SAN DIEGO, Calif. (March 16, 2017) --The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) today presented the 2017 Diversity Award to orthopaedic surgeon Richard E. Grant, MD, of Philadelphia, at a ceremonial meeting at the organization's 2017 Annual Meeting. The Diversity Award recognizes members of the Academy who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of, and accessible to, diverse patient populations.
Throughout Dr. Grant's 30-year career in orthopaedic surgery, he has dedicated himself to empowering minority students in residency programs. From 1988 until 2001 he educated more than 60 minority and female residents as the chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Under Dr. Grant's leadership at Howard, he accepted more female residents into the orthopaedic residency program than any other program in the country. Subsequently, the residency program's American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery passage rate increased immediately. His approach to educating residents stemmed from his own orthopaedic residency experience at the former United States Air Force Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He implemented a military-based, disciplined approach and structure to Howard's educational residency program. As a result, the majority of his former orthopaedic residents became ABOS Certified and practicing orthopaedic surgeons. Greater than 90% of his residents completed a post residency fellowship in almost every orthopaedic subspecialty across the country.
"Dr. Grant is a pioneer and changed the perception that women could not become orthopaedic surgeons because of the physicality of the profession," said Rinelda M. Horton, MD who was trained by Dr. Grant. "He promoted diversity before diversity became popular, and he always supported individuality and encouraged forward thinking while embracing individuals of various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds."
Dr. Grant is currently an attending orthopaedic surgeon and full-time faculty member with the Department of Orthopaedics at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa. He specializes in total joint arthroplasty, and sickle cell disease-related osteonecrosis. Prior to this, he served as the first Edgar B. Jackson Chair for Diversity and Clinical Excellence at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and as an endowed Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
Dr. Grant has served on the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board and was the first African-American president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. As president he advised the ABOS to be more inclusive of women and African-American representatives who seek to serve on the ABOS. "If you're in the room, you speak up and deliver what you know is your unique perspective," said Dr. Grant.
Dr. Grant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University where he co-founded the Black Pre-Medical Society in 1971. He also earned his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine.
"The award isn't about me. It's about my background and the people that shaped me and dedicated their life to push me to do the best," said Dr. Grant. "For me it began with my parents who taught me to do nothing less than your best and to live by the Biblical admonition 'to whom much is given, much is expected.' My goal was to educate people, especially African-Americans who wanted to become orthopaedic surgeons, because I wanted them to have the same incredible opportunities I had."
Dr. Grant also devotes his time to helping St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Elkins Park and St. James School in Philadelphia. He and his wife Charlotte love to travel and enjoy live jazz performances. When time permits, Dr. Grant is known to bake treats for family and friends.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is the world's largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues.