Determining the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Hand Surgery Fellowship Education


The purpose of this study is to report the impact of COVID-19 on hand surgery fellow learning and preparedness for practice. A multi-dimensional questionnaire was distributed to current hand fellows and fellowship directors across the United States. Survey questions included fellowship location, institutional response, impact on practice, education and job search. Thirty-two hand surgery fellows and 14 fellowship directors completed the survey. Of fellows, 59% reported a greater than 75% decrease in case volume. Mean hours worked per week per fellow decreased by 52%. All fellowship directors and 94% of fellows did not expect COVID-19 to impact their ability to graduate, and nearly all fellows felt prepared to start practice after fellowship training. However, many fellows expressed concern about job opportunities. The work hours and exposure of hand surgery fellows to elective surgical cases have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. Nevertheless, current hand fellows feel prepared to enter practice. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 31(1):048–052, 2022)

Key words: COVID-19, coronavirus, hand surgery, fellowship training, education

SKU: JSOA-2022-31-1-8 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

Joseph A. Weiner, MD; Peter R. Swiatek, MD; Daniel J. Johnson, MD; Erik B. Gerlach, MD; Cody
Goedderz, BS; Bennet A. Butler, MD; Chirag M. Shah, MD; and David M. Kalainov, MD, MBA