ASSIST (Advanced Surgical Skills & Implants for Skeletal Trauma) Ukraine Project

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SURGICAL TRAUMA CLINICAL FELLOWSHIP for Ukrainian Orthopaedic Surgeons under the ASSIST Ukraine Project

The Fellowship offers specialized training to early-career Ukrainian orthopaedic surgeons (2-10 years of practice) in advanced techniques for managing complex limb and pelvic injuries with the Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) Orthopaedic Trauma Service (OTS).

Fellows will learn how to organize a busy regional orthopaedic trauma service by actively participating in daily clinical activities and helping coordinate patient care with other administrative units and regional partners.

The program provides a comprehensive hands-on, short-term 3 month fellowship, under the mentorship of experienced and knowledgeable Canadian surgeons (under the leadership of Dr. Brad Petrisor), demonstrating modern and advanced techniques in the areas of complex limb injuries, team management of orthopaedic infection, treatment strategies, induction of Masquelet membranes, soft-tissue coverage and the use of modern artificial osteoplastic materials, as well as a different philosophy of surgical fundamentals.

The program would provide trainees an invaluable learning experience, as well as an opportunity to network in the Canadian medical community. Every opportunity will be made to have the fellow experience and interact with the full gamut of multidisciplinary specialties which are ideally involved in the management of complex trauma wounds. This includes: orthopaedic trauma surgeons, general surgeons, plastic surgery, interventional radiology specialists, infectious disease specialists and rehabilitation medicine (prosthetics/orthotics).

Number of Fellows: 4.

Length of Training: 3-month segments.


Starting Date:  01 July 2024.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Actively practicing licensed Ukrainian orthopaedic surgeon providing trauma care
  • * Medical students and residents are not eligible
  • 2-10 years post-residency independent practice experience
  • English language proficiency at a level sufficient to interact with medical/surgical specialists regarding complex cases and techniques.

Site: The Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is a busy academic tertiary Level 1 trauma center serving a catchment population of over 2.75 million Ontarians. 

HHS is the main clinical teaching site for the McMaster University Faculty of Medicine.

Patient Care:

  • Fellows will be expected to attend both operating rooms and clinics. This includes approximately 2-4 operating room days, with the remaining days of the week being in clinic.

On-Call Responsibilities:

  • Fellows will have the option to take primary or secondary on-call, emergency coverage as part of their fellowship activities, depending on schedule availability and the fellow’s experience.
  • Opportunity for the fellow to participate in the Trauma Team Leader program at the Hamilton General Hospital is possible.

Resident Education:

  • Fellows are an integral component of MacOrtho’s residency training program and are expected to participate in the regular orthopaedic surgical training program, including presenting at teaching rounds. The ASSIST Fellow should prepare case presentations from their home hospital in Ukraine to best help the McMaster Trauma community understand the scope of trauma problems currently in Ukraine.

The Observership program is designed for senior orthopaedic trauma surgeons (10+ years of experience) to observe modern practices and complex case treatment in a clinical setting, allowing them to learn modern and advanced health care practices, and gain first-hand insight into the Ontario health care system for a period of 45 days or less. The Program will provide observers with an invaluable learning experience as well as an opportunity to network in the Canadian medical community.

The Ukrainian surgeons in this group will not only be observing surgeries but will also have a focus on hospital procedures, building their own networks among other Canadian surgeons and hospital administrators and will see how various hospital teams, both surgical and administrative, perform their functions.

Number of Observers: 3.

For more details about the ASSIST Observership program please contact:
Vita Rzhepishevska
Program Coordinator
ASSIST Project
Department of Surgery
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

Phone: +1(437) 230-2704 (Cell, WhatsApp)

The invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has resulted in a high volume of complex traumatic skeletal injuries. Furthermore, the conflict has disrupted hospital supply chains and capacity.
The ASSIST Ukraine initiative was established in 2022 through the McMaster University Department of Surgery to help Ukrainians build musculoskeletal trauma surgery capacity.
Since 2022, the ASSIST Ukraine project established partnerships and has provided support to Ukrainian regional hospitals and medical organizations:

  • virtual educational opportunities
  • case consultations
  • medical text translation
  • collecting and shipping equipment and supplies.

In 2024, the ASSIST Ukraine project established two on-site programs (fellowship and observership) to provide training opportunities in Canada for Ukrainian orthopaedic surgeons.


  • Application open February 15, 2024.
  • Application deadline is March 15, 2024 for all 4 placements.
  • Interviews with candidates begin in Mid-March  2024 until all 4 (four) spots are filled.

ASSIST Fellowship Flyer

For Fellowship Inquiries:

Vita Rzhepishevska
Program Coordinator
ASSIST Project
Department of Surgery
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario