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R. Richard Coughlin, M.D., M.P.H.

Orthopedic surgeon

Dr. R. Richard Coughlin is a specialist in foot and ankle reconstruction, orthopedic trauma, and global orthopedics and volunteerism.

Coughlin received his medical degree from University De Caribe in Cayey, Puerto Rico. He completed a general surgery residency at St. Clare's Hospital and an orthopedic residency at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York. He also completed two fellowships, one in sports medicine and one in foot and ankle surgery. He is a member of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. He is a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at UCSF.

Coughlin practiced with California Pacific Orthopaedics for six years. At the same time he maintained a clinical appointment at UCSF, treating patients at UCSF's Foot and Ankle Clinic. He joined UCSF full-time in 1993.

Coughlin has a passion for global orthopedics, and has made more than 30 trips to developing countries to lecture and perform surgery. He is chairman emeritus of Orthopedics Overseas. He is proud to have implemented an overseas rotation for his senior residents at Bedford Orthopaedic Hospital in South Africa. He has written several articles advocating volunteerism in orthopedics.

In 2006, Coughlin was awarded the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' "Humanitarian of the Year" award, which is given to one surgeon worldwide each year, for care of disadvantaged populations both at home and abroad. Also in 2006, Coughlin founded the Institute for Global Orthopedics and Traumatology, an initiative developed within UCSF's Department of Orthopedics.


Foot and Ankle Service
1500 Owens St.
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353–2808

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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University De Caribe, Puerto Rico 1981


St. Clare's Hospital, General Surgery
St. Vincent's Hospital, Orthopedics 1986

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Spiegel DA, Gosselin RA, Coughlin RR, Kushner AL, Bickler SB. Topics in global public health. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Oct; 466(10):2377-84.
  2. Coughlin RR, Kelly NA, Berry W. Nongovernmental organizations in musculoskeletal care: Orthopaedics Overseas. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Oct; 466(10):2438-42.
  3. Spiegel DA, Gosselin RA, Coughlin RR, Joshipura M, Browner BD, Dormans JP. The burden of musculoskeletal injury in low and middle-income countries: challenges and opportunities. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008 Apr; 90(4):915-23.
  4. Roy N, Shah H, Patel V, Coughlin RR. The Gujarat earthquake (2001) experience in a seismically unprepared area: community hospital medical response. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2002 Oct-Dec; 17(4):186-95.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.