Barrington Surgeon Leads Medical Society

Dr. Edward Akelman is an orthopedic surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital; he has been elected to head the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.


A Barrington hand surgeon has been elected to head the leading professional society for hand surgeons.

Edward Akelman, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital and a leader in the field of hand and upper extremity surgery, has been elected the 67th president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH).

The organization is described as the oldest medical specialty society in the U.S. devoted to continuing education related to hand surgery.

Akelman also serves as professor of orthopedics and the vice chairman of the department of orthopedics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

“Dr. Akelman is an outstanding orthopedic surgeon committed to helping his patients regain a high quality of life,” said Michael Ehrlich, M.D., chief of the department of orthopedics at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals and president of University Orthopedics. “This election is further proof that Dr. Akelman is a leader in hand surgery, a dedicated physician and colleague, and a well-respected member of the orthopedics community.”

Rhode Island Hospital is a leader in orthopedic care. In 2011, recognizing an increasing demand for orthopedic care, Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital created the Orthopedics Institute. The program was designed to offer patients more streamlined care with the goal of returning patients to their active lives in a timely fashion.

“This presidency is a tremendous opportunity to lead a dedicated group of individuals committed to providing the highest-quality upper extremity care,” Akelman said. “Orthopedics, and indeed medicine, is a constantly changing discipline, and the Hand Society is committed to providing its members with the education and support they need to be the best hand  and upper extremity surgeons in the country.”

Akelman joined Rhode Island Hospital in 1985 and University Orthopedics in 1988. He has been a member of the ASSH since 1998 and has served as vice president and president-elect.

He has served on many ASSH committees, such as the Journal Advisory Group, and the Publications and Products Advisory Committee. He has chaired  the information technology advisory group and has served as the ASSH Education Divisions director.

Akelman earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University, and his medical degree at Dartmouth Medical School. He completed his general surgery residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, orthopedics residencies at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and spine and hand fellowships at Yale-New Haven and Roosevelt Hospital in New York, respectively.

He has served on the Board of Trustees at Rhode Island Hospital, and on Rhode Island Hospital’s Board of Governors and Medical Executive Committee. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Orthopedic Association and the Orthopedic Research Society, among others.

His research interests include improving orthopedic education of medical students, orthopedic residents and orthopedists in practice, as well as nerve healing and wrist injuries.


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