In the photograph: J. Grant Thomson, M.D., plastics/hand attending (left); Salem Samra, M.D., previous hand fellow (right).

Hand Surgery Fellowship Program

The Yale University / Yale-New Haven Medical Center Hand Fellowship is listed under Plastic Surgery - Hand Surgery, located in Connecticut, in the ACGME program search. The 10-digit ACGME program number is 3630831027.

The Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship at Yale is a comprehensive 1-year training program in hand and microsurgery. The fellow is immersed in the full spectrum of hand and microsurgery through a rigorous clinical and academic experience. The fellow works directly with Dr. Thomson in the preoperative evaluation and diagnosis of patients with hand problems in the clinic setting and gains an understanding for surgical and nonsurgical indications for treatment. There is a high volume of surgical cases that the hand fellow directly participates in. These include surgery for trauma (including fractures of the fingers, hand, and wrist, soft tissue injuries, revascularization, and replantation), burns, nerve compression, tenosynovitis, arthritis, brachial plexus injuries, cancer, and congenital hand anomalies. They also include microsurgical reconstruction of defects of the extremities, trunk, head and neck. The fellow works closely with Dr. Thomson in the post-operative care and rehabilitation of the patient.

The fellow is actively involved in the busy clinical practice of hand and microsurgery but is also involved in various academic pursuits within hand and microsurgery. There is a biweekly hand conference through the section of plastic surgery where the hand fellow is an active participant and moderator. There is a Microsurgery lab where the hand fellow has the ability to practice and teach microsurgical skills to residents and students as well as conduct independent research. The fellow has access to an Instron machine to research the effects of various tendon manipulations as well as a series of cadaveric hands and forearms. The fellow is encouraged to prepare one publication-worthy research project in hand and microsurgery to present at the Annual Yale Plastic Surgery Resident Research Day held in May. The fellow is financially supported by the section of plastic surgery to attend an annual meeting of one of the major American hand surgery societies (ASSH or AAHS). Finally the fellow meets with Dr. Thomson on a monthly basis to discuss and review a topic in hand surgery.

The fellowship is fully accredited by the ACGME and graduates of the fellowship are eligible to sit for the Certificate of Added Qualification in Hand Surgery examination. The fellowship is an outstanding opportunity to enhance one's expertise as a hand surgeon.

Director Information

J. Grant Thomson, M.D., M.Sc.
Yale University School of Medicine
Section of Plastic Surgery 330 Cedar St., BB 330C
New Haven, CT 06519

phone: (203) 737-5130
fax: (203) 785-5714

Coordinator Information

Monika Chmielewska (Fellowship Coordinator)
phone: (203) 785-6608
fax: (203) 785-5714

Accreditation and General Information

Program Format: standard
Program Requires Prior or Additional GME Training: yes
Number of Prior or Additional Years Required: 5
Program Requires Dedicated Research Year: no
Government Affiliation: no military or government affiliation
Number of Positions: 1

Application Information


  1. Completion of ACGME accredited residency or its Canadian equivalent in surgery, plastic surgery, or orthopedic surgery.
  2. Graduates of residency programs outside of the United States or Canada cannot be considered.


  1. Universal Hand Application
  2. Two Letters of Reference

Deadlines (applications are made at least 16 months prior to matriculation):

