Dr Yao joined the Hand and Upper Extremity Service at Stanford University Medical Center in 2005. He graduated from Cornell University Medical College in 1999. His Orthopaedic Surgery residency was completed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine / NSUH-LIJ Health System in New York in 2004, where he was voted the Surgical Intern of the Year in 2000 and the Orthopaedic Surgery Resident of the Year in 2001. He completed the Hand and Upper Extremity surgical fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Philadelphia Hand Center in 2005. He earned his Orthopaedic Surgery Board Certification in 2007. He learned his Certificate of Added Qualification in Surgery of the Hand in 2009. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University in 2012, and the rank of Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University in 2020.
Dr Yao has clinical training and interest in the treatment of disorders of the entire upper extremity/limb, including the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. He is specifically trained in the minimally-invasive and arthroscopic treatment of common upper extremity problems including fractures, arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries and nerve compression disorders. This minimally-invasive approach is unique and highly sought after by patients. His clinical volume is quite extensive as he sees over 3000 patients per year.
Dr Yao’s research interests include the evolution of arthroscopic and minimally-invasive surgical techniques for the management of common upper limb disorders. He is also involved in utilizing stem cells in the treatment of tendon injuries. He has presented his research with over 400 podium presentations at numerous regional, national and international meetings and is active in the education of other surgeons, fellows, residents and medical students. He has served as a visiting professor at several academic medical centers, both nationally and internationally at sites including Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Germany, England, Mexico, Australia, Korea, Poland, Peru, Hungary, Fiji, Spain, India and France.
Dr Yao was awarded the Sumner Koch national research award in 2009 and the Emmanuel B Kaplan national research award in 2012. He was also awarded the prestigious JOA-AOA traveling fellowship in 2010 and spent one month in Japan teaching at a number of institutions. He was awarded the prestigious Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellowship by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) in September 2015. This honor is bestowed upon just one member of the ASSH per year and is one of the Society’s most prestigious and competitive awards. As the 2016 Bunnell Fellow, Dr Yao traveled to many medical centers nationally and internationally for the mutual exchange of clinical and research ideas. He is currently the Hand and Upper Limb Hand Fellowship Director at the Stanford University Medical Center.
He has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook of Hand and Upper Limb Surgery and was also on the editorial board of HAND and reviews manuscripts for many other journals for their suitability for publication. He has authored over 110 peer-reviewed publications in the field of hand and upper extremity surgery. He is the editor for a textbook on Scaphoid Fractures and Nonunions and two special issues of Hand Clinics and Current Orthopaedic Practice.
Dr Yao is an active member of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Association of Hand Surgery, the International Wrist Arthroscopy Society, The International Wrist Investigators’ Workshop, the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the Western Orthopaedic Association.