Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, FAAOS


Published 4/26/2024

AAOS Bestows Its Highest Honor to Joshua J. Jacobs, MD

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.

“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.”

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.

Dr. Jacobs has spent 15 years as the program director for Rush’s orthopaedic surgery residency program. 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 Rush University diversity efforts, helping to 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 principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award titled “Advancing Health toward Health Equity throughout Metropolitan Chicago.”

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). 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.”