Paul M. Denoncourt, MD, FAAOS


Paul M. Denoncourt, MD, FAAOS
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Maine Coast Memorial Hospital
Ellsworth, ME  (1986-2014)
Fairview Range Regional Hospital
Hibbing, MN  (2015-2019)

As an Emeritus Member, which AAOS resources do you use the most and why?
Although I no longer practice, I will always be a student of orthopaedics. I remain intellectually curious about the latest diagnostic and therapeutic advances, and the state of orthopaedics. I therefore rely on the free on-line access to JAAOS which my Emeritus status gives me. While the research articles on clinical trials are enlightening, the review articles keep me up to date on current practices. Lately, I have begun to explore the podcasts and videos as well.

If you were mentoring a new Member, what important advice would you give them as they progress in their career?
My advice is that they always remember this. Yes, their career is important, but their family should be the most important part of their life. Have supper at home most evenings, make time for your kid’s sporting events, take family vacations, etc. Do this even if it means earning less income. You will still make enough to live comfortably.

What non-financial aspect of retirement living surprised you the most?
At the time of my retirement, I thought the only thing I had to offer the world was my ability to fix fractures and replace joints. I expected to fade into society’s background as my wife and I moved to another state where we knew almost nobody. Instead, I have been sought out by people I did not know to become involved in various nonmedical, nonprofit organizations. I sit on two Boards of Directors or Trustees. In addition, I am a volunteer COVID-19 vaccinator. I found I had more to contribute to society than I thought!

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
I have always been an outdoorsman. For 25 years, while practicing in Maine, I was also a Registered Maine Guide – the first ever orthopaedist/wilderness guide in Maine’s history. I guided backpacking and whitewater canoe camping trips.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?
I just completed hiking the entire Appalachian Trail between Georgia and Maine. The success rate for hikers over age 60 is only 3%, but I hiked all 2200 miles over 182 days without a significant injury. It was the hardest physical challenge of my lifetime.