Hand Surgery Fellowship


SIU Institute for Plastic Surgery offers a one-year Hand Surgery Fellowship.

Within this program, fellows will see a large variety and volume of hand pathologies and surgical procedures including fracture treatment, nerve injury and treatment, local, regional, and free flaps for hand wound care.

Fellows will learn and practice the principles of plastic surgery as it applies to hand surgery.


Applying to the Program

SIU School of Medicine’s Hand Fellowship Program uses the ASSH Hand Fellowship application platform. We require the following:

  • CV
  • 3 exam score documents
  • 3 recommendation letters signed on letterhead

Our application deadline is January 31.

SIU Hand Surgery Fellowship Program interviews are between January 1 and March 30.


Hand fellows are given the opportunity to join any hand or upper extremity case on the plastic surgery schedule. This is a fluid operating schedule that allows fellows to see any and all cases that would be beneficial for learning and technical practice. 

Hand Fellowship Conference

Hand conference
Hand Conference is held each Thursday morning. These conferences are organized and led by the hand fellow in conjunction with the hand surgery faculty and are intended to cover comprehensive topics in hand surgery with a focus on best practices from the literature. The hand fellow and faculty can work together to develop this hand conference curriculum to make it as useful as possible for both the fellow and resident attendees.

Other conferences and skills labs
The Plastic Surgery residents have conferences on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in addition to the Thursday morning hand conferences. Fellows are encouraged to attend these conferences when they apply to hand and upper extremity surgery.

Mondays are used for photo conferences, where an unknown case is presented and the residents are taken through principles of management and treatment. There is input from the faculty and opportunities for both senior and junior learners.

Wednesday conferences are a mixture of Anatomy Labs, Surgical Skills Labs, and basic science/clinic knowledge conferences.

  • Anatomy Labs: For 9 weeks, junior residents are assigned weekly anatomy topics. When their schedules permit, residents are expected to spend time dissecting throughout the week.  On Wednesday mornings, the juniors review their topics with all the residents. These dissections and reviews are held in our Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation (MCLI) Surgical Skills Lab. 
  • Surgical Skills Labs: Every other month, we have a skills lab in Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation with flap dissection. The curriculum is set up so that every flap listed will be performed by the resident in cadaver lab prior to graduation. 
  • CoreQuest Conference: We utilize the ACAPS Corequest Curriculum for educational conferences. Our schedule allows us to rotate through every topic in one year.

Friday conference is a mix of board preparation conference, journal club, M&M, and special sessions, such as wellness, financial planning, practice setup and negotiation, etc.

Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend at least one external conference during their time here at SIU.  The Division will provide funding for 2 conferences to cover the cost of travel and registration. ASSH and AAHS are the conferences that are typically selected.

Hand Fellowship Skills Lab

Cadaveric Skills Labs
The anatomy lab at our state-of-the-art J. Roland Folse, MD Surgical Skills Center is a unique and invaluable tool for learning during fellowship.  Fellows have frequent access to cadaver hand and upper extremities to learn surgical techniques and explore and solidify their knowledge of surgical anatomy.  Additionally, we are developing a hand and upper extremity dissection curriculum to maximize the benefits of such an opportunity.

Residents and fellows feel very fortunate to have a microsurgical skills lab readily available where they can practice microsurgery in vivo. When fellows have free time, they can schedule a microsurgery practice session. This extra practice allows for greater skill and autonomy by the time fellows are expected to perform microsurgery for flaps or revascularization in the operating room.


The hand surgery fellow is encouraged to participate in clinical and/or bench research. Please see our research page for more information about laboratory, clinical, medical education, and quality improvement research and services offered within our Division of Plastic Surgery.

Students looking under microscope in a research lab

Benefits & Wellness

For the purposes of benefits, fellows are considered PGY6 or PGY7, depending on how many post-graduate years they have completed. The hand fellow is allotted 21 days of leave over the course of their fellowship year.

Beyond the basics:

  • Onsite parking provided free of charge
  • Meals available in both Springfield hospitals free of charge
  • Custom embroidered white coats
  • Family leave for qualifying events
  • Funding to attend professional conferences

Find more information on benefits here.

The SIU Institute for Plastic Surgery is located in Springfield, Illinois, which has a population of 115,000 people. The commute to work can be incredibly minimal, depending on where you live. Many of our residents live around Washington Park, which allows them to live in beautiful neighborhoods with a 10 minute drive to work each day.  Other residents live downtown (about 5 minutes from the hospitals), and some choose to live in nearby towns (20 minutes from the hospitals).  There are many different living arrangements suitable for anyone's needs.

When they aren’t at the hospital, the residents and fellow often gather together for fun activities including dining at the many absolutely delicious and quaint restaurants around the city, participating in Downtown Springfield, Inc.’s activities and festivals, going to wineries and breweries, utilizing running and biking trails, boating, and working out.

Our program is also supportive of residents and fellows with families and those wanting to start families. Home ownership and close proximity to the hospital is a large factor in this. Additionally, Springfield is a very family-friendly city with good parks, children’s groups and activities, great schools, friendly people, and a relaxed atmosphere.  There are multiple childcare options from day care to nannies.

Both hospitals offer free parking for residents, and both have free food in the doctors’ lounges that is available to residents and fellows.  Cold meals and snacks are available at all times and warm meals are provided for lunches and dinners. Both hospitals also provide secure sleep rooms.

Contact us

Naya Jackson
Fellowship Program Coordinator