Five Questions With: Dr. Vanessa Lund

Dr. Vanessa Lund, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and elbow procedures at University Orthopedics, was selected late last year for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand’s 2021 Young Leaders Program. Participants in the competitive program attended activities, training sessions and discussed potential research projects throughout December. 

Lund, who is on staff at Morton Hospital in Taunton, shares her experience with the program. 

PBN: How many other surgeons are participating in the Young Leaders Program and what are some of the activities that are being offered?

LUND: There are 15 surgeons accepted to Young Leaders each year. As part of the program this year, this group of surgeons spent a few months identifying issues facing the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and brainstorming ways in which we could improve the society, support its members and increase patient education about hand and arm conditions.

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In December, we had a three-day meeting to flesh these ideas out and present formal recommendations to the ASSH’s council. The council then took our recommendations and made plans to implement the changes we suggested over the next several months. Some of the changes that will be made will improve the ASSH’s patient education website and increase its accessibility.

Going forward, the participating surgeons will join ASSH committees and taskforces to continue working to make the ASSH the best it can be.

PBN: Are there any research or training programs offered by the program that you’ve found particularly interesting?

LUND: The program is focused on improving the ASSH in ways that will help hand and arm surgeons take better care of their patients and enhance patient education. Participating in the program with these goals in mind was very satisfying.

PBN: What is the best part about being included in a group of surgeons who are emerging leaders and still in the relatively early stages of their careers?

LUND: The camaraderie and support in the group are fantastic. I found the group to be full of smart, passionate, very talented surgeons. I was inspired by them and felt connected to them, with all of us striving together towards a common goal of making a positive impact in the world of hand and arm surgery.

I feel such gratitude to have been part of the process, and also to now be part of a nationwide network of exceptional surgeons who can rely on each other for professional support and also for support in treating patients with rare or challenging conditions.

PBN: Are there any types of hand or upper extremity surgery that you specialize in?

LUND: I manage most conditions of the hand and arm below the shoulder, including fractures and sprains, arthritis, nerve compression, overuse injuries, and many more.

PBN: What are some ways that you believe education can be improved for patients facing hand or arm surgery?

LUND: Education is crucial for patients to understand their conditions and their options. I strive to make sure that my patients have a firm understanding of these items during our discussions in my office.

A big part of our group’s recommendations to the council this year was improving the ASSH’s patient education website This site is an exceptional source of accurate information for patients with hand and arm conditions, and I would encourage all patients to explore it. Knowledge is power, and we feel strongly that an excellent resource like helps our patients understand what they are experiencing and help them decide the right course of action for them.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.

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