Feedback from Former Fellows

“I can’t begin to explain how thankful I am for this year and the opportunity… It was amazing all that I learned about the shoulder and also everything surrounding our practice in a business sense. This is something that would undeniably make me an amazing shoulder surgeon and grow, both my private and academic practice.” -Shoulder Fellow

“I want to thank you for this unique opportunity… this last year. As my mother said to me a couple of months ago: “This fellowship with Dr. Warner has an indescribable value and cannot be paid with money”. She is absolutely right and I cannot express my gratitude enough for all what you have done for me… I learned to perform a Lower Trapezius transfer, to implant total shoulder arthroplasties and to do preoperative 3D planning…etc etc. the list is endless. You also gave me the opportunity to write book chapters and multiple studies with you and Dr. Jawa. The trip to Jay Peak was unforgettable and I am also very happy that you supported me to become a fellow member of the ASES which is unique and special for a European. You were the best teacher I had in my life so far. I will always remain mentally connected to you. I will always be grateful to you for this unforgettable year.” -Shoulder Fellow

“There is absolutely no question in my mind that this is the best fellowship in the world. The exposure to complex problems, the observation of technical masters, the ability to manage one’s own patients out of the fellow’s clinic, and the people that make up the shoulder team clearly make this experience second to none. I can’t tell you how happy I was to get into this fellowship, and it has far exceeded my expectations. Being an intercontinental fellow is the highlight of my academic and professional career thus far. It has been a tremendous privilege.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Overall, my experience was incredible and I feel that I was so fortunate to have been chosen for what I feel is the best shoulder fellowship in the country”
– Shoulder Fellow

“That’s it. It is a great f—ing fellowship, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart of teaching me for 6 months.”- Shoulder Fellow

“The past year has been the best year of training and one of the best years of my life, in large part, because of your generosity.”- Shoulder Fellow

“…one of the truly great aspects about the fellowship is the concentration of time on developing as a surgeon rather than trying to write a lot of papers or do meaningless work.”- Shoulder Fellow

“I felt that the breadth of cases and the autonomy afforded in the operating room and clinic to be educational and confidence building. I cannot imagine doing more cases or cases of a higher difficulty at any other fellowship program.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Everything you have ever read about and a lot of things you haven’t are encountered from complex arthroscopic problems to completely whacky open and revision cases, which often leave you scratching your head. The majority of learning occurs through busy clinical exposure to patients (with or without an attending). The fellow is exposed to attendings at various points in their career, which allows exposure to sundry treatment algorithms from the classical board answer to “pushing the envelope”. – Shoulder Fellow

“The educational resources on the computer and in the library were second to none. There was never a topic that I couldn’t find on the computer or in the library. The research assistants were also great to help research articles for various topics.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Dr. Warner was by far the best teacher I have had during my medical education. All that came from him during clinic, conference and the operating room was his knowledge about the shoulder. I thought the educational conference schedule was organized.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Dr. Warner is the heart of the fellowship and why I came to Boston. The variety of the cases and the complexity of them make this fellowship the top shoulder experience in the country.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Dr. Warner stands as one of the top shoulder surgeons in the world. His level of patient care and surgical skill are outstanding. A brief review of his CV reflects a level of academic contributions achieved only by masters. More important than any one of those contributions is his deep passion for teaching and creating the best educational experience for his students. It is in this arena that we find Dr. Warner’s greatest contribution. One needs only to spend a few minutes in clinic or surgery with him before being engaged in dynamic conversation. It is through this interaction that he explains facts, supports them by quoting the relevant orthopaedic studies, shares his own experience, and challenges others to investigate problems. He focuses on helping his students learn how to think instead of using them to do a lot of meaningless work. His teaching style instills confidence and inspires students to not only improve their own knowledge and skill, but also to make academic contributions. He makes time to review cases, to teach in conference, to analyze the literature, and to develop research projects. He has created a database of clinical findings, operative cases, surgical technique videos, and lectures, which is probably the richest educational resource available in the world for those interested in learning about shoulder surgery. His website (Boston Shoulder Institute) sets the standard for patient education.” -Shoulder Fellow

“Under the surface of a serious professor, he has a very good sense of humor and enjoys talking about many aspects of life including his family and golf game. He displays a genuine concern for the advancement of his students. As a mentor he freely shares his knowledge and experience. He creates opportunities for his students to grow personally and professionally. This accomplishment is reflected in his creation of rotations with the best shoulder surgeons Europe and with elbow surgeons at the Mayo Clinic. Regionally, his work in establishing the New England Shoulder and Elbow Society provides an opportunity for fellows to learn from and to collaborate with shoulder and elbow surgeons in this part of the country.” – Shoulder Fellow

“What is also remarkable is Dr. Warner’s ability to critically evaluate not only himself, but the work of others and the institution. Superficially one might mistakenly interpret this effort as offensive or even adversarial. A deeper understanding would reveal an unparallel commitment to elevating patient care and the work of the institution to the highest level. His hard-work and dedication reflect an inner passion for achieving these goals.” -Shoulder Fellow

“Codman, Rowe, and Leffert are names of renowned shoulder surgeons, all of whom walked the halls MGH and made a significant impact on this institution. In similar fashion Dr. Warner’s contributions have continued that legacy. Support of his work and the fellowship will continue to help achieve the mission of MGH to deliver the highest quality patient care and to educate the next generation of health care leaders.”- Shoulder Fellow

