Richard H. Rothman, MD, PhD, FAOA
Acknowledged as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession

Richard H. Rothman, MD, PhD, FAOA

Richard H. Rothman, MD, PhD, FAOA is being honored as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession for his amazing accomplishments, his surgical skill, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his inspirational mentorship.


The effort to recognize Dr. Rothman was led by James J. Purtill, MD, FAOA with the generous support of Dr. Rothman’s friends and colleagues. A mentor to hundreds of orthopaedic residents and fellows, Dr. Rothman served as Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at Jefferson University Hospital in Center City, PA.
He was one of the first American surgeons to do hip replacements, and went on to perform more than 50,000 total hip and total knee replacements over the course of his career. An inventor of implants, he developed a total hip replacement system, which has become one of the most prominent and widely-used hip replacement systems in the world.

He founded the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in 1970 with only four employees in one office. Today, with almost 200 physicians in more than 30 offices, the Institute ranks second among orthopaedic groups in the number of research grants awarded from the National Institutes of Health.

A frequent presenter at academic meetings, and a prolific author of research papers and book chapters, Dr. Rothman had numerous pursuits beyond orthopaedics. He served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Thomas Jefferson University, was a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and The Brandywine River Museum of Art. He was on the Board of Trustees as a senior adviser for The Riverside Corporation, a private-equity firm in New York City, and taught medical students at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. Only recently retired from surgery, Dr. Rothman passed away in October 2018 at the age of 81.

The AOA acknowledges Dr. Rothman’s lasting legacy and significant contributions and recognizes him as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.


“In my many years of knowing Dr. Rothman, he was a mentor to hundreds of former Jefferson University Hospital residents, spine and joint replacement fellows. His leadership and mentoring inspired many of his former residents and fellows to follow his example and went on to serve in important leadership and education roles in the orthopaedic community as part of their careers. Dr. Rothman was a constant presence at academic meetings, was a leader in numerous orthopaedic organizations, and contributed significant research papers, book chapters, and presentations. As an outstanding surgeon, educator, inventor, and innovative businessman, I’m honored to be the champion on his behalf to be recognized as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.”

– James J. Purtill, MD, FAOA
Dr. Rothman’s Champion

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.