Joan B. Krajca-Radcliffe, MD, FAAOS

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Joan B. Krajca-Radcliffe, MD, FAAOS
Independent Medical-Legal Consultant

After Residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, I completed specialty training in orthopaedic sports medicine with a Fellowship in sports medicine and reconstructive surgery at the Foundation for Orthopaedic, Athletic and Reconstructive Research and Rice University in Houston, Texas.

I then started in private practice in Texas City, Texas and was a clinical assistant professor at UTMB in Galveston. I was then recruited to Morris, Minnesota to establish an orthopaedic department at Stevens Community Medical Center. After returning to Texas several years later, I became an independent medical-legal consultant working with private law firms and the Texas Division of Workers' Compensation. I am based in Tiki Island, Texas.

Why did you join AAOS?

To stay connected with my colleagues and share information and ideas through Academy Annual Meetings, Committee Meetings, and ongoing education. As a practicing community orthopaedic surgeon, AAOS has been a way to continue academic learning and interactions to stay up-to-date and acquire updated knowledge of technology, research, and surgical techniques.

How do you define success?

Do what you are interested in and what is right for you. Don't be afraid to take chances and try something new that interests you. As a community-based orthopaedic surgeon in rural Minnesota, I applied to volunteer for a committee position with the Academy, and was accepted, giving me the chance to go to Chicago and participate and interact with academic colleagues in the workings of the Academy. It was an opportunity I had not anticipated pursuing that added a new dimension to my career, and I am grateful to Dr. James D. Capozzi and members of that committee (and a subsequent one I served on) for the opportunity to do so.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My Residency Director and renowned orthopaedic surgeon and educator, the late Carl L. Nelson, MD, was my greatest inspiration and mentor in my development as an orthopaedic surgeon. He believed in me and my fellow residents, offering constant support along with educational and surgical instruction and guidance.

In addition, as mentioned above, James D. Capozzi, MD, the Chair of the Ethics Committee when I served as a Member, was an inspiration and mentor who was invaluable in guiding me toward a more complete understanding of the academic and organizational context of the Academy.

How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?

AAOS has been there throughout the progression of my career to assist with the multitude of changes that occur over time, from practice information to meetings, educational resources, and technological advances. AAOS keeps up with new information and developments and makes this information readily available to the fellows to help keep them up to date and informed.

What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?

Avail yourself of all that is available from AAOS. Your needs and interests will change over time, but there is a lot of information and resources available to you as a Member. Consider serving as a volunteer on committees to get an in-depth view of the Academy's various functions and meet some Members, as it is a valuable way to network.

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

I was one of the original members of the Cornell Women's Ice Hockey Team that began varsity play in 1972. At that time, there were only three women's varsity ice hockey teams in the United States (Brown, Colby, and Cornell), so we also traveled to play teams in Canada. It is amazing to see the growth and current scope of women's ice hockey throughout the world!  

While in graduate school after college, I became the volunteer coach of the Houston Icers, a women's ice hockey team, and played in the Space City Men's Ice Hockey League in Houston. During residency, I continued playing pick-up ice hockey with the men's Arkansas Razorblades team (whenever possible!) During and after my playing days, I became the first certified woman referee in the Southwestern region of the American Hockey Association of the United States (AHAUS). Incidentally, I both played and refereed with and against my husband!