Sophomore Seminars

Surgical Anatomy of the Hand: From Rodin to Reconstruction


The surgical anatomy of the hand is extremely complex in terms of structure and function. This course will explore the anatomy of the hand in several different contexts: its representation in art forms, the historical development of the study of hand anatomy, current operative techniques for reconstruction, advances in tissue engineering, and the future of hand transplantation. We will trace investigations into the anatomy of the hand over the centuries. We will visit the Rodin collection of hand sculptures at the Cantor Arts Center, do anatomic dissections on a cadaver upper extremity, hear lectures on hand reconstruction, discuss tissue engineering research, and get tutorials inside the operating room to observe actual hand reconstruction procedures.

Meet the Instructor(s)

James Chang, MD

Dr. James Chang is the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) and Orthopedic Surgery and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford. He received a B.A.S. from Stanford, and spent a year as a lecturer in English at the Beijing University of Science and Technology. He graduated from the Yale University School of Medicine and then completed a Plastic Surgery Residency at Stanford, followed by advanced hand surgery training at UCLA. His research interests include scarless flexor tendon wound healing and tissue-engineered flexor tendon grafts for hand reconstruction. He is the recipient of numerous grants, and has served as President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Dr. Chang lives on the Stanford campus with his wife and daughters. His seminar was the subject of an art exhibit at the Cantor Arts Center in 2014.