Early History 


The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at The Ohio State University was created in the late 1920s. Dr. E. Harlan Wilson was the first chief of this newly created division in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Wilson, a native of Columbus, and the son of a practicing Columbus physician, completed his residency in one of the oldest organized orthopaedic residency programs in the country, that of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Wilson remained in the capacity of director of the Division of Orthopaedic until the time of his death in 1952.

The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery expanded over these first few decades, increasing its complement of faculty in the 1930s and 1940s. Soon after the onset of World War II, the division, like many public institutions, found itself depleted of orthopaedic surgeons, as several faculty members, including Dr. Wilson, entered the war effort. With the termination of World War II, the faculty returned and plans were formulated by Dr. Wilson to initiate a residency training program in orthopaedic surgery. As the University Hospital did not have substantial facilities for orthopaedic patients at that time, the residency program was to be distributed among the hospital of White Cross, Mt. Carmel, St. Francis and Children’s Hospitals. This program remained in existence until 1956, at which time the program was restructured to involve only University Hospital and Children’s Hospital. White Cross and Mt. Carmel Hospitals would later form their own residency programs.

1940s - 1950s

The division continued to add faculty members during the 1940s and 1950s. With the death of Dr. Harlan Wilson in 1952, Dr. Judson Wilson was appointed as the acting director of orthopaedic surgery at University Hospitals. Dr. William Smith assumed the duties of director of the division in 1957. Dr. Smith was also the first full-time orthopaedic surgeon at University Hospitals.

In 1956, the OSU-Children’s program offered it’s first complete residency program. The residency began as a three-year program and one resident was chosen for each year in training. Dr. Carl R. Coleman, a graduate of the Northwestern Medical School, completed this program in 1959. He is considered the first resident to complete the full course of orthopaedic training solely at The Ohio State University Health Center and the Children’s Hospital. He is universally considered the modern program’s first graduate. 

1960s - 1970s

Dr. William Smith served as director of the division until his departure in 1963. Dr. Carl R. Coleman was then appointed acting director of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Coleman served as acting director of the division until 1965, when Dr. Paul H. Curtiss, Jr. assumed the position of professor and director of the Division of Orthopaedics.

The residency program continued to grow and expand. In 1966, the resident appointments in orthopaedic surgery were increased from one resident to two residents per year. The length of the training program was also increased to four years in 1965. Orthopaedic research facilities were also established. A laboratory for the pursuit of orthopaedic studies was constructed in Ross Hall in 1966 and an orthopaedic library for resident and student use was equipped in 1967.

Faculty membership also continued to grow. In October, 1967, Dr. John B. Roberts, a graduate of Northwestern University Medical School, joined the orthopaedic staff at the rank of assistant professor. Dr. Roberts has made many contributions to teaching and clinical programs. The division also began to grant clinical faculty appointments. Five former residents, Dr. Carl R. Coleman, Dr. Richard F. Slager, Dr. Melvin L. Olix, Dr. Richard M. Ward and Dr. Thomas L. Meyer became the first members of the clinical orthopaedic faculty after completion of their residency. Other additions to the clinical orthopaedic staff included Dr. John J. Bock in 1967 and Dr. Martin A. Torch in 1968. Dr. Torch completed his residency here in 1966. The dedicated assistance of the clinical staff remains an integral part of the functions of the Division of Orthopaedics.

The year 1970 marked another significant change in the structure of the residency program. During this year, the University Hospitals/Children’s Hospital program combined with the orthopaedic surgery residency program at White Cross Hospital. White Cross Hospital is known today at Riverside Methodist Hospital. OSU residents began rotating at Riverside at that time. Directors of orthopaedic education at both Riverside Hospital and Children’s Hospital were appointed to oversee the residents while at these hospitals. Dr. Carl Coleman served in this capacity at Riverside Hospital from 1970 until July, 2000, at which time he retired from his administrative duties. Louis Unverferth, MD, assumed this role in July, 2000. Dr. Martin Torch was appointed the position of director of orthopaedic education at Children’s Hospital. He currently still holds that position.

1980s - 1990s

The Orthopaedic Residency Program continued to progress throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The resident complement increased from two to three residents for each year in training in 1970. Subsequently, the program received approval to increase the resident complement from three to four residents for each year in training in 1975. The program continues today with four residents in each PGY year.

