James C. Strazzeri, MD, FAAOS

MoM_Emeritus_James C. Strazzeri.png

James C. Strazzeri, MD, FAAOS
I have practiced in Southern California for my whole career. I opened my own office right after finishing my residency at UC Irvine. While I practiced as a general orthopaedist, I continued to work with the residents at UC Irvine via the Long Beach VA Hospital for over 32 years.

I also had several administrative roles at my hospital, Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills. I was Chief of Surgery, Chief of Orthopaedics, Medical Director of Outpatient Surgery Center, and Medical Director of Orthopaedic Trauma.

Why did you join AAOS?

Like most of my colleagues, I joined AAOS as soon as I could. I found the centralized continuing education and meetings to be very helpful, especially starting a practice on my own.

How do you define success?

Success comes in many forms. I was fortunate to be able to continue to have a solo practice in southern California throughout my career. I learned valuable lessons from clinical practice, academic teaching, and administrative work that help me to be unique amongst my community hospital colleagues. 

I also was able to make time for my family. I have four athletic sons and I was able to spend time coaching each of them and their teammates in several sports.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

I received inspiration from several sources. My father was a solo practitioner in general medical practice. I was able to spend time in his office observing how he took such personalized care of his patients.

I also learned from several excellent Orthopaedic Surgeons in my UC Irvine Residency Program. I was fortunate to be in a program of surgeons who were not solely academic Orthopaedists, but most had separate private practices. These mentors were very open in helping me work out what I would have to do to open my own office.

How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?

My career has been helped by AAOS by providing a centralized resource of education. Their publications, Annual Meetings, and resources provided me with what I needed to help me to pass my boards and then re-certify three times. I also found that their Annual Meetings gave great access to innovations and technology information that I would never have had otherwise.

What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?

My advice to new Members is use all the resources available to you. Use the AAOS to find the educational paths that help you. Use the AAOS to explore aspects of orthopaedics that you have not been exposed to. Use the AAOS to network with new and old colleagues. Be open to the wisdom of those that have gone before us and to the enthusiasm of those new to our field.

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

In 2010 I began geocaching, an outdoor recreational activity in which participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

I found that this activity had many attributes that excited me.  I enjoy both hunting for geocaches and also hiding them. I look forward to going places I would not otherwise explore. I spend time solving puzzles to locate many of these geocaches. In this way, I get some exercise to both my body and mind, as well as an opportunity to step away from healthcare.