cultivate lifelong mentors, colleagues, and friends.

Program Overview

The Hand Surgery Fellowship program has two positions available to board-eligible plastic and orthopaedic surgeons who desire additional training in the evaluation and surgical management of upper extremity issues. The one-year training program from August 1 through July 31 each year offers:

  • A truly integrated program with immersion in both plastic surgery-based and orthopaedic surgery-based hand services, with additional opportunities for exposure to elbow and shoulder procedures, as desired
  • A busy clinical practice treating patients with a range of common and complex conditions, including traumatic injuries, arthritis, tendonitis, brachial plexus injuries, nerve compression, congenital conditions, vascular problems, amputation management and tumors of the upper extremity
  • A rotation schedule representing the full cycle of care—from the clinic, to the OR, to  postoperative rehabilitation
  • Exposure to a range of clinical care settings—from adult and pediatric hospitals to outpatient clinics and ambulatory surgery centers, where the fellow will gain additional exposure and expertise in complicated upper extremity pathology
  • Opportunities to train in our microsurgery facilities, and learn from experts in peripheral nerve surgery

Application timeline

  • ASSH fellowship application due: November 2023
  • Virtual interviews: December 2023 and January 2024
  • NRMP Rank lists due: May 2023

Clinical Experience

Woman doing surgery on a hand

Although the faculty are distributed between Orthopaedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, we think of ourselves first and foremost as hand surgeons and we function as a unified group with complementary skills. The training experience is divided between IU Health Methodist Hospital, Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, and Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Outpatient clinics and ambulatory surgery centers are situated both on and off-campus.

The rotation schedule is set up in blocks to allow continuous immersion with these faculty members. Fellows accompany the faculty member to both the clinic and the operating room during these rotations, providing continuity of care between the initial evaluation, operative management, and postoperative rehabilitation of each patient. Fellows are given incrementally increased responsibility throughout the year, as they move through the program. They will also be given graduated responsibilities as teachers of residents and medical students.


Our curriculum is carefully designed to address the six core competencies set forth by the ACGME:

  1. Medical knowledge
  2. Patient care
  3. Practice-based learning and improvement
  4. Interpersonal and communication skills
  5. Systems-based practice
  6. Professionalism

The teaching curriculum covers the full spectrum of hand surgery in a series of weekly conferences held jointly with the Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery hand teams. Conferences are attended by fellows, residents, and faculty on hand surgery services. Each lecture is broadcast via teleconference for off-site learners. The discussions are typically case-based, with occasional didactic lectures.

Curriculum Topics

Fingertip and nailbed injuries Tetraplegia and cerebral palsy Flexor tendon injuries
Soft tissue tumors Phalangeal fractures (extra-articular)

Kienböck’s disease

Replantation and microsurgery

Basal joint arthritis/CMC arthroplasty

Extensor tendon injuries

Bone tumors

Metacarpal fractures (extra-articular)

Forearm fractures

Amputations and prosthetics

Inflammatory arthritis


Intrinsic hand flaps

Intra-articular hand fractures

Wrist arthroscopy

Compartment syndrome

Arthroplasty and arthrodesis

Vascular disorders

Regional and distant flaps

IP and MCP joint dislocations

Hand therapy

Infections and bites

Joint contractures

Nerve injuries

Congenital hand conditions

Scaphoid fractures

Pain syndromes

High-pressure injection injuries

Swan-neck and boutonnière deformities

Compression neuropathies

Mangled hand injury

Distal radius fractures

Tendon transfers

Thermal injury (frostbite and burns)

Carpal instability

Skin tumors

Brachial plexus palsy

Malunions of the hand and wrist

Pediatric fractures

Dupuytren’s Disease

Distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) disorders

Interpreting electrodiagnostic tests

Duty Hours and Call Schedule

At IU School of Medicine, the ACGME duty hour restrictions are strictly monitored and enforced for both residents and fellows. Hand surgery fellows rarely take primary call. Junior residents provide “first call” coverage for floor calls and consults; hand surgery fellows are expected to supervise the residents when evaluating new emergency consults. When on call, fellows are always backed up by an attending surgeon.

Research and Academic Opportunities

We have a world-class research enterprise at Indiana University School of Medicine. Our goal is to encourage and cultivate academic potential in our fellows. We expect each fellow to complete at least one publishable academic project during their year with us. This typically involves planning a clinical study from start to finish, under the supervision of our faculty. This is considered the “bare minimum” academic achievement for one of our hand surgery fellows and the fellow should be prepared to present their research project at our local symposia and/or national meetings when projects are complete. Motivated fellows will be able to complete more than just one project during their year with us, as we offer plenty of support for academic achievement.

Fellows will have space at each of the facilities (Methodist, Eskenazi and Riley) to work on research projects and will also have access to substantial resources through the IU School of Medicine, including:

There are countless academic opportunities through the Hand Surgery Fellowship. We have a thriving production of publications, in addition to engaged faculty and staff. Our fellowship encourages learning from the global field of hand surgery.

2024 Hand Surgery Fellows

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2023 Hand Surgery Fellows


The fellowship is shared between the Division of Plastic Surgery within the Department of Surgery and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Our faculty consists of eight surgeons led by Joshua M. Adkinson, MD, Program Director.

Joshua M. Adkinson, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery

Anthony J. Archual, MD

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Gregory Borschel, MD

James Joseph Harbaugh, Jr. Professor of Plastic Surgery

Brian M. Christie, MD, MPH

Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery

Khusboo J. Desai, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

Michael L. DiDonna, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

Ryan J. Kozlowski, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

Erin L. Weber, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Surgery

In the News

Doctor examines Khloe Hairell

Nerve Regeneration gives hope to 10-year-old

Future fellows will work on a variety of complex cases, such as Khloe Hairell's. Hairell suffered nerve damage in an accident. She underwent Cross C7 nerve transfer, a relatively novel surgery performed by Dr. Gregory Borschel and Dr. Joshua Adkinson. 

Learn about nerve regeneration at Riley Children's Hospital