June 2004 Bulletin

In Memoriam

Remembering two leaders in orthopaedics

Two very prominent, widely admired orthopaedic surgeons died earlier this year — both at the age of 81. Below, we memorialize Sherman S. Coleman, MD, and William R. MacAusland Jr., MD.

Sherman S. Coleman, MD: Leader, teacher, scholar

Internationally recognized for his service to orthopaedics as a leader, teacher and scholar, Sherman S. Coleman, MD, died of cancer on Feb. 24, 2004, in Salt Lake City.

The 81-year-old orthopaedic surgeon—a renowned expert on the treatment of tumors and skeletal deformities in children—was widely known for his principled and compassionate patient care.


Sherman S. Coleman, MD

“Every honor that can be bestowed upon an American surgeon by his peers has been received by Sherman S. Coleman,” reads the dedication to a special issue Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research that was published in tribute to Dr. Coleman in 1989.

A recent honor—given to him by the Utah State Orthopaedic Society—is one that Dr. Coleman considered among his most significant. In September 2003, he was presented with the first Sherman S. Coleman, MD, Humanitarian Award. The honor will be awarded annually to an orthopaedic surgeon who exemplifies Dr. Coleman’s excellence in teaching, research and patient care, and especially his “strong sense of values and commitment to moral values.”

“To know that I’ve left principles and ethical concepts—compassion, willingness to go out of your way for patients—that’s a greater reward than any fiscal one,” Dr. Coleman said upon receiving the award.

Born Dec. 5, 1922, in Provo, Utah, Coleman received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his medical degree from Northwestern University, where he also earned a master’s in surgical anatomy.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; during the Korean War, he taught at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital, where he also trained in orthopaedics and fractures.

In 1957, he joined the faculty at the University of Utah, where he developed the orthopaedic residency program and served as chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery until 1981.

Dr. Coleman also served as chief of staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children—Intermountain in Salt Lake City from 1957 to 1990. In addition, he traveled every month to Juarez, Mexico, where he had established a Shriners screening clinic to identify children needing treatment at the Salt Lake City facility. He kept up those visits until October 2002.

Dr. Coleman taught AAOS instructional courses on pediatric orthopaedics for more than 30 years. In addition to his involvement with AAOS, he was active with the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and the American Orthopaedic Association, serving as president of all three.

Dr. Coleman is survived by his wife, Jane, three children, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

William R. MacAusland Jr., MD: Former AAOS president put patients first

William R. MacAusland Jr., MD—the 48th president of the AAOS—died Jan. 15, 2004, at his home in Dedham, Mass.

The charismatic former chief of orthopaedic surgery at Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Mass., was a purveyor of old-time medicine, colleagues say. Dr. MacAusland’s concern for his patients was paramount.


William R. MacAusland Jr., MD

“As physicians, our primary responsibility is to our patients,” he said during his AAOS presidential address. “We should care for them with as much concern, passion and personal interest as we would any member of our own family.”

After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1947, Dr. MacAusland served in the Air Force for two years, acting as deputy chief of orthopaedics at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. He completed his orthopaedic residency at New York Hospital and Presbyterian Medical Center.

A fellow of the Academy since 1956, Dr. MacAusland taught numerous instructional courses and served as chairman of both the Continuing Education Committee and the Instructional Course Committee. He was elected AAOS president in 1980.

During his year as president, Dr. MacAusland proposed a number of projects that later came to fruition, proving him to be a man of vision. One such proposal was to create a “junior” level of AAOS membership for senior orthopaedic residents. A junior membership category, he believed, would not only “provide potential candidates for fellowship with greater insight into the workings and aims of the Academy, it would also allow the Academy to provide more direction for young orthopaedists as they begin their careers.” In 1985, the Academy established both “Resident” and “Candidate” categories of membership. Since that time, fellowship numbers have risen from 12,000 to more than 20,000 members.

Although the Orthopaedic Learning Center was not established until 1994, Dr. MacAusland was the first to propose the development of such a facility. In his 1980 presidential address, he shared his vision for what he called an “Institute for Orthopaedics,” describing it as “a fixed educational facility comprised of lecture halls, seminar rooms, laboratory space and an orthopaedic library,” which would be equipped with “audio-visual materials, instruments, anatomic specimens and simulated models… adaptable for individual instruction on a multitude of surgical techniques and procedures.”

At a time when fragmentation was beginning to occur in the orthopaedic community, Dr. MacAusland envisioned the center as one that all musculoskeletal-related societies could use while maintaining their own individual organizational identities. “Such a facility would do much to prevent us from becoming an estranged society,” he said.

Throughout his career, Dr. MacAusland was deeply committed to providing and improving emergency medical care. He taught numerous courses over the years for police, firefighters and other first responders of medicine. After retiring 20 years ago, Dr. MacAusland volunteered at both the Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Roxbury, Mass., and at the busy Stratton Mountain Clinic in Stratton, Vt. The longtime sportsman and skiing enthusiast was the first responder for victims of ski accidents who were transported by sled or helicopter to his care. “Dr. Mac,” as he was known at the clinic, continued to help injured skiers through the spring of 2003.

Dr. MacAusland’s survivors include his wife, Frances, six children and nine grandchildren.

Leonard E. Berk, MD
Date unknown
Denver, Colo.

Ignatius S. Bertola, MD
Date unknown
Buffalo, N.Y.

Robert Lee Brown, MD
December 4, 2003
Ross, Calif.

William A. Craig, MD
March 13, 2004
Lincoln, Calif.

Leonard L. Davis Jr., MD
April 5, 2003
Mexico, Mo.

Edgar G. Dawson, MD
Date unknown
Santa Monica, Calif.

Neil E. Diess, MD
March 18, 2004
Downey, Calif.

John E. Duffy, MD
April 3, 2004
Scottsdale, Ariz.

John C. Eldridge, MD
April 20, 2004
Louisville, Ky.

Isidro Ferrando, MD
August 17, 2003
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Herbert C. Fett Jr., MD
April 7, 2004
Cutchogue, N.Y.

Victor Gold, MD
February 17, 2003
West Islip, N.Y.

Harold R. Horn Jr., MD
Date unknown
Lincoln, Neb.

William P. Horton, MD
Date unknown
Baltimore, Md.

George A. Hunter, MD
April 12, 2004
Doyleston, Ohio

Kenneth D. Johnson, MD
October 20, 2003
Albuquerque, N.M.

Paul H. Karshner, MD
Date unknown
Gig Harbor, Wash.

Steven E. Kopits, MD
June 18, 2002
Baltimore, Md.

Marvin M. Mitchell, MD
November 3, 2003
Roswell, Ga.

Richard L. Nottingham, MD
Date unknown
Flushing, N.Y.

Allen B. Richardson, MD
September 1, 2003
Honolulu, Ha.

Dean A. Smith, MD
July 2, 2003
Santa Barbara, Calif.

William S. Stewart IV, MD
Date unknown
West Bend, Wisc.

J. Scott Struckman, MD
June 3, 2001
Wilsonville, Ore.

James F. Wenz Sr., MD
January 20, 2004
Baltimore, Md.

Robert T. Willingham Jr., MD
Date unknown
Atlanta, Ga.


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