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Hand Therapy Fellowship

The Hospital for Special Surgery Hand Therapy Fellowship is a clinically-based training program for experienced physical and occupational therapists seeking to specialize in hand therapy.

Accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, the mission of the program is to provide these therapists with a comprehensive, structured program of clinical and didactic experiences for the development of advanced clinical reasoning, skills, and behaviors in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation.

The Hand Therapy Fellowship is a full-time, 9-month program.  The fellow works 35-40 hours per week, spending approximately 50% of their time in educational experiences and 50% providing supervised patient care.  A salary proportional to a 50% case load is provided.

Dates: September through May

Application Deadline: April 30th
Non-refundable application fee of $50

Application Form (pdf)

Location: Hospital for Special Surgery, Hand Therapy Center

Fellowship Contact:
Carol Page, PT, DPT, CHT
Hand Therapy Fellowship Program Director

Goals for Participants
Upon successful completion the fellowship program, hand therapy fellows will:

  • Demonstrate the use of critical reasoning skills for clinical decision making;
  • Apply an understanding of the hand and upper extremity to the examination, evaluation, and treatment of individuals with disorders affecting this region;
  • Demonstrate clinical skills specific to the examination, evaluation, and treatment of hand and upper extremity disorders, including effective fabrication and use of orthoses as a component of comprehensive patient care;
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with patients, families, staff, and other health care professionals to achieve optimal treatment outcomes;
  • Demonstrate professional behavior and values, participation in continuing learning experiences, and commitment to advancing the profession of hand therapy;
  • Draw from multiple resources to contribute to the care of individuals and patient populations.

The fellowship program is comprised of 3- 13 week trimesters.  Examinations and competency assessments take place in the final week of each trimester.  A weekly education series of lectures and labs with assigned readings is the cornerstone of the didactic portion of the fellowship.  Content from each of four program modules is sequentially covered, starting with foundational topics, progressing to cover each upper extremity and more complex and specialized topics.
The four modules are Professionalism; Clinical Reasoning and Research; Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanics of the Upper Extremity; and Management of Upper Extremity Disorders.

In addition, in weekly splint labs, the fellow is instructed in the specialized skill of upper extremity and orthotic use, design and fabrication.  Weekly case  one-on-one mentoring, including co-treatments, case review, and skills practice, support the development of clinical reasoning skills and professional behavior.  Clinical communication and technical skills are developed and applied through patient care delivery in which more complex cases are gradually introduced.  Knowledge is enhanced by observation of specialty therapy practices, hand/upper extremity surgery, and office visits with the HSS hand surgeons, as well as attendance at HSS Hand Service grand rounds and Hand Therapy and Rehabilitation Department inservices.  The fellow’s developing competency in hand therapy is integrated and shared through the completion of four special projects/presentations.


Admission Requirements
Minimum Qualifications:

  • Graduation from an accredited physical or occupational therapy program
  • Current PT or OT licensure and registration in New York State or eligibility to attain them prior to start of fellowship
  • Malpractice insurance (minimum $1 mil per occurrence/ $3 mil aggregate)
  • 1 year of experience after graduation in an outpatient orthopedic setting with some experience in hand/upper extremity rehabilitation

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Minimum requirements as above
  • Total of 3 or more years of experience after graduation including 1 or more years in hand/upper extremity rehabilitation in an outpatient orthopedic setting
  • Membership in APTA, AOTA, and/or ASHT

Finalists will be interviewed prior to acceptance into the fellowship program.

Hand Therapy Center
The fellowship program is based at the hospital’s Hand Therapy Center. We provide specialized treatment, including custom splinting when indicated, for patients with injuries and conditions related to the hand and other upper extremity joints. Conditions that are treated in the Hand Therapy Center include fractures, trauma, overuse conditions, arthritis and congenital abnormalities.

Our staff of occupational and physical therapists have specialized training and clinical expertise in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation, including custom splinting.  Our therapists are locally and nationally recognized, have lectured and presented at national conferences, and have published articles in major therapy and surgery journals and textbooks. We work closely with the HSS hand surgeons to provide a comprehensive treatment approach.


Application and Supporting Materials
The completed application form, supporting materials as listed on the form, and a $50 non-refundable application fee (check made out to Hospital for Special Surgery) should be submitted by April 30th to:

Carol Page, PT, DPT, CHT
Hand Therapy Fellowship Director
Hospital for Special Surgery, Rehabilitation Department
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021



Image of a hand in a splint

ABPTRFE Accredited Program