Published 2/14/2024

Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, FAAOS, Receives American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Highest Leadership Honor

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 14, 2024)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) presented its 2024 William W. Tipton Jr., MD, Leadership Award to Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, FAAOS, for his years of service to the profession and to his community.

The Tipton Leadership Award recognizes AAOS members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities that have benefitted the orthopaedic community, patients and/or the American public. The award honors and celebrates the life, accomplishments and qualities of the late William W. Tipton Jr., MD, an orthopaedic surgeon, educator and former AAOS chief executive officer.

2024 Tipton Award Photo-Jacobs.jpeg

“It is a distinctive honor to receive this award. I had the great fortune of working with Dr. Tipton early in my career, when I was ‘learning the ropes’ of AAOS volunteer service,” Dr. Jacobs said. “He was an inspirational leader, who had the ability to evoke the best qualities in people, motivating service for a higher cause.”

Institutional Leadership
Dr. Jacobs is the William A. Hark, MD/Susanne G. Swift Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago where he served as chairman for 16 years.

Since his adult reconstruction fellowship, Dr. Jacobs has spent his entire career at RUSH University, dedicating himself to supporting and leading the Department of Orthopaedics. He has served in various roles at RUSH, including as the Vice Provost for Research of RUSH University and the Vice President for Research at RUSH University Medical Center. He has also served as the Vice Dean for Research of RUSH Medical College since 2015.

A prolific investigator, Dr. Jacobs has published more than 290 peer-reviewed articles. He is currently a leader on two large, multicenter National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and has received numerous awards for his research, including the Orthopaedic Research Society/Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation Distinguished Investigator Award in 2020 and the AAOS Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughan Award in 2002. Dr. Jacobs’ work has contributed greatly to the understanding of the clinical impacts of tribocorrosion, the utility of serum metal testing in the clinical evaluation of patients with orthopaedic implants, and the biology of periprosthetic osteolysis.

In addition to his research work, Dr. Jacobs also spent 15 years as the program director for RUSH’s orthopaedic surgery residency program, where he has mentored numerous trainees and research faculty. According to Brett R. Levine, MD, MS, FAAOS, the RUSH faculty’s high caliber of success is in large part due to Dr. Jacobs’ efforts: “As a mentor, he managed to guide many of his faculty (including myself) into leadership roles in regional, national and international organizations. He is passionate, empathetic and among the best mentors and role models I know.”

Dr. Jacobs has supported the RUSH University diversity efforts, where he helped bring the residency and fellowship programs “into a new age,” according to Dr. Levine. “We have graduated the most female adult reconstruction fellows in the country, and he remains a staunch proponent of being fair, diverse and inclusive. Dr. Jacobs has brought diversity to our department and values the qualities of all as an open-minded leader.” His commitment to health equity is evidenced by the fact that he is a multiple principal investigator on an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award titled “Advancing Health Toward Health Equity Throughout Metropolitan Chicago.”

Commitment to the Profession
Aside from his dedication to his institution and department, Dr. Jacobs’ leadership extends to the entire field of orthopaedics:

  • He is past president of AAOS (2013–2014) and past vice president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (2019–2020).
  • He was president of the Orthopaedic Research Society (2006-2007), president of The Hip Society (2019-2020 and is the incoming president of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation.
  • Within AAOS, he has been a dedicated volunteer leader for 30 years, contributing across a variety of committees, forums, councils and events.

“In the various leadership roles that I have undertaken in my own professional and personal life, I have attempted to deploy the tools I learned from Dr. Tipton to support and motivate those that I have led,” Dr. Jacobs reflected. “Dr. Tipton was a true ‘servant leader,’ and I have aspired to follow in his footsteps. I wish to express my profound gratitude to AAOS for this honor.”

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About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level to best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal healthcare issues; and it leads the healthcare discussion on advancing quality. 
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Contact AAOS Media Relations 

Deanna Killackey 


Lauren Riley