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Happy 50th Anniversary to the University at Buffalo’s Department of Orthopaedics


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Fifty years ago, Eugene R. Mindell, M.D. became the first full time faculty member of The University at Buffalo’s Department…
August 28, 2014

Fifty years ago, Eugene R. Mindell, M.D. became the first full time faculty member of The University at Buffalo’s Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Mindell served as Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics from its inception in 1964 until 1988, specializing in Orthopaedic oncology.

Dr. Mindell wrote the book, “History of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University at Buffalo”, published in 2006. Dr. Mindell’s book, as well as local history, tells us that the University at Buffalo School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences was founded in September of 1846.

Franklin Hastings Hamilton, M.D. (1813-1886) was one of the school’s founders and its first dean and chief of surgery. Due to his interest in the musculoskeletal system, trauma and fractures, Dr. Hamilton is considered the “Father of Orthopaedic Surgery” at the University at Buffalo Medical School.

Orthopaedic surgery as a defined medical specialty began at UB with Bernard Bartow, M.D. (1849-1920), who was the first Western New York physician to limit his practice to orthopaedics. He also offered the University’s first course in orthopaedic surgery in 1884. Dr. Bartow began the long history of a dedicated, unpaid orthopaedic facility run on a volunteer basis by local expert orthopaedic surgeons and physicians. Other leaders that continued to carry the torch included:

  • William Ward Plummer, M.D. (1877-1953)
  • Frank N. Potts, M.D. (1890-1961)
  • Benjamin E. Obletz, M.D. (1907-2004)
  • Joseph D. Godfrey, M.D. (1907-1996)
  • James P. Cole (1906-2002)
  • Theodore Papademetriou, M.D. (1929-2001)
  • John Border, M.D. (1926-1996)
  • Robert Gillespie, M.D. (1935-2001)
  • Lawrence B. Bone, M.D. (1947 – )

When Dr. Mindell became the school’s first full time professor, he diligently recruited many full-time faculty members. He also developed the Orthopaedic Bone Pathology Laboratory, encouraging research and the training of residents.

Following Dr. Mindell, the Chairman of the Orthopaedic Department was Robert Gillespie, M.B., Ch.B from 1988 to 2001. Under Dr. Gillespie’s leadership, the university-affiliated, clinical practice, UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, became the largest orthopaedic practice in Western New York through the expansion of full-time faculty, the establishment of a comprehensive faculty practice plan and the development of a basic science research laboratory at the UB Medical School. Dr. Gillespie initiated the University at Buffalo Sports Medicine Center and was also the head of pediatric orthopaedics at Women & Children’s Hospital. A world authority on limb and spinal deficiencies, in particular the surgical treatment of proximal focal femoral deficiencies (PFFD), Dr. Gillespie was one of the first orthopaedic surgeons to correct limb deficiencies in children using modern limb-lengthening apparatuses.

Lawrence B. Bone, M.D. was appointed chairman following Dr. Gillespie’s tenure, leading the Orthopaedic Department from 2001-2013. With leadership at the Musculoskeletal Trauma Service at Erie County Medical Center, Dr. Bone is widely recognized for significantly improving the care and outcome of the poly-trauma patient. At the age of 63, Dr. Bone was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves Medical Corps, after his son was injured during a tour of duty in Iraq. In 2013, Dr. Bone served as a trauma surgeon and commander in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Afghanistan for two tours.

In late 2013, Leslie J. Bisson, M.D. was named the inaugural June A. and Eugene R. Mindell, M.D. Professor and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. His duties also include leadership as President of the Department’s clinical practice plan, UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

As full-time faculty of the University at Buffalo and as the physicians of UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, our doctors train orthopaedic surgeons of the future and conduct cutting-edge research that translates into new medical devices, treatment and care.

UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine continues its legacy of caring for all patients from all walks of life in the Western New York community. The practice is dedicated to three principles:

  1. Compassionate Patient Care
  2. Collaborative Education
  3. Innovative Orthopaedic Research

UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine treats and cares for a wide array of orthopaedic needs, including urgent UB OrthoCare, Foot & Ankle, Hand, Hip Arthroscopy & Reconstruction, Joint Reconstruction & Replacement, Knee, Orthopaedic Oncology, Orthopaedic Trauma, Pediatric Orthopaedics, Shoulder & Elbow, Spine, Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Services, Bone Evaluation & Treatment, Cartilage Restoration and Concussion Management.