Dr. Curtiss retired from his duties as chief of the division in 1978. Robert Clark, MD, then took over these duties and held the position until 1986. Dr. Sheldon R. Simon came on board in 1986 as chief of the Division of Orthopaedics. Dr. Simon continued in this capacity for 12 years. He left the university in 1998.

The 90’s also marked significant changes for the Division of Orthopaedics and the Orthopaedic Residency Program. In April, 1999, the Division of Orthopaedics ended it’s decades long relationship with the Department of Surgery, when the university designated orthopaedics as a department. No longer a division of the Department of Surgery, orthopaedics was able to make substantial changes in its structure. These changes were spearheaded by the new department chair, Thomas H. Mallory, MD. Dr. Mallory, a 1970 graduate of the program, was instrumental in setting up orthopaedic operations at University Hospitals East, which was purchased by The Ohio State University Medical Center in April 1999. New orthopaedic operating suites were constructed at OSU East and the majority of operative cases we relocated there.

2000 - Present

The education programs offered by the Department of Orthopaedics were also expanded due in part to the greater opportunities that departmental status affords. Upon purchase of the OSU East, formerly Park Medical Center, the department acquired a Podiatric Surgery Residency Program. This program continues to grow under the auspices of the Department of Orthopaedics. The Orthopaedic residency program also saw changes as a result of ACGME policies. The program became a five-year program in July, 2000. This change allowed the Department of Orthopaedics to have full control over the "intern" year for PGY1 residents.

The department has 36 residents rotating through five affiliated hospitals. Residents are able to pursue research interests through the availability of state of the art research facilities such as the Biomaterials Laboratory and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The department has undergone tremendous growth over the years and we expect that growth to continue in the future.

Timeline of Establishment

 1928    

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery established under the Department of Surgery at The Ohio State University. E. Harlan Wilson, MD, was appointed as chief of the Division of Orthopaedics.

     
 1942 
 

Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program established at Ohio State University, White Cross Hospital and Children’s Hospital.

     
 1952
  Judson Wilson, MD, is appointed as chief of the Division of Orthopaedics.
     
 1956  

The Ohio State/Children’s Hospital three-year program begins, with one resident per year.

     
 1957   William A. Smith, MD, is appointed chief of the Division of Orthopaedics.
     
 1958   The Orthopaedic Residency Program gains accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
     
 1959   Carl Coleman, MD, becomes the first graduate of the OSU-based residency program.
     
 1963
  Dr. Smith retires, and Dr. Coleman is appointed acting chief of the Division of Orthopaedics.
     
 1965
  Paul H. Curtiss, MD, is appointed as chief of the Division of Orthopaedics. Number of residents accepted per year officially increases from one to two and the residency program increases from three to four years in length.
     
 1966
  Orthopaedic Lab established in Ross Hall.
     
 1967
  An orthopaedic library is established at The Ohio State University Medical Center.
     
 1970   Ohio State's Orthopaedic Residency Program combines with the orthopaedic program at White Cross Hospital (Riverside Hospital), and residents begin to rotate through Riverside. The number of residents accepted per year officially increases from two to three.
     
 1975
  Number of residents accepted per year officially increases from three to four.
     
 1978
  Dr. Curtiss retires as the division's chief. Robert Clark, MD, is appointed as chief of the Division of Orthopaedics.
     
 1986
  Sheldon R. Simon, MD, is appointed as chief of the Division of Orthopaedics.
     
 1988
  Orthopaedic Biomaterials Lab is established at OSU.
     
 1999
  The Division of Orthopaedics at The Ohio State University becomes a department, rather than a division of the Department of Surgery. Thomas H. Mallory is appointed as the chair of the Department of Orthopaedics. The Podiatric Surgery Residency Program begins at Ohio State, and the Department of Orthopaedics establishes the Musculoskeletal Institute.
     
 2002    Gary Bos, MD, is appointed as the chair of Department of Orthopaedics.
     
 2006   The Orthopaedic Residency Program increases number of residents from four to six residents per year.
     
 2008    Jason H. Calhoun, MD, is appointed as chair of Department of Orthopaedics.
     
 2014    Andrew H. Glassman, MD, is appointed as chair of Department of Orthopaedics.