The Buncke Clinic

Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship

Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship

The Buncke Clinic Hand Fellowship has an exceptionally long history, dating back to 1969. Harry J. Buncke founded a clinical service and microsurgical research lab at what is now the CPMC-Davies Campus, in San Francisco, California. In that year he performed the first microvascular transplant in the world. In addition, the first thumb reconstruction with toe to hand transplantation in an animal was performed, followed by the first human toe to thumb transplantation in the United States. Fellows were involved in all of these research endeavors and clinical events and went on to publish these results with Dr. Buncke. This started a trend of surgeons from all over the country coming to train with Dr. Buncke and performing 1-year fellowships in this program. This fellowship became formalized in the 1970s, predating the ACGME. In 1992, it became one of the first Hand Fellowships in Plastic Surgery accredited by the ACGME.

Since the beginning of the fellowship there have been more than one hundred fellows that have trained in the program. Twenty-seven have subsequently become department chairmen or co-chairmen. Over 400 articles, books, and book chapters have been published from our service dating back to the initial publications of Dr. Buncke. We continue this tradition to this day, pursing clinical and laboratory research and frequent publications in peer reviewed journals as well as presentations at national and international meetings. The fellows play an intricate role in this endeavor, learning to become skilled hand surgeons and becoming contributors to the plastic and hand surgery departments nationwide.

Individuals who have completed their training in Plastic Surgery or Orthopaedic Surgery are eligible to apply for our two ACGME accredited positions. The program is affiliated with the University of California, at San Francisco. The clinical volume of the fellowship will address upper and lower extremity trauma as well as the full breadth of reconstructive microsurgery using the most advanced techniques. The Hand and Microsurgery fellows will have graded responsibility and will be under the proctorship and mentorship of full-time attendings of the Buncke Clinic at all times.

The twelve month fellowship begins July 1st of each year. For application information see below.

Since our program has training in both microusrgery and hand surgery, our program does not participate in the hand match. Applicants admitted to the program are notified before the hand match is finalized.

A Unique Service:
The Microsurgery Service at CPMC Davies in San Francisco is unique in that it is one of the major services of the hospital. Emergency and elective referrals come directly from outlying hospital emergency rooms or private physicians. The service is staffed by plastic surgeons of considerable experience in upper extremity trauma and all forms of acute and chronic injury. The attending on call has the primary responsibility of evaluating all potential referrals and must filter these calls carefully before accepting cases. When associated injuries are suspected, general surgeons, neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons are immediately notified. The team approach is used at all times. We also work closely with our medical colleagues and any patient with metabolic or cardiopulmonary problems is carefully evaluated preoperatively, intra-operatively and postoperatively. As per hospital regulation, all children have a pediatrician following them.

On elective cases, liberal use of consultations with our colleagues in related specialties is the rule. In return, we are often called in by other services to consult concerning the management of complex problems in all regions of the body which require reconstruction.


Applicants can apply using either of the following:

    1. Submit an application through the ASSH online applications system by clicking here.

    2. Submit an application directly:

Send letter of intent, CV, passport sized photo and three letters of recommendation (one from current chief of service).

Applications can be directly forwarded to:

Attenion: Rudy Buntic, MD
Fellowship Program Director
45 Castro Street, Suite 121
San Francisco, CA 94114
email: rbuntic @ microsurgeon . org

The next application cycle is for fellowships starting on July 1, 2023 and ending June 30, 2024. Please have all materials in by January 31, 2022.

Affiliated Institutions:

CPMC: Department of Plastic and Division of Microsurgery

Dr Buncke is chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery and Dr. Buntic is Divison Head of Microsurgery.

UCSF: Division of Plastic Surgery

Our hand fellowship is accredited by the ACGME and is under the umbrella of the UCSF division of plastic surgery. Three residents from UC train yearly on our service.

Stanford: Division of Plastic Surgery

Three Stanford Senior Residents rotate on our service yearly.