Philip D. Wilson, Jr., MD, FAOA
Honored as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession

Philip D. Wilson, Jr., MD, FAOA is being recognized as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession for his leadership, mentoring, and lifelong contributions to orthopaedic surgery during his distinguished career. The champions for this effort on his behalf are Todd J. Albert, MD, FAOA, Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA, FAOA and Douglas E. Padgett, MD.


It would be difficult to overstate the impact of Philip D. Wilson, Jr., MD, esteemed innovator, mentor, colleague, and friend.  

The son of a prominent surgeon (Philip Wilson Sr was the 5th Surgeon-in-Chief of HSS from 1934-1955), Dr. Wilson idolized his father, who he used to join on rounds when he was just a teenager. Dr. Wilson studied medicine at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. After graduation, he spent 18 months in a general surgery internship and first-year residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In September 1946, he was called to service and spent most of his time at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, working on their orthopaedic service for the next two years. He returned to HSS as a resident in April 1948 for a two-year residency program, before studying trauma and biomechanics at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Wilson was appointed to the HSS Staff on August 1, 1951. As his surgical practice grew, Dr. Wilson also rose as a visionary leader. He led Hospital for Special Surgery in advancing the field of joint replacement and orthopaedic research, fostering the hospital’s development as a world-class center for patient care. As an educator and innovator of new techniques, Dr. Wilson introduced total hip replacement to the hospital in 1967, a new surgical procedure at the time. He went on to serve as the hospital’s surgeon-in-chief from 1972 to 1989 and was recognized not only for his surgical skill, wisdom, integrity, and sound judgment, but also for his compassion and thoughtfulness. His leadership and dedication helped transform Hospital for Special Surgery from an institution of local recognition to one of international acclaim. In his 17-year tenure as surgeon-in-chief, he developed a robust research department that brought together engineers and orthopaedic surgeons and ushered biomechanics into the computer age. During this time, he held the dual role of Director of Resident Training, fostering innovation in graduate medical education and serving as a role model and inspiration for young, aspiring orthopaedic surgeons. 

Dr. Wilson was also a founding member of The Hip Society (1968) and President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (1972). Philip D. Wilson, Jr. is remembered not only for his skills as a surgeon, but also for his compassion as a lauded member of the HSS family.

The AOA acknowledges Dr. Wilson’s amazing legacy to the orthopaedic community and recognizes him as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.


Philip D. Wilson, Jr. was more than a tremendously skilled surgeon. He was an equally admirable man. During his tenure as Surgeon-in-Chief at HSS, he was recognized not only for his skill and wisdom, but also for thoughtfulness, humor, and limitless generosity. Having served as Surgeon-in-Chief at HSS myself, I can attest to what that says about his character. Dr. Wilson has left a lasting legacy not only on our institution but certainly the orthopaedic field as a whole. Phil truly epitomized what it means to be a leader, innovator, and mentor. He was so supportive of me when I arrivedHe was incredibly encouraging and viewed HSS as his familyWe’re all indebted to him, and I’m thrilled he has been bestowed with this honor.” 

Todd J. Albert, MD, FAOA, Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA, FAOA, Douglas E. Padgett, MD, and Thomas P. Sculco, MD, FAOA
Dr. Wilson’s Co-Champions

For a list of those who contributed to this Pillar honor, please click here.

If you are interested in becoming a Champion for an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession, you can find more information here.

Entire listing of AOA Pillars of the Orthopaedic Profession can be found here.