Ordering Information

8.5 x 11 trim size, hardcover, 5 volume set with volumes 1 through 4 in print, and volume 5, (the bibliography) in PDF only. Fully illustrated with more than 1,300 black and white images, and a multi-volume index. Books are full color, smyth sewn, including printed endleaves (front are black and white/back are color) and dust jackets.

Retail Price: $399.00

ISBN: 978-1-942155-36-2

To order copies visit Pathway Book Service to place a web order, or call 1-800-345-6665 to order by phone.

Birth of a Specialty:

A History of Orthopaedics at Harvard and Its Teaching Hospitals

by James H. Herndon, MD, MBA

Listen to Dr. Herndon discuss the book in Lessons in Orthopaedic Leadership: An AOA Podcast.

Advance review

“Did you know that a prominent Doctor at Harvard Medical School was murdered by another Physician at that august institution? Or that many of the Patriots who led the fight for independence were Harvard Doctors? These are among the facts and tales you will find in James H. Herndon’s splendid new four-volume opus entitled Birth of a Specialty.

James H. Herndon, MD, MBA should know. It was his job to manage all the challenges of training forty to fifty young MDs at places as different as the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and several more. Each with its own particular culture and Chief of Service.

Now Dr. Herndon has taken on and conquered another great task. He has examined the birth and evolution of the Specialty of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has described in detail the various Hospitals in the Harvard system as well as the multitudinous contributions to the field made by Harvard Doctors over the years. It is both a painstakingly thorough historical record and a delightful read. I recommend it to you highly.” —Joel Weinstein, MD., Retired Orthopaedic Surgeon, July 2021

About the Book

This well-illustrated, hardcover history includes five volumes. Volumes 1-4 are printed, and volume 5, the bibliography, is an eBook. Publication date is December 6, 2021. Advance orders may be placed through the distributor, Pathway Book Service.

Birth of a Specialty presents a comprehensive history of the specialty focused on US contributions and including the orthopaedic surgeons at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and its major teaching hospitals.

Volume 1 addresses the early surgical landscape, the development of the specialization of orthopaedics, and the history of orthopaedics at HMS. The history of HMS discusses the creation of the orthopaedic department, curriculum, and residency program, the emergence of sports medicine, as well as the infamous murder of Dr. George Parkman at the school in 1849 and contributions by surgeons to the case.

Volumes 2, 3 and 4, present the history of orthopaedics at each of Harvard’s teaching hospitals; with volume 2 focused on Boston Children’s Hospital, volume 3 on Massachusetts General Hospital, and volume 4 on Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston City Hospital.

Each hospital section begins by discussing the origins of the institution; the evolution of orthopaedic department status at each hospital; the contributions of many great orthopaedic surgeons; and the transition from the twentieth to the twenty-first century, including recruitment of orthopaedic chairpersons at each of the hospitals. It ends with a discussion of the role of Harvard orthopaedic surgeons in the world wars.

In volume 5, readers can access the reference list, bibliography, several appendices, and a list of important publications for further reading. A multi-volume index provides for easy reference.

About the Author

James H. Herndon, MD, MBA, is the William H. & Johanna A. Harris Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in Partners Healthcare System (Mass General Brigham), Boston. He has long been a leader in orthopaedics, chairing departments of orthopaedic surgery at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and Medical Center (UPMC). He also served as vice president of medical services at UPMC and as associate senior vice chancellor for the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

He has influenced the direction of orthopaedics through leadership positions with national organizations such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Orthopaedic Association, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, and the Academic Orthopaedic Society.

Dr. Herndon’s interest in direct patient care solidified through his work with more than 1000 amputees at Valley Forge General Hospital during the Vietnam War. Throughout his career he has worked closely with patients, enjoying a large practice in trauma and adult reconstructive surgery. He has served as a management consultant for diverse physician groups and hospitals. During his leadership years in the AAOS he focused his efforts on improving patient safety; his dedication to this cause is embodied in his 2003 AAOS presidential speech titled “One More Turn of the Wrench.”

As residency program director of three well-respected orthopaedic residency programs, Dr. Herndon has trained hundreds of students and residents. As president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and chairman of the Orthopaedic Residency Review Committee, he has helped residency programs across the country develop effective teaching programs. He greatly values his role as an educator, and he hopes that Birth of a Specialty continues the legacy he has established through his years of teaching and his myriad presentations, publications, and studies.