Gordon Zuerndorfer, MD, FAAOS

Why did you join AAOS?

I joined AAOS as a means of guidance and continued education in the field and for career advancement. I continue to view AAOS as the leading world resource of all related topics and as an advocate for Members.

How do you define success?

Success for me meant achieving as much as possible in knowledge and abilities in orthopaedics, geared towards helping as many as possible through its use. Certainly, success included being able to provide as best possible for my wonderful family in all regards as a son, husband, and father.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My biggest inspiration was my father, son of a doctor, who grew up in Germany. He went on to lose everything, as a German Jew with family of multiple generations uprooted, losing many family members along the way. After a monumental struggle, he and his mother arrived at Ellis Island, then NYC penniless. He fought for the US in the Normandy invasion, attended CCNY, raised his own family, and became a leading engineer for Raytheon.

What do you love most about AAOS?

What I most enjoy about AAOS is the offerings of many educational events including the annual meeting, offering great ways to learn while interacting with other orthopaedic surgeons and traveling.

What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?

My advice to new AAOS members would be to follow your own dreams, as there are many avenues to pursue within the realm of orthopaedic surgery, not just one. Just be sure to keep trying to provide for others and treat them as you would choose to be treated yourself. I don't think you can go wrong with this approach.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?

One silly interesting fact about myself is that while in Medical School in 1981 I played in a pick-up ice hockey game (had no money, therefore used folded cardboard for padding), fell and fractured my left patella. I recovered well with time, was able to enjoy many physical activities thru life, including running 7 marathons. Then, at about a year into retirement, while trying to relive my youth, I played ice hockey, fell, and fractured my same left patella. After many years of telling the original story of the patella fracture as a possible contributing factor as to why I entered orthopaedic surgery, I now say it was also a contributing factor to retirement. Closing the bookends, so to speak.