Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Although Dr. William Chipman, a professor of surgery, taught students about fractures and dislocations during the school's first few years, orthopedic surgery was first taught by Dr. Charles E. Painter in 1897. At that time the teaching of this discipline consisted of lectures and a clinical exposure for fourth-year students at the Boston Dispensary.
Dr. Painter was appointed the first professor and chair of this division in 1906; he also served as chief of orthopedic surgery at the Carney Hospital. During his tenure, the Massachusetts General Hospital (1913) and the Carney Hospital (1914) began to participate in the program.
Teaching was concentrated at the Massachusetts General Hospital while Dr. Mark Rogers was chairman - from 1925 to 1940 - although students were also exposed to orthopedic patients at both the Boston City and Beth Israel Hospitals. In 1949 St. Elizabeth's Hospital began to provide student teaching; however, after 1952 student teaching was concentrated primarily at the Boston City Hospital, since Drs. Russell Sullivan (1941-1954) and Alexander Aitken (1954-1965), Dr. Rogers' successors, held appointments there.
Dr. Arthur Thibodeau, an expert on the management of spine problems who was chair of the division from 1965 to 1970, introduced an orthopedic residency at both the New England Medical Center and the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center. He was also responsible for training generations of clinically oriented orthopedic surgeons.
After Dr. Henry H. Banks, M1945, was named chairman in 1970, he initiated a reorganization of the division. During his tenure, a full-time faculty was recruited with a practice plan based at the medical school, and departmental status was given to orthopedic surgery. Space for offices and ambulatory patient care was obtained at the New England Medical Center, where strong divisions of pediatric orthopedics, hand surgery, and joint replacement were developed. Research laboratories were established as were a fellowship (with funds provided by Dr. Carl Berg, M1931); an annual visiting professorship; the Arthur Thibodeau Lectureship; and a fully endowed chair. The department achieved recognition for its courses and publications and participated in the education of medical students at all levels; it also went on to develop the state's largest joint replacement program in cooperation with the New England Medical Center, the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the New England Baptist Hospital.
In 1983 Dr. Banks became dean of the medical school, and in 1984 Dr. Seymour Zimber, who had been vice chairman of the department, became the acting chair. Three years later the present head of the department, Dr. Michael Goldberg, was appointed chairman as well as the first Henry H. Banks Professor. Dr. Goldberg, who graduated from the State University of New York in Brooklyn and trained in orthopedic surgery in the Harvard program, holds leadership positions in the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Pediatric Society of North America, and the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. Under his leadership, the faculty has been reorganized, the research program has been rejuvenated, and the department has maintained affiliations with the New England Medical Center, the Boston V.A. Medical Center, the New England Baptist Hospital, the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. The program now provides its residents with didactic courses in pathology, anatomy, and prosthetics and a combined curriculum with residents at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Today the residency is a five-year program with the first year in surgery taken at the New England Medical Center. There is a required research rotation. With limitations on hospital admissions and shorter lengths of stay, there has been a corresponding shift of the educational assignment of residents to outpatient areas in a preceptorship-type arrangement.
Source: COE, 143-45.