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AAOS Now

Published 11/1/2018

AAOS Past-president Bernard Rineberg, MD, Remembered as a Caring, Thoughtful Leader

Bernard A. Rineberg, MD, who served as the 1993–1994 president of the Academy, passed away on Sept. 30, 2018, at the age of 83. He died at his home in Little Silver, N.J., surrounded by his family, who, in the published obituary, described him as “a loving and devoted husband to Nancy, and the proud and adoring father to Rachel; grandfather to Gregory, Carys, and Henry; and great-grandfather to Asher.”

Dr. Rineberg was born in New Brunswick, N.J. He earned both his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Duke University, and he completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Barnes Hospital at Washington University. In 1968, Dr. Rineberg returned to New Brunswick, where he lived and practiced orthopaedic surgery for nearly 40 years.

In addition to his term as Academy president and numerous other roles of service and leadership within AAOS, Dr. Rineberg was active in the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society, for which he also had a turn as president. In 1995, Dr. Rineberg was the recipient of the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Award for service to the people of New Jersey. In 2005, the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

As an AAOS president, a role traditionally assumed by surgeons from academic settings, Dr. Rineberg was proud to be grounded as a community practitioner. In an interview included in a collection of exchanges with former AAOS presidents conducted to mark the Academy’s 75th anniversary in 2008, Dr. Rineberg said his advice to young orthopaedic surgeons was: “Get involved! The more you see, the more you want to do, and the more you do, the more you can achieve. It doesn’t matter at what level you get involved, just do it. The more leaders we orthopaedists have, the more we will be stronger as a community, and we will then be able to honestly assess our products for the good of all patients and their advocates.”

For those aspiring to leadership positions, Dr. Rineberg said, “You hope you are a leader, but no one knows for sure until you lead. Leaders are not people who try to convince others that they are right; they are right because history will prove it so.”

Services were held in October. After his passing, the family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, N.Y. 10163. For online donations, visit MichaelJFox.org.