Upstate Orthopedics

Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship Outline 


The goal of our Hand Fellowship Program is to train the Fellow in all aspects of hand surgery. The applicant must have completed an approved residency in orthopaedic or plastic surgery.

The purpose is to help the Fellow develop an understanding of surgical and medical management of musculoskeletal problems of the entire upper extremity. The program consists of a didactic lecture series, as well as clinical evaluations and surgical experience in the treatment of hand and upper extremity problems.

The program is structured so that the Fellow works closely with one or two attendings at a time. There are four full-time hand surgeons within the department and three physicians in private practice, all of whom are involved in the educational process.

The Fellow will also be able to participate in clinical and basic science research projects at the Institute of Human Performance. The program provides a mix of basic hand surgery and complex hand surgery conditions.

While the program has an emphasis on hand surgery, one attending has completed an additional fellowship in elbow/shoulder surgery. The attending surgeons come from both orthopaedic and plastic surgical backgrounds. As a result, there is an excellent balance of both bone and soft-tissue problems about the hand/wrist, with a generous free-tissue transfer/microsurgery experience.

This fellowship is ACGME accredited and participates in the match program.

Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship Outline 

Hand Fellowship Training Manual 


Our fellowship has a long tradition of successfully training hand and upper extremity surgeons. It was founded in 1990 by Dr’s. John Mosher, Andrew Palmer and Walter Short. Each of these surgeons were highly respected academic hand surgeons and the latter two were highly published leading experts in wrist ligamentous anatomy and biomechanics. Over the first decade since the fellowship’s inception, Dr’s. Jon Loftus and Brian Harley joined the division and continued on the tradition of clinical and research excellence while bringing more expertise and case volume in both soft tissue reconstruction, trauma reconstruction and congenital hand surgery. In the second decade, Dr’s. Kevin Setter and Josh Pletka joined the fellowship program as Dr’s Palmer and Mosher retired and expanded the fellowship to include clinical expertise in the entire upper extremity including shoulder and elbow.

Fellowship Outline

Clinical Activities

The fellowship is principally a clinical fellowship with some limited research and teaching responsibilities.  Educational activities include hands-on direct experiences in the clinical and surgical settings – both inpatient and outpatient. These experiences are designed to develop the physician's knowledge of non-operative and surgical techniques for treating diseases of the entire upper extremity.  It is our firm belief that graduated clinical responsibility is important to the development of a hand surgeon. During a typical week three to four days are spent in the operating room with at least one and a half days spent in office hours.  We feel that the office based component of the fellowship is important to the development of outpatient care as well as to provide the fellow with an environment to learn surgical indications. 

The educational experiences take place in two major settings:

  1. Upstate Bone and Joint Center
    Enclosed within this space are: the offices of the attending spine staff, outpatient clinics of the Orthopedic Department, radiography with an up-to-date MRI imaging facility, a hand therapy office, an outpatient surgery facility where 75% of the surgical cases are performed, and a pain management center for performing therapeutic and diagnostic block.

  2. SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital, Crouse Hospital, Community Hospital 
    Inpatient surgery experiences as well as major traumatic conditions and replantation occur predominantly at the SUNY Upstate Medical University including the Community hospital campus. Upstate is a tertiary care level 1 trauma center with a pediatric hospital.  This institution is capable of treating virtually all upper extremity and soft tissue reconstruction pathologies in adults and children including traumatic, degenerative and congenital pathology. The hand surgery service provides primary hand call at this facility. The Community hospital campus is utilized for short stay inpatient upper extremity procedures such as elbow and shoulder arthroplasty. Crouse Hospital is a private hospital that is connected to Upstate by a bridge and is also covered by the hand surgery service for consultations and emergency care and some elective surgery. 

Upper Extremity Surgery Educational Conferences

  1. Thursday Morning Core Curriculum Conference:  The hand surgery service hosts a weekly didactic session that is open to the entire Orthopaedic residency.  These sessions occur each Thursday beginning at 7:00AM.  Sessions are topic based as outlined by the core lecture.  A power point lecture concerning the topic is given. These lectures are topical presentations that have been prepared by the attending staff and occasionally by the fellowe.  An open discussion forum occurs at the conclusion of the lecture.

  2. Quarterly Upper Extremity Morbidity and Mortality Conference: During the course of the quarter, all of the medical and surgical complications on the hand surgery service are tracked.  These are formally presented in a session that is only open to the residency and hand surgery service. During this quality assurance conference, complications, as well as techniques for their prevention, are reviewed.

  3. Bimonthly Hand Surgery Journal Club:  Every other month a journal club session will occur outside of the work place.  A series of interesting and current articles will be reviewed.  These sessions are voluntary  sessions, but provide the fellow and residents who attend a relaxed environment to review hand surgery topics and stay up to date on the current body of spine literature.

