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Columbia Orthopedics Microsurgery Research & Training Laboratory


The Microsurgery Training and Research Laboratory at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center was established in 1980 by Harold M. Dick, MD, Frank E. Stinchfield Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, with the goal of making microsurgery an integral part of a surgeon's training in various fields and specialties. Originally offered only to orthopaedic residents the microsurgical training has been expanded to include other surgical specialties, and now we have coming from more than 45 different programs participating from all over the United States and from more than 70 countries around the world. Under the supervision of Dr. Melvin P. Rosenwasser, Robert E. Carroll Professor of Hand Surgery and with the teaching expertise of Dr. Yelena Akelina the Microsurgery Laboratory has become a well-internationally recognized state-of-the-art teaching facility in microsurgery. We train more than 200 surgeons a year.

The specialties we teach:

  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Hand Surgery
  • Podiatry/Foot and ankle
  • ENT/Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery
  • Veterinary Surgery
  • Oral and Maxiofacial Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Urology
  • General and Vascular surgery
  • OB/GYN

To maximize everyone's learniing experience and assurance of a successful completion of the course, we urge all applicants to read the description of each course carefully and honestly assess their personal surgical skill level or discuss what course to take with the Instructor prior to signing up for the course.


The Microsurgery Laboratory contains three work stations, each equipped with a state-of-the-art Carl Zeiss operating room microscope, video camera system and monitor, digital photo and video equipment allowing monitoring of student progress and production of high quality images. A microvascular Doppler system is available for teaching and research purposes. Each student uses the latest microsurgical instrumentation and fine suture. Also provided is an extensive video library, textbooks and syllabus. Current microsurgical journals are available in the departmental library to which students have access during the course.

New York, United States of America
3 Faculty
4 Courses available
93 Reviews

Upcoming events



Yelena Akelina, DVM, MS is a Research Scientist and a Director/Instructor in Clinical Microsurgery at the Microsurgery Research and Training lab at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia University.

She has been teaching microvascular surgery to different medical professionals from all over the US and abroad since 1996.

Dr. Akelina completed her Doctrine of Veterinary Medicine from Moscow Veterinary Academy in 1987 and obtained her Master Science in Toxicology in 1991.

Dr. Akelina is one of the founders of IMSS (International Microsurgery Simulation Society) and an active member of many other domestic and international societies for microsurgery such as WSRM (World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery), ASRM (American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery), RAMSES (Robotic Assisted Microsurgical and Endoscopic Society), and ISEM (International Society for Experimental Microsurgery).

The program she runs at Columbia University trains microsurgery to more than 200 surgeons and researchers a year from many institutions from all over the US and more than from 60 countries.

The main goal of the training program she directs is to teach surgeons to operate on very small vessels (1mm diameter) and nerves using microscopes so they can perform similar surgeries on people and save lives.

Prof. Robert J. Strauch, MD Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology

Robert J. Strauch, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and surgical and non-surgical treatment of hand, wrist and elbow problems in adults and children. He has a special interest in nerve problems of the upper extremity (including carpal tunnel syndrome) and in treating congenital hand disorders. The specialty of Hand Surgery melds together elements and principles of orthopedic, plastic, neurological and vascular surgery to restore and maximize hand and upper extremity function, whether wielding a jackhammer, throwing a baseball, or playing the violin.

Dr. Strauch has authored and co-authored numerous articles in the field of hand surgery and is actively engaged in basic and clinical research. He served as President of the New York Society for Surgery of the Hand in 2006-2007.

Dr. Strauch has been included in the list of New York Magazine's and “Best Doctors in New York” in addition to being regularly listed in America's Top Doctors. He is also an accomplished amateur magician and has been known to entertain as well as to diagnose and treat his patients. Children, especially, actually look forward to a return office visit with the "magician".

Source : New York Presbyterian

Prof. Robert P. Rosenwasser, MD Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology

Melvin P. Rosenwasser, MD, has expertise in orthopedic hand, elbow, and trauma surgery, which makes him uniquely qualified to treat all traumatic injuries to the upper and lower extremities as well as arthritic and congenital anomalies of the upper extremity.

He is a prolific researcher and has been co-principal investigator on numerous NIH grants and awards. Additionally, Dr. Rosenwasser is the author of many book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on surgery of the upper extremity and trauma-related surgery for both the upper and lower extremities. He regularly presents his findings at scientific lectures in the United States and abroad and has served as chairman of several local and national hand and trauma conferences.

Dr. Rosenwasser earned special distinction in New York Magazine's "Best Doctors in New York" Hall of Fame. He is also the official hand consultant for the New York Yankees.

Source : Columbia Orthopaedics


Global Review
4.9 /5
4.8 /5
4.8 /5
Knowledge aquired
4.9 /5
4.9 /5
Dec 1, 2020
Jacob S.
Oct 16, 2020
Michael H. Amazing course, amazing instructor!
Sep 26, 2020
Paul H. Yelena was an exceptional instructor for this course. The hands-on experience certainly built confidence and expanded my knowledge and skill set. I would certainly recommend this course to anyone pursuing a career in hand surgery.
Sep 18, 2020
Dr. Keith A. Great course! Dr. Akelina is an excellent teacher
Aug 30, 2020
Dr. Cory L.
Aug 16, 2020
Dr. Stephen R.