Role model sets example in giving
Investigator, academician, clinician, surgeon—Lawrence D. Dorr, MD, has embraced all of orthopaedics, and supported its advancement by giving to research. According to
“I’ve been in some area of academic orthopaedics almost all of my career,” explains Dr. Dorr. “I decided if I was going to be a leader in orthopaedics, I would have to be a responsible role model of what an orthopaedic surgeon should be and should do.
“I want to show residents, fellows, and young orthopaedic surgeons that you have to maintain a high level of research to maintain a high level of performance.”
Research is not only responsible for a clinician’s performance, according to Dr. Dorr. It’s also the basis for economic success.
“Orthopaedic surgeons are some of the best-paid individuals across all specialties, primarily due to research and the advances in treatment that research has made possible,” says Dr. Dorr. “Without the last several decades of research, how much money would orthopaedic surgeons be making? All we’d be able to do is take care of fractures without operating, take care of post-polio patients, and treat bone infections.”
The power of research
In Dr. Dorr’s view, recent research advancements have given orthopaedic surgeons both enormous power and a clear mandate. “In the last 30 to 40 years in particular, research has resulted in implants to treat trauma and arthritis. On that basis alone, orthopaedic surgeons have been able to change lives. We’ve changed how long people live and how well they live. We have reaped huge benefits—all due to research,” explains Dr. Dorr.
“Arthroscopy, how we take care of our patients, high-tech computer navigation—they’re all based on research. Every orthopaedic surgeon needs to give back—to fund research in return for what research has given to each of us and those who will follow.”
Dr. Dorr’s support of orthopaedic research through the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) goes back more than 20 years.
He is a faithful supporter of the Annual Campaign. In 1995, Dr. Dorr and his wife, Marilyn, pledged cash gifts totaling $100,000 to the Shands Circle. To date, the Dorrs have more than doubled that pledge, with total gifts of more than $200,000.
The fourth stage
Dr. Dorr says it’s his time to give to OREF — and it may be your time, too.
“I’m in the fourth stage of my career—the giving back stage. I’ve enjoyed the career and economic success of orthopaedic surgery. Now, it’s time to give back,” he says. “Giving at the level of Shands may be difficult for people early in their careers, but physicians who have reached this stage have an obligation.”
As a former president of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and of the Knee Society, and as incoming president of the Hip Society in 2007, Dr. Dorr has a message for joint replacement specialists.
“All these associations are implant-oriented associations. Our members primarily treat arthritis, and the main treatment for arthritis is implants. Implant research has made patient care and patient treatment both high-tech and high-class,” he says. “Any progress we make through supporting OREF improves patient care and patient outcomes.”
Through his service on the OREF Corporate Relations Committee, Dr. Dorr has seen firsthand how OREF’s Corporate Associates have stepped up to the plate.
“I am grateful for implant manufacturers and other orthopaedic companies. They have generously contributed to OREF at significant levels and, I think, really got OREF off the ground in some ways,” he says. “They have been an integral part of the progress we’ve made as a profession — and the benefits we enjoy as individuals.”
The OREF is an independent 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Service tax code. OREF raises funds to support research and education on diseases and injuries of bones, joints, nerves, and muscles. OREF-funded research enhances clinical care, leading to improved health, increased activity, and a better quality of life for patients.
Since 1955, OREF has provided more than $59 million in funding for more than 2,500 grants on research subjects ranging from investigations of the process of fracture healing to studies that ultimately resulted in the development of Bone Morphogenetic Protein.