Hand Fellowship Training Manual 

Hand Fellowship Faculty

Current Fellow

  • Jessica Figueroa, MD
    Jessica Figueroa, MD

Current Fellow: Jessica Figueroa, MD, Saint Louise University School of Medicine

Past Fellows and Current Employment


  • 1990 - Lawrence Halperin M.D., Orlando Orthopedic Center, 25 W. Crystal Lake St, Ste. 200, Orlando, FL 32806-4476
  • 1991 - Steven Friedman M.D., Baltimore, MD 21209
  • 1992 - Jon Loftus, M.D., 6620 Fly Rd., Ste. 200, E. Syracuse, NY 13057
  • 1992 - Michel Benoit, M.D., Burlington, VT 05401
  • 1993 - Randy Hauck, M.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, P.O. Box 850  Hershey, PA 17033
  • 1993 - Scott Sagerman, MD, Arlington Heights, IL  60005-4411
  • 1994 - Patrick Harris, M.D, Laval, Quebec H7G 1E5
  • 1995 - Jeffrey Arons, M.D., Woodbridge,CT 06525
  • 1995 - David Toivonen, M.D., Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin, Appleton Office, 2323 N. Casaloma Dr., Appleton, WI 54913
  • 1996 - Marco Dirks, M.D., Orthopedic Group, Inc., 588 Pawtucket Avenue, Pawtucket, RI  02860
  • 1997 - Arthur Rideout, M.D., Department of Plastic Surgery, General Hospital Corporation, 300 Prince Philip Drive, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada  A1B 3V6
  • 1997 - Alfred Wroblewski, No current address available
  • 1998 - Evan Schumer, MD, 2000 Washington Street, Ste. 470, Newton, MA  02162
  • 1998 - Jeffrey Gelfand, MD, 456 Ritchie Hwy, Ste D., Severna Park, MD 21146
  • 1999 - Stephen Dailey, MD, Camp Hill, PA  17011
  • 1999 - Vincent Ruggiero, MD, Healthcare Associates in Medicine, 1099 Targee St., Staten Island, NY 10304
  • 2000 - S. David Boles, MD, Philpot, KY 42303
  • 2000 - Catherine Spath, MD, Holyoke, MA  01040
  • 2001 - Brian Harley MD, 6620 Fly Rd., Ste. 200, E. Syracuse, NY 13057
  • 2001 - Kydee Sheetz MD, Duluth Clinic, 400 East Third Street, Duluth, MN  55805
  • 2002 - Sunjay Berdia MD 9420 Key West Ave., Ste 300, Rockville, MD 20850
  • 2002 - Gary Sherman MD, Hagerstown, MD 21742
  • 2003 - Alexander Marcus, MD, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
  • 2003 - Amorn Neil Salyapongse, MD, Univ of WI, School of Med & Pub Health, 4th Flr, 1 S. Park St., Madison, WI 53715
  • 2004 - Jean Paul Brutus, MD, Outremont, Montreal H2V2H6
  • 2004 - Jessica Mattoli, MD, Cotuit, MA 02635
  • 2005 - Kevin Setter, MD, 6620 Fly Road, Suite 200, East Syracuse, NY 13057
  • 2005 - Kevin J. Wright, MD, New York, NY 10010
  • 2006 - Amy Kells, MD, Jackson, MS 39202
  • 2006 - Brandon Massey, MD, Massey Plastic and Hand Surgery, The Village Offices, 3170 N. Swan Rd., Tucson, AZ 85712
  • 2007 - Joel Klena, MD, Atawissa, PA 17820
  • 2007 - David Patalino, MD, Slocum-Dickson Medical Group,1729 Burrstone Rd. New Hartford, NY 13413
  • 2008 - Benjamin Berenfeld, MD, Harrison, NY 10528
  • 2009 - David Goren, MD, Beer-Sheva, ISRAEL 84306
  • 2009 - Hugo St-Amand, MD - CANADA
  • 2010 - Loren Potter, DO, Oshkosh, WI 54904
  • 2011 - Faruk Balkan, MD - TURKEY
  • 2012 - Melissa Boyette, MD, Palmetto, FL 34221
  • 2012 - Steven Eddy, MD, Fort Wayne, IN 46814
  • 2013 - Matthew Willsey, DO - Sheboygan, WI 53083
  • 2014 - Craig Dimitris, MD, Orthopedic ONE, 3777 Trueman Ct., Hilliard, OH 43026
  • 2015 - Laura Scordino, MD, OrthoNY, 121 Everett Road, Albany, NY 12205
  • 2016 - Sarah Shiga, MD, Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Canada ON K1H8L6
  • 2017 - Rosemary Yi, MD
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