Duane R. Anderson, MD, FAAOS


Published 4/26/2024

Duane R. Anderson, MD, Receives Humanitarian Award

AAOS presented its 2024 Humanitarian Award to Duane R. Anderson, MD, FAAOS, for his commitment to improving healthcare access for the underserved population in Ethiopia, as well as his dedication to training future orthopaedic surgeons.

The Humanitarian Award honors members of AAOS who have distinguished themselves through outstanding musculoskeletal-related humanitarian activities in the United States or abroad. Dr. Anderson was recognized for his ongoing efforts to shape the healthcare landscape in Ethiopia.

“I can’t think of anyone who is more selfless, more giving, courageous, creative, and someone who is helping to train the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons in Ethiopia than Dr. Duane Anderson,” said Michael P. Leathers, MD, FAAOS, orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician from Sacramento, California.

Dr. Anderson’s humanitarian spirit spans the globe. In 2005, he departed from a successful orthopaedic practice in Idaho to relocate to Soddo, Ethiopia. There, he serves as chief of orthopaedic surgery at Soddo Christian Hospital, a setting where the demand for orthopaedic care is great.

“He treats people who have been involved in orthopaedic traumas who would normally be taken to a level 1 trauma center in the U.S., and he does so with compassion and without a fraction of the equipment, tools, and resources,” Dr. Leathers shared about Dr. Anderson.

Since its establishment in January 2005, Soddo Christian Hospital has impacted the lives of more than 331,000 patients and conducted more than 68,000 surgeries. It holds a central role in Ethiopia’s healthcare, serving as a training hub for medical professionals across Africa, and is one of 16 surgical resident training sites for the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS).

The hospital offers comprehensive medical services, including specialized care in medical, surgical, maternity, and pediatric areas. Soddo Christian Hospital addresses the healthcare needs of a population of approximately 200,000 in a region marked by high population density and poverty.

In addition to playing a key role in transforming Soddo into a prominent orthopaedic referral center that serves all of Ethiopia, Dr. Anderson has trained many African orthopaedic surgeons. As a member of the PAACS orthopaedic residency program in Soddo, he is actively involved in expanding the OR facilities through a U.S. Agency for International Development grant.

“I am so grateful to receive the AAOS Humanitarian Award for 2024. I am humbled by this award. I believe God created us to want and need to be appreciated. God also created us for good deeds. It’s intrinsic to being a human and also a physician,” Dr. Anderson shared. On his time and work in Ethiopia, he said, “I have become a better surgeon just because of the sheer volume of cases that I did. I was privileged to train some brilliant Ethiopians in orthopaedic surgery. They will now carry on for me. I want to thank AAOS again for the award and God and my dear wife for helping me the last 18 years.”