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David Colen, MD

Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic); Faculty, Yale Limb Restoration and Lengthening Program; Acting Fellowship Director, Hand and Microsurgery, Hand and Microsurgery Program; ASSH Resident Education Committee, Hand and Microsurgery Program; Meeting Program Committee, Hand and Microsurgery Program; Young Member Steering Committee, Hand and Microsurgery Program; Editorial Board Member, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

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David Colen, MD

Patient Care Locations



Dr. David Colen is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine who specializes in upper and lower extremity reconstruction. Dr. Colen is fellowship-trained in Hand Surgery and Microsurgery, and has a passion for treating a variety of congenital and acquired disorders of the hand and wrist as well as traumatic and oncologic defects of the extremities.

Dr. Colen attended the University of Virginia where he obtained undergraduate degrees in Neuroscience and Spanish linguistics, as well as his Doctor of Medicine. He then matriculated into the integrated Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania, a program renowned for Reconstructive Microsurgery and Orthoplastic Surgery. At Penn, Dr. Colen was an active member of the Hand Transplantation Program who took part in three bilateral hand transplants, including the world's first and only bilateral pediatric hand transplant, during his tenure. Following residency, Dr. Colen completed a one-year fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospitals at Harvard Medical School, where he focused on adult orthopedic and congenital pediatric hand surgery as well as reconstructive microsurgery of the extremities.

Dr. Colen strives to obtain the best functional outcomes for his patients, and is committed to both patient care and the furthering of the field of reconstructive surgery through academic and clinical research. The author of various textbook chapters and research articles regarding hand and extremity reconstruction, Dr. Colen's research interests include optimizing outcomes following traumatic and congenital hand reconstruction and improving hand function after tendon injury or infection.

Education & Training

  • Fellow - Hand and Microsurgery
    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School (2020)
  • Resident - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
    University of Pennsylvania (2019)
  • Intern - Surgery
    University of Pennsylvania (2014)
  • MD
    University of Virginia, School of Medicine (2013)
  • BA
    University of Virginia, Neuroscience, Spanish (2009)


  • Expanding Indications of Vascularized Bone Grafting
    Fort Worth, TX, United States 2024
    JPS Health Network, Department of Orthopedic Surgery Grand Rounds
  • Review of Whole and Modified Allografts Used Clinically
    Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas 2024
    World Society of Reconstructive Transplantation Symposium
  • Training Physicians, not Technicians: Let’s Teach Professionalism
    Toronto, ON, Canada 2023
    American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  • Early Challenges in Orthoplastic Surgery
    Philadelphia, PA, United States 2023
    Penn Flap Course
  • The Reconstructive Escalator and the Lower Extremity
    Zoom Grand Rounds 2023
    Grand Rounds: Eastern Virginia Medical School Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Out on a Limb: Progressive Principles in Lower Extremity Reconstruction
    New Haven, CT, United States 2023
    Grand Rounds
  • The Evolution of the Hand
    New Haven, CT, United States 2022
    Grand Rounds
  • The Medial Femoral Condyle: Expanding Indications of Vascularized Bone Transfer
    New Haven, CT, United States 2022
    Orthopedic Surgery Grand Rounds

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Young LeaderAmerican Society for Surgery of the Hand2022
Young LeaderAmerican Society for Surgery of the Hand2022
Helping Hand AwardYale Surgery2021
Owen Langsteen Award for Research ExcellenceAmerican College of Surgeons2016
Alpha Omega AlphaUniversity of Virginia School of Medicine2013
Phi Beta KappaUniversity of Virginia2009

Professional Service

Young Leaders Program, American Society for Surgery of the HandMember2022 - Present
Journal of Hand SureryReviewer2022 - Present
Journal of Reconstructive MicrosurgeryReviewer2022 - Present
Frontiers in SurgeryGuest Editor2022 - Present
American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Ethics and Professionalism CommitteeCommittee Member2021 - Present
Yale Children's Hospital, Patient ExperienceMember2021 - Present
Annals of Plastic SurgeryReviewer2021 - Present
Orthoplastic Surgery JournalEditorial Board Member2021 - Present
American Society of Plastic SurgeonsMember2021 - Present
Orthoplastic SurgeryReviewer2021 - Present
HAND JournalReviewer2017 - Present

Departments & Organizations