History & Philosophy


The fellowship was initiated in 1960 by Dr. Harold Kleinert. More than 1,400 physicians from 60 countries have received training in hand surgery as clinical fellows, research fellows, or residents. In addition to refining their understanding of hand surgery, many of these individuals have contributed immeasurably to the fellowship, bringing new ideas and techniques from around the world.


Our goal is to provide exemplary training in all aspects of the art and science of hand surgery. This includes instilling a fundamental understanding of the physiology, biomechanics, examination, diagnosis, planning, non-operative management, and surgical management that allow hand function and form to be optimally repaired and reconstructed. We wish our graduates to be fundamentally competent hand surgeons who will constantly strive to continue to grow, as lifelong learners. Our vision is that our graduates will improve patients’ lives, not only through personally treating patients but also by advancing hand surgery through research, and by training the next generation of hand surgeons.

As teachers, we believe that we are successful only if our pupils ultimately become far better than their teachers. It is only in this way that each generation can further advance the discipline of hand surgery.