Embargoed for Release: February 17, 2011
For more information, contact:
Pittsburgh Orthopaedic Surgeon, Freddie H. Fu, MD,
Advancing Diversity in Orthopaedics
San Diego, Calif. — The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) presented the 2011 Diversity Award to Freddie H. Fu, MD, of Pittsburgh, Pa., during an awards ceremony at its 2011 Annual Meeting. TheDiversity Award recognizes members of the Academy who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of and accessible to diverse patient populations.
Dr. Fu is a Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the David Silver Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. According to Constance R. Chu, MD, also a faculty member, “Dr. Fu has been committed to increasing diversity in orthopaedic surgery for more than 30 years.” A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Fu entered the University of Pittsburgh’s post-graduate programs during the 1970s as one of the first Asian orthopaedic residents. As an assistant professor and fellowship director at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), he helped found the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine in 1982 and subsequently trained a diverse group of clinical fellows in a then-new orthopaedic specialty — sports medicine. Dr. Fu became chairman of the University’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the late 1990s and began to diversify the residency program and department faculty.
His efforts are reflective of the Academy’s Culturally Competent Care program, which aims to raise orthopaedists’ awareness and understanding of the unique needs and communication preferences patients may hold due to cultural differences. When asked why diversity initiatives were important to him, Dr. Fu referenced his personal hero, Fred Rogers, who was a “master of open communication.” “With a warm smile, Mr. Rogers welcomed everyone to his neighborhood, taught us valuable lessons, and made us feel that all things are possible. If we try and do the right thing, communicate and learn from each other, and treat everyone equally and with respect, we can attract the best and brightest — including those who historically may not have been exposed to a career in orthopaedic surgery. This personal investment will make our orthopaedic surgery ‘neighborhood’ more diverse and our specialty even stronger in the days ahead.”
“As an immigrant, I have seen firsthand where it may be harder for someone who is a bit different to find opportunities and receive mentorship. Over the years, I’ve tried to understand and respect people of different backgrounds and to reach out to them,” said Dr. Fu who has promoted and supported global orthopaedic education, scholarship and interchange throughout his career. He also completed several traveling fellowships, lectured internationally, and has provided training opportunities to more than 600 international fellows, providing them with unique educational, research and clinical opportunities.
“[Dr. Fu] has trained a significant number of African-American and Hispanic residents and fellows. He has had a significant impact in the field of orthopaedics, especially in minority communities,” said Dr. Answorth Allen, an associate attending orthopaedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery and an associate professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City.
According to Dr. Joanne Labriola, a 2002 UPMC resident and practicing orthopaedic surgeon at CMC Orthopaedic Surgery at Carolina Medical Center, “During medical school, Dr. Fu encouraged me and several of my classmates to pursue orthopaedic surgey. He focused on our scholarly achievements, compassion for patients, and work ethic — and challenged all stereotypes of orthopaedic surgery that may have dissuaded us.”
More about Dr. Fu
Previous Diversity Award Winners
AAOS on Facebook and Twitter
More information about the AAOS