The American Society for Surgery of the Hand, or ASSH, is an organization of surgeons established in 1946 with the goal of improving care for patients' hands and arms. As of 2015, the society has more than 3,500 members around the world, according to ASSH.
Thirty-five surgeons formed ASSH after World War II to share and build on the knowledge they developed treating injured soldiers. The group planned an annual meeting, during which they shared information and better learned to treat injuries to the hand. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand still hosts its yearly meetings to exchange ideas among surgeons, and it has expanded its services by publishing the peer-reviewed Journal of Hand Surgery, hosting courses and learning opportunities throughout the year, creating materials to educate hand surgery patients, and maintaining a website that helps inform patients about hand and arm surgery. The organization has grown to become the biggest network of hand and upper extremity surgeons in the world, according to the ASSH.
To become an active member of the ASSH, an applicant must be a U.S. surgeon who has passed the Certification in the Subspecialty of the Hand or a Canadian surgeon who has been certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, according to the ASSH. Other requirements are in place for those who wish to join ASSH as candidate, international, international candidate, affiliate and supporting members.