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James Michelle

Michelle A. James, MD

  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Hand Surgery

Michelle James, M.D., works for Shriners Children's because she believes in the mission to care for children without regard for ability to pay, and to improve future care by teaching and performing research.

Dr. James is a pediatric hand surgeon, and the chief of orthopedics at Shriners Children's Sacramento. She is also a professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at UC Davis and UC San Francisco Medical Schools.

She joined Shriners Children's in 1991. Her father, who was her practice partner, had volunteered part-time at Shriners Children's for 20 years, and after she joined him in practice, they successfully applied for two new full-time positions at Shriners Children's. They felt very fortunate to work together for over 20 years.

Dr. James cares for children with congenital hand malformations, neuromuscular conditions (brachial plexus birth injury, spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy) and post-traumatic hand deformities. Her greatest professional joy is learning from a child or parent in which an intervention has improved their ability to accomplish a task that is important to them.

She is also a clinical researcher, serving as principal investigator for seven funded studies of children's hand function. She has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. She teaches medical students, residents and fellows, and has had the pleasure of being a visiting professor many times, nationally and internationally.

Although she loves her work for Shriners Children's, her most fulfilling professional role has been as a volunteer hand surgeon at a pediatric hospital in Nicaragua, where she traveled twice per year for 10 years, along with multiple friends and colleagues, caring for hundreds of children and successfully training a local orthopedist to become a pediatric hand surgeon.

Dr. James met her amazing husband in high school. They have been married for a very long time, and have two wonderful adult daughters.

Pediatric Care


More About Me

Board Certifications
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery - General
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Surgery of the Hand
Education and Training

Medical Education
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA
United States of America

University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
San Francisco, CA

University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
United States of America

Indianapolis Hand Center
Indianapolis, IN
United States of America

Academic Positions and Locations

UC Davis Medical Center

Clinical Professor

Leadership and Memberships
  • 2006-2016: Director, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • 2012-2013: President, Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
  • 2011-2013: Vice Chair, Orthopaedic Residency Review Committee, Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education
  • Member, American Orthopaedic Association
  • Member, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  • Member, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
Editorial Positions
  • 2010-Present: Deputy Editor, Hand, Upper Extremity and Topics in Training, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
  • 2013-2020: Editor, Chapman's Orthopaedic Surgery, 4th Edition
  • 2009-2010: Deputy Editor, Journal of Hand Surgery
Awards and Honors
  • 2019: Robert Salter Visiting Professor, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto Canada
  • 2019: University of Michigan Department of Hand Surgery Visiting Professor, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 33rd Eugene Rogala Visiting Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Invited Speaker, Mexican Pediatric Orthopaedic Society, Monterrey, Mexico
  • 2016, Verne T. Inman Visiting Professor, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California


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