  1. January 31
  2. Interviews will be held at the end of February

Past Hand Fellows

Marc E. Walker, M.D., M.B.A., (2018-2019) was born and raised in North Mississippi, and graduated from Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, TN. He was recently honored by his alma mater with the inaugural Young Alumnus Lasallian Award for Service to the Poor, largely a recognition of his work on pediatric hand surgery missions in Central and South America. Dr. Walker graduated summa cum laude/Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Mississippi with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. Thereafter, he attended Harvard Medical School, where he was one of the few students inducted into the Aesculapian Club. He subsequently obtained the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard Business School. Dr. Walker completed plastic surgery residency at Yale University. He has published numerous papers and textbook chapters in plastic surgery and hand surgery. In addition to clinical medicine, Dr. Walker is interested in device development, healthcare economics, medical education, and entrepreneurship. He enjoys traveling, clay sport shooting, kayaking, and anything outdoors.
Yuen-Jong Liu, M.D., (2017-2018) graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in computer science and biochemical sciences. Dr. Thomson mentored him as a Yale medical student and inspired him to pursue a career in plastic surgery and hand surgery. Dr. Liu completed general surgery residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School) and plastic surgery residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He now practices plastic and hand surgery at The Aesthetic Center in Darien, CT, and serves all of Fairfield County in Western Connecticut. His website is located at Dr. Liu may be reached by email at His CV is available at this link as a PDF file.
Regina Meis, M.D., (2016-2017) was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated from Fordham University with a B.S. in chemistry. She subsequently completed a master's degree in organic synthesis at University of Pennsylvania and went on to work at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA, as a medicinal chemist. Afterwards, she obtained her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed orthopaedic surgery residency there, as well. Outside of medicine, Dr. Meis enjoys traveling and all food and wine related activities. Dr. Meis may be reached by email at
Chadwick Wu, M.D., (2015-2016) was born and raised in California, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a double major B.A. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology and Psychology. He attended medical school at Vanderbilit University, completed general surgery residency at University of Pennsylvania, and completed plastic surgery fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has presented at numerous scientific meetings and won several awards. He is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery. Outside of medicine, Dr. Wu enjoys playing badminton and traveling. Dr. Wu may be reached by e-mail at
Carmella Fernandez, M.D., (2014-2015) was born and raised in New Jersey and moved during high school to the Poconos in Pennsylvania in order to increase the intensity of her gymnastics training. She graduated from Pocono Mountain High School and attended the University of Illinois at Champaign to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Biology. In addition, she continued competing as a collegiate gymnast for the Fighting Illini and was an Academic All-American and Academic All-Big-Ten team member each year during her eligibility. In medical school, she served on the student council and completed a Masters in Business Administration. She completed orthopaedic surgery residency at the Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Outside of medicine, Carmella enjoys time with family and her beloved dog Alex. Dr. Fernandez may be reached by e-mail at
Garry Martin II, M.D., (2013-2014) was born in California and was raised in Wisconsin where he was salutatorian of his high school class. He pursued Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina, where he was a decathlete and two-time team captain of the track and field team. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha society and was also the medical student representative on the SCMA Board of Trustees. He completed plastic surgery residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center. During his free time, he enjoys fitness and helping train individuals. Dr. Martin may be reached by e-mail at
Salem Samra, M.D., (2012-2013) was born and raised in New Jersey where he graduated as valedictorian from the Ranney School. He completed a double major in the biological basis of behavior and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to attend medical school at the Baylor College of Medicine where he graduated with high honors, Alpha Omega Alpha, and received the prestigious DeBakey Scholar Award. He completed a six year residency in Plastic Surgery at Yale and stayed on to complete his fellowship in hand surgery. He has published numerous papers in plastic and hand surgery and his research interests include congenital hand surgery, melanoma, and fat grafting. He now practices in New Jersey. View CV in PDF format.

Samuel Buonocore, M.D., (2011-2012) went on to practice plastic and hand surgery at St. Francis hospital in Hartford, CT.

Daniel Holtz, M.D., (2010-2011) went on to private practice in hand surgery in the Atlanta, GA, metropolitan area.

Kelly Babineaux, M.D., (2009-2010) completed general surgery residency at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA. After completing our hand fellowship program, she went on to a combined academic and private practice in hand surgery at LSU Health New Orleans in the Department of Surgery and LSU Healthcare Network in Metairie, LA, respectively.

Sepehr Sajjad, M.D., (2008-2009) graduated from University of California at San Diego and received his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. He completed general surgery residency at State University of New York at Stony Brook. After completing fellowship in hand and microsurgery at Yale University Dr. Sajjad founded the New England Hand Center and is the chief of hand surgery at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT.

David Refermat, M.D., (2007-2008) completed plastic surgery residency at University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. After graduating from our hand fellowship program, he went on to an academic plastic and hand surgery practice at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.

Julio Arias, M.D., (2006-2007) returned to Panama, his home country, to practice hand surgery.

Pradeep Mohan, M.D., (2005-2006) went on to practice plastic surgery in St. Louis, MO.

John Safanda, M.D., (2004-2005) went on to orthopedic and hand surgery practice at Kaiser Permanente.

Erik Marques, M.D., (2001-2002), born in New York City, attended college at Cornell University and medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, NJ. After completing general surgery residency at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, he completed plastic surgery training at University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center.

Sunny Waitze, M.D., (2000-2001), a native of Connecticut, graduated from Duke University in Durham, NC, and received her medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Sunny completed general surgery and plastic surgery training at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She was also involved in basic science research in transplant immunology at Emory University before coming to Yale University for further training in hand and microsurgery. She went on to practice general plastic surgery as well as hand and microsurgery in Waterbury, CT.

Sohel Islam, M.D., (1999-2000) received his undergraduate education from New York University and his medical education form Cornell University School of Medicine in New York City. After completing residency in general surgery at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Medical Center in New York, Sohel went on to receive training in plastic surgery at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA. He is currently practicing plastic and hand surgery in Danbury, CT.

Harvey Bluestein, M.D., (1998-1999) hails from Pittsburgh, PA. He received his undergraduate training at Carnegie-Mellon University and earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He also attended the School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh where he studied radiation and medical physics. He completed general surgery training at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, CT, before training in plastic surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. After completion of hand and microsurgery training at Yale, he went on to practice in Fairfield County, CT.

Kevin Tomany, M.D., (1997-1998) attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an undergraduate degree in neurobiology. From there, he progressed to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, to earn his medical degree before completing orthopedic surgery training at the University of Connecticut in Farmington. He was the first hand and microsurgery fellow at Yale University. Dr. Tomany now practices in Massachusetts.