Leadership Trends at Hand Surgery Fellowships

Nicholas C. Schiller, Amanda F. Spielman, Andrew J. Sama, Benjamin I. Schachner, Chester J. Donnally, Seth D. Dodds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Fellowship directors (FDs) influence the future of trainees in the field of hand surgery. Currently, there are no studies that analyze the demographic background, institutional training, and academic experience of hand surgery FDs. This study aims to serve as a framework to understand the landscape of current leadership positions in hand surgery education and to identify opportunities to improve FD diversity. Methods: The American Society for Surgery of the Hand Fellowship Directory was reviewed to include all hand surgery fellowships in the United States. Collected demographic information regarding FDs included age, sex, ethnicity, residency/fellowship training, residency/fellowship graduation year, year hired by current institution, time since training completion until FD appointment, length in FD role, and H-index. Results: Of the 90 FDs included, 86.7% were men and 71.4% self-reported as Caucasian. The average H-index was 13.98 and significantly correlated with age and duration as FD; 71.1% of FDs were trained in orthopedic surgery. The most attended residency program was the University of Pennsylvania; Mayo Clinic and Harvard University were the most represented fellowship programs. Conclusion: This review reveals specific trends in demographic backgrounds, institutional training, and academic experiences among current FDs in hand surgery. Our observations, such as racial/ethnic and sex disparities, may offer opportunities to improve the representation of the communities these physicians serve. In addition, the trends described in this study provide objective data among current hand surgery FDs and could serve as a guide for individuals who desire academic leadership roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • educational leadership
  • fellowship director
  • hand surgery fellowship
  • sex diversity in hand surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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