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Release: May 25, 1999

Buckwalter named head of UI department of orthopaedic surgery

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa College of Medicine has named Joseph A. Buckwalter, M.D., as the new head of the department of orthopaedic surgery.

Buckwalter, a faculty member in the department since 1979, will assume the post July 1, replacing Reginald R. Cooper, M.D., who is retiring after more than 25 years as department head.

"We are pleased and extremely fortunate that Dr. Buckwalter has agreed to head this department," said Robert P. Kelch, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. "Because of Dr. Buckwalter’s dedication to the field of orthopaedic surgery and to the University of Iowa, I am confident that he will provide the department with excellent leadership."

R. Edward Howell, director and chief executive officer for UI Hospitals and Clinics, shared Kelch’s enthusiasm. "Dr. Buckwalter’s ability and vision will help the department of orthopaedic surgery not only to retain its excellent reputation, but take it to an even higher level," Howell said.

Buckwalter, born in Ottumwa and raised in Iowa City, graduated from University High School in 1965. He then attended the UI, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1969, a master’s degree in pathology in 1972 and his medical degree in 1974. After five years as an intern, resident and fellow at the UI, Buckwalter became an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery. He became a full professor in 1985. Buckwalter has also served as team physician for the Hawkeye football team since 1979.

Buckwalter has held a number of positions in scientific and professional organizations and served on many journals over the years. He has been president of both the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Buckwalter’s research focuses on arthritis, healing of fractures, joint and ligament injuries, metastic cancer of the skeleton, and primary tumors of the skeleton and soft tissue.

"The University of Iowa department of orthopaedic surgery has a well-deserved national and international reputation for excellence," Buckwalter said. "I am pleased and honored to have this opportunity to serve the University of Iowa, and I look forward to building on the great tradition established by Dr. Cooper and his predecessors, Dr. Larson and Dr. Steindler."