“My experience with Dr. Warner was phenomenal. I feel that he put fellow education first and would spend countless hours, even when we were behind in clinic, teaching the pearls of clinical examination and ensuring that we saw the interesting and complex cases. He would take time to review and discuss images and pertinent studies. Indications Conference is the best teaching conference in which I have been involved throughout my training. The discussion was invaluable.” -Shoulder Fellow

“Once I got past the anxiety of operating with Dr. Warner, the operative experience was equally rewarding. We were allowed to operate independently more than on any other rotation, but once Dr. Warner came in the room, the case was done by him. I learned extensively by watching him operate – he is a master” -Shoulder Fellow

“My experience with Dr. Higgins was probably the best of the year. I thought that his rotation offered to most varied experience of the group. He was open-minded during surgery and open to trying different techniques to accomplish the same task. I thought he offered a nice mix or autonomy and supervised autonomy. He had an uncanny ability to make long days relatively short. He was personable and great with the patients. He is by far the hardest working physician I know.”- Shoulder Fellow

“I felt he (Dr. Higgins) was the best team leader of all his partners. He creates a very productive team environment. He was easy to work with. He was easy to get along with. He never made you feel uncomfortable. He was eager to share rounding responsibilities which was unprecedented. He was pleasure to work with and is a TRUE role model as to how I would like run my practice.”- Shoulder Fellow

“It is my privilege to write this unsolicited letter with regards to Laurence D. Higgins. His performance as a mentor and teacher has been exceptional and warrants acknowledgement. As a Harvard Shoulder Fellow I had the opportunity to spend four months with Dr. Higgins this past academic year (2008-2009). Dr. Higgins certainly belongs in the top group of individuals whose effort is extraordinary in providing quality patient care, in performing surgery, in teaching, and in making academic contributions. He is a gifted teacher being able to explain the most complex problems to students and patients in terms that are understandable. He supports his decisions by citing the full spectrum of relevant orthopaedic literature (basic science and clinical studies). Most importantly, as his student he gives you the confidence to believe that you can be as good as him or even better. He challenges you to think critically and inspires you to investigate what we do as surgeons to deliver the best in patient care.” -Shoulder Fellow

“Personally, you would be hard-pressed to find a more affable person. He (Dr. Higgins) treats people, regardless of rank or title, with respect. He is quick to give compliments, share his humor, and tell stories of his own mistakes in order to make important points. His goal is to create a working environment that his team and patients enjoy. He excels at doing this through his generosity, good humor, and kind spirit.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Anyone who gets to know him (Dr. Higgins) would quickly realize his interest in contributing in a meaningful way is genuine and sincere. He embodies the very spirit required to lead others and to accomplish the mission of BWH. His talent should be recognized. Your confidence in him and support of his work in the years ahead will only result in a win for patients, employees, and students who cross his path.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Dr. Holovacs was extremely approachable and understanding to the rigors and responsibilities of the fellows outside of clinical duties. I found him always available to discuss upcoming cases that were fellows cases.”- Shoulder Fellow

“I thought my experience with Dr. Holovacs complemented that with his partners, Drs. Warner and Higgins. His surgical skill level was equal to his peers and I thought he was great to work with in the OR.”- Shoulder Fellow

“I’m rounding 2nd and heading towards 3rd! The month with Lafosse was good, but the time with Walch was one of the best experiences of my life. His generosity, personality, and skill place him in a category reserved only for masters, it’s understandable why you are good friends with him. Heading to Zurich this weekend. Walch joked last night that I’m finally going to the right place to learn shoulder surgery. Stopping in Paris to see mona lisa on the way! Hope things are good at home.”- Shoulder Fellow

“Incredible experience with Lafosse. I would almost make it a requirement and it will certainly have a lasting effect on my career as a shoulder surgeon. Thank you so much for the opportunity.”-Shoulder Fellow

“I spent the first two weeks with Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo and the last two weeks with Dr. O’Driscoll. Both were very receptive to having a Harvard Fellow around and at no point did I feel like I was a burden or in the way of their practice. As good as our shoulder experience is, their elbow experience reaches the same level. The elbow experience is second to none.

“Dr. Sanchez’s service was a mix of shoulders and disaster elbows. He ran a busy clinical service which was perfectly balanced with the OR and Clinic. I saw incredible cases with Dr. Sanchez including Total elbow arthroplasties with both humeral and ulnar allograft augments, elbow resection for infection, external fixators, capsular releases for contractions, triceps reconstructions, biceps tendon repairs, elbow scopes, radial head replacements/resections, etc.

“Dr. O’Driscoll completed the experience. He is truly a pioneer and to be able to hear/observe his thought process in the evaluation and management of elbow disorders made working with him invaluable. He gladly discussed physical examination maneuvers and his reasoning for clinical decision making. I saw the cutting edge of arthroscopic management of elbow disorders. His practice is very academic and his clinical time is split between his lab and patient duties. He had roughly two operative days a week. The cases were arthroscopic osteocapsular releases, tennis elbow releases, fracture fixation, OCD management and osteotomies to center the radial head.

“Overall, a great experience. I felt like I was in “Elbow Boot camp.” I was able to digest three textbooks given the lack of clinical responsibilities. I observed incredible surgery and patient decision making in the clinic. This was time very well spent. I feel much more comfortable now that I have this elbow experience. I would recommend this to any future fellow.”-Shoulder Fellow