Embargo for Release: March 11, 2010
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John J. Callaghan, MD Elected President of the
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
NEW ORLEANS—When orthopaedic surgeon John J. Callaghan, MD communicates with his patients, he often thinks back to a memory of his own childhood injury – a broken arm -- and a brief period in a cast. This experience and his surgeon’s careful care ignited his lifelong fascination with orthopaedic medicine. “I remember thinking, I would like to do this for other people some day,” said Dr. Callaghan, who today was elected President of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) at the organization’s 2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
“It is a privilege to lead the Academy in its mission to support and educate our members and ensure they provide the best possible quality musculoskeletal care for their patients,” added Dr. Callaghan. “Every day we see people get back on their feet, and that is the best part of my job.”
Dr. Callaghan admits he and his fellow board members have a lot to do in the coming year, but his main priorities and emphasis for the Academy will be to:
- Continue to enhance all aspects of patient care;
- Track success rates for procedures and devices and use this information to improve the standard of care and continue learning; and
- Initiate new ways to work with the orthopaedic specialty societies and international orthopaedic organizations.
“Our (the Board of Directors’) agenda is aggressive, and in the meantime, we are constantly thinking about the changes on the healthcare landscape,” stated Callaghan.
Dr. Callaghan specializes in adult reconstruction, specifically hip and knee replacements and serves as the Lawrence and Marilyn Dorr Chair and professor in both the Department of Orthopaedics as well as the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine. He also is on the orthopaedic staff at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“In addition to John’s natural leadership and consensus-building skills it is evident to all those around him that he loves his work,” said outgoing Academy president Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD. “This enthusiasm is felt by all and is nothing less than contagious. He makes us all better.”
Active in numerous professional organizations, Dr. Callaghan previously served as first vice president of the Academy and is a former vice president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He also has served on the work group that recently incorporated the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), as well as the past president of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS), the Iowa Orthopaedic Society, the Hip Society and the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association. He has also served as the chairman for the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF).
As an avid orthopaedic researcher, Dr. Callaghan has received numerous honors and accolades, including the John Charnley Hip Society Award given by the Hip Society, as well as The Insall Award on behalf of the Knee Society. Dr. Callaghan is the author or co-author of more than 260 peer-reviewed articles.
“Just in the last few decades, as I have practiced, we have seen phenomenal advances in our specialty. Putting these learnings into practice and keeping our colleagues informed on research results is a critical role of the AAOS. Continuing education is a key component of quality care,” explained Dr. Callaghan.
A graduate of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana and Loyola Medical School in Chicago, Dr. Callaghan completed his residency in orthopaedics at the University of Iowa and completed a fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
“I have had so much support throughout my career, and it continues today. I’ve been fortunate enough to study under four past Academy presidents, including Drs. Larson, Cooper, Wilson and Weister. And, I have had a number of tremendous mentors along the way, for whom I am very grateful, including Dr. Richard Johnston at the University of Iowa,” Dr. Callaghan added. “And, a great thanks to Jodi Buckwalter, MD the chairman of orthopaedic faculty at the University of Iowa for giving me the opportunity to spend the time needed to make this commitment to our specialty.”
When not teaching or practicing medicine, he enjoys spending time with his family. “I also thank my wife Kim and my kids Patrick and Katie – they are the compass of my life and keep me well directed,” he concluded.
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