At the invitation of William Halsted, chief of Surgery at Johns Hopkins,
William S. Baer organized the first Orthopaedic Outpatient Clinic
in 1900. Dr. Baer had received his undergraduate and medical degrees
from The Johns Hopkins University and was an intern and resident in
General Surgery at Johns Hopkins. The clinic was located in the space
now occupied by the Emergency Medicine Department. Dr. Baer developed
a hip joint arthroplasty using an interposition membrane of pig's
bladder. He also developed new procedures for low back pain and the
treatment of osteomyelitis. He graduated his first resident, Lewis
C. Spencer, from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1915. Until
his death in 1931, he graduated one resident annually, many of whom
became leaders in American orthopaedics.
One of Dr. Baer's partners in private practice, George E. Bennett,
was appointed orthopeaedic surgeon in charge in 1931. Orthopaedic
Surgery had just begun to organize, unite, standardize training and
certify specialists when Dr. Bennett took this position. By 1937,
one-sixth of the 150 surgeons certified as orthopaedists by the American
Board of Orthopaedic Surgery had completed their residencies at Johns
Hopkins. Dr. Bennett retired in 1947.
A third partner of Drs. Baer and Bennett, R. W. Johnson, Jr. became
the next program chairman. Among his many significant contributions
was the organization of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Robert
A. Robinson was appointed the first full-time professor of Orthopaedic
Surgery at Hopkins in 1953. Under Dr. Robinson's tutelage, the residency
program expanded to include additional residents, a research component
and rotations through affiliated hospitals. In 1973, with reorganization
of the Department of Surgery into a section of surgical sciences,
orthopaedics achieved greater organizational and financial independence
with elevation to departmental status.
Lee H. Riley, Jr., was appointed director of the Department in 1979
when Dr. Robinson became professor emeritus. Under Dr. Riley, the
program expanded to graduate five residents annually, a new Orthopaedic
Center was opened in 1982, a rotation to the Maryland Institute for
Emergency Medical Services was initiated to increase the residents'
experience with polytrauma, a spine service was added to the Department,
and the residency program was approved for an additional year of training.
In April 1991, Richard Stauffer joined the Department of Orthopaedic
Surgery as the orthopaedic surgeon in chief. Dr. Stauffer's status
as an internationally known orthopaedic surgeon enhanced the department
and its involvement with the rest of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Dr. Stauffer expanded the already outstanding faculty and staff with
the addition of world-renowned physicians and researchers.
In January 1998, Dr. Richard Stauffer passed away after a complicated
illness. In the interim, we were fortunate to have the leadership
of Dr. John P. Kostuik, Professor of Spinal Surgery. In October 2000,
concluding a nationwide search, Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine officials named Frank J. Frassica, M.D., chairman of the
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.