Fellowships, Residencies & CME

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Harvard Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship Program

The Harvard Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship Program at the Massachusetts General & Brigham and Women's Hospitals was established in 1999 and has trained fellows from around the world.

The Harvard Shoulder Fellowship began in 1999 and has evolved into a program of three fellows who are selected each year in December through the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) match. An additional fourth fellow position is offered for six months, and this fellow facilitates the elective program which is described in the following text.

The mission of the Harvard Shoulder Service is to provide regional, national, and international leadership in the advancement of care for problems affecting the shoulder. This mission is based on advancement of knowledge through research, improvement of care through education of physicians, and clinical management of all Problems affecting the shoulder. The Harvard Shoulder Service is a collaborative effort of the Orthopaedic Departments at Massachusetts General Hosptial and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Visit The Boston Shoulder Institute for even more information.

We are affilicated with the ASES Match Program. We require an ASES application, CV, Personal Statement and three letters of recommendation. Candidates from the United States must be able to obtain medical licensure in Massachusetts. Candidates from outside the United States must have an H-Visa and be eligible for an unrestricted medical license in Massachusetts.

Our teaching mission is built on the strategy to develop excellent Shoulder and Elbow surgeons who will provide high quality care of both routine and complex problems. While some may choose to go into private practice and some may elect an academic path, our goal is to foster an open mind and thoughtful approach to complex problems. This approach is built on the foundation of a global academic shoulder community. Thus fellows will not only have the opportunity to learn from us here at Harvard, but also from our shoulder colleagues in Europe.

Core Program (Harvard) at MGH & BWH

Fellow #1: Warner Rotation (at MGH)
This fellow will work with Dr. Warner as his(her) primary responsibility. An outline of the weekly schedule is provided below.

Fellow #2: Higgins Rotation (at BWH)
This fellow will work with Dr. Higgins as his(her) primary responsibility. An outline of the weekly schedule is provided below.

Fellow #3: Holovacs/Oh (at MGH)
This fellow will divide his(her) time in two areas. Each week the fellow will communicate with Dr. Oh in order to identify elbow surgeries. Attendance to these elbow cases is an important part of the fellowship. When Dr. Oh is not performing elbow surgery, the fellow will work with Dr. Holovacs. Additional open time will be available for research. On Fridays, this fellow will be responsible for running the fellow’s clinic. Fellow’s clinic will be on Friday mornings each week except when fellow’s surgical cases are scheduled on a Friday.

Patient Care:The Shoulder Fellow is responsible for care of in-patients for Drs. Warner, Holovacs, Oh, and Higgins. There should be a discussion with each attending at the start of the rotation, and as needed throughout the rotation in order to clarify this role. All patients admitted to the hospital after surgery should be rounded on by the fellow in addition to the resident. Shoulder fellows are also responsible for assisting Drs. Warner, Higgins, and Holovacs in outpatient questions related to ongoing care. The fellows cover patient calls on weekends and after hours through our answering service. There is no trauma call.

MGH Indications Conference:There will be an Indications Conference on most Tuesdays between 7-8am at the MGH. Shoulder Fellows #1 and #3 who are working with Drs. Warner and Holovacs will be responsible for organizing x-rays and charts of all patients who will be having surgery the coming week. In addition, Shoulder Fellow Clinic cases as well as Dr. Oh's elbow cases, which are selected for surgery, should also be presented. The opportunity to present interesting or challenging cases will also be available on an ongoing basis. The purpose of this conference is to develop an insight into decision-making in straight-forward and routine cases. From time to time this period will be used as a journal club discussion of important articles.

BWH Indications Conference:There will be Sports/ Shoulder conference every 1st, 3rd, 5th Monday at 6:45-7:30am. The first 15 minutes will be dedicated to an indications conference and the last 30 minutes to a rotating topic. The fellows are to be responsible for collecting, organizing, and presenting the cases for indications conference and will be rotating during the presentations. Furthermore, the fellow will review all xrays for cases to be done on the Shoulder Service that week and review these cases immediately to follow this conference. The intent of this conference is to discuss the decision making process and pre-operative planning for each shoulder surgery done that week.

MGH Combined Sports Medicine & Shoulder Conferences:Each Thursday from 8-9AM The Sports Medicine Service holds it’s conferences. Periodically the topic will be shoulder and the Shoulder Service will be invited to participate. In advance of these dates where shoulder is the specific topic the Fellow on either Dr. Warner’s Service or Dr. Holovac’s service will be responsible for preparing the presentation. These presentations are to be case-based. For example, Instability cases to illustrate the treatment of these conditions. Many such conferences have already been saved on the Fellow’s Educational Database on the computer in the Fellow’s office. Dr. Warner will review each presentation with the assigned fellow prior to his (her) presentation.

MGH Elbow Conference:A collaborative educational program between the Shoulder Service, Sports Medicine Service, and the Hand and Upper Extremity Service is being developed by Dr. Oh and will take place every six weeks on Tuesday morning at 8am in place of Indications conference.

MGH Shoulder Fracture Conference:The program takes place once every six weeks on Thursday mornings at 8am in collaboration with the Trauma Service at MGH.

Combined MGH & BWH Research Conference:There will be a research conference on designated Friday mornings each month. The time and location are yet to be determined. The purpose of this conference is to review ongoing shoulder research and to brain-storm new areas of research. The shoulder fellows are, of course, expected to attend and present updates to their projects.

Special Conferences:Throughout the year the Shoulder Service may host visiting professors and meetings, including cadaver arthroscopy workshops. The fellows’ responsibility at each of these events will be clearly outlined in advance.

There are both Basic and Clinical Research Opportunities at MGH & BWH.

Ongoing Research at MGH:

  • 3-Dimensional Fluoroscopic Analysis of Kinematics of the shoulder in conditions such as rotator cuff tears and instability
  • Prospective Database Outcome Studies
  • Shoulder Simulator Training to improve arthroscopic skills

Ongoing Research at BWH:

  • Tissue Engineering for Tendon healing
  • Proteonomics Laboratory
  • Clinical Outcome Studies

Visit the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons to see requirements and the application.

Co-Directors, Harvard Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship Program

Phone: (617) 724-7300


Jon J.P. Warner, M.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Chief, The Harvard Shoulder Service
Co-Director, Harvard Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship
Professor, Harvard Medical School
jwarner@partners.org

Laurence D. Higgins, M.D.
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Co-Chief, The Harvard Shoulder Service
Co-Director, Harvard Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
ldhiggins@partners.org

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