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Dedication to Hand Surgery as My Lifelong Career

By Cheng-Yu Yin, MD

It is my pleasure to share my experience with the members of ASSH, and I, as a young hand surgeon from a small island, am very grateful for having the opportunity to write ASSH Perspectives. Although it may depend on different cultures for specialty preference of orthopedics, hand surgery is not always the most popular specialty of orthopedics in Taiwan due to the demands of microsurgery and the relatively lower income. Initially, I had little interest in hand surgery during the resident training, and I didn’t realize the potential of hand surgery. However, my mentor, Dr. Jung-Pan Wang, who is the director of Hand Surgery of the Department of Orthopaedic at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, opened the window of the beauty of hand surgery to me, especially the surgical management of brachial plexus injury and the arthroscopic intervention of wrist and elbow joints, and thus I started my fellowship of hand surgery in 2018 after I got the certificate of Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in Taiwan. I still remember vividly the first time I saw the patient with upper trunk type brachial plexus injury who could raise her arm over the shoulder at the clinic, which was truly a turning point for me to choose hand surgery as my specialty. Dr. Wang not only taught me the pearls and pitfalls of surgical technique, but also encouraged me to attend hand surgery-related training courses and meetings as much as possible to get familiar with the hand surgery experts from home and abroad. Therefore, I followed Dr. Wang’s suggestions and I was lucky to meet several giants of hand surgery, including Dr. Kevin C. Chung from the University of Michigan medical school and Dr. James Hoi-Po Hui from the National University of Singapore. Meanwhile, Dr. Wang’s basic research of mesenchymal stem cell also inspired me to explore the possibility of regenerative medicine in hand surgery. Hence, I started my graduate school life in 2019 and I joined Dr. Oscar K. S. Lee Lab to learn basic research methodology and explore the possibility of regenerative medicine in hand surgery. I wish I could keep pace with my mentor in the future and make some contributions in the field of hand surgery, and that is my motivation of dedication to hand surgery as my lifelong career.

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