Brigham & Women's Hospital

Thomas S. Thornhill, MD

Thomas S. Thornhill, M.D.

John B. and Buckminster Brown Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Harvard medical school

2012-13 Chief's Report | BWH Chief's Report 2012-2013 PDF


I became chairman of Orthopedics at the Brigham in 1996. We have grown from a small group dedicated predominately to arthroplasty to a much larger group that is truly representative of all adult subspecialties. Moreover, our research effort has advanced from a small amount of industry sponsored research plus some NIH sponsored research by Julie Glowacki to a well integrated research effort that shares a great deal of overlap with our rheumatology colleagues. In combination, we have over 40 million dollars of extramural research and, while we have many of the concerns of ongoing research support, we are well diversified and will continue to grow in both clinical and research efforts.


Bryce Wolf, MD, BWH Chief Resident 2013

BWH Orthopaedics, June 2013 Event to Honor Dr. Bryce Wolf as Past Chief Resident


I think that the first Chairman’s Corner I wrote was in 1997 and as I slide it into the autumn of my tenure as chairman, there will be many things that I will miss. I am not sure that Chairman’s Corner is one of them. For all the years that I have written this, I had never received any comment until last year when there was a mix-up and no Chairman’s Corner appeared from Children’s, the BI or the Brigham. It was only then that my good friend and fellow resident, Peter Stern, commented on how good it was not to receive my comments.


There are lots of changes that are going on. Many people ask me, perhaps hopefully, when I will be stepping down. It is true that I am past the Harvard guidelines and the search committee for my replacement will be coming up in the not too distant future. My intent is to leave this department fiscally sound, academically productive and a mainstay of the resident and fellow educational program. To this end we have added new people, both on the research side and on the clinical side and I am very proud of each and every addition. I am hopeful that the division chief’s reports will highlight the additions to their divisions.


The overall healthcare environment is challenging in our area as I am sure it is in yours. I think that sequestration in the federal government and the Massachusetts Healthcare Provision does not favor academic medical centers. Each year we faced a budget crunch and if you add both the federal and state anticipation of 2014 we, like many of you, are far short of our budget gap. This has been a chronic problem and I still think that we will find a way to make it work.

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