The Yale Orthopaedic Association was created in 1971 by Dr. Wayne O. Southwick, then Chief of the Section of Orthopaedic Surgery at Yale Medical School, “to support, foster and encourage research, education and training in the field of medicine and specifically orthopaedic surgery”. Accompanying Dr. Southwick, as founding officers, were Drs. Robert (“Nick”) Margolis, Ralph DePonte and Jack Raycroft. Dues helped to support resident educational activities, and a simple Yale orthopaedic alumni gathering became a feature held at the yearly American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting.
As a beloved figure and devoted mentor to his residents, Dr. Southwick’s brainchild steadily became the backbone of the alumni body of the Yale orthopaedic residency program. Dr. Southwick maintained a directory of the graduates, keeping up not only with their professional status but with their family developments and personal interests as well. Regular YOA meetings evolved, featuring highly popular educational and social components. In recent years these have come to find a home at the Yale Club in New York City. Throughout its years, the YOA has maintained its highly supportive role in funding Yale orthopaedic resident education and research, including the traditional year-ending disputations program.
Dr. Southwick passed away in 2016 after a long and exemplary life. The YOA continues the two pillars of the tradition he began: serving the residents of the Yale orthopaedic residency during their education, and its graduates during their careers.
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