Thomas Vail Elected to American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

February 03, 2010
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Dr. Thomas Parker Vail, an orthopedic surgeon at UCSF Medical Center and chair of the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been elected a director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS).

ABOS is one of 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties and a partner of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery. The board establishes educational standards for orthopedic residents; assesses the qualifications and knowledge of orthopedic surgeons through examinations and practice evaluations; and certifies surgeons that meet the board's standards.

Vail is one of the nation’s top orthopedic surgeons. His interests in patient care include conservative joint reconstruction options for younger patients, hip and knee joint replacement, hip resurfacing, less invasive approaches, management of bone loss and treatment of avascular necrosis. In his research, he focuses on hip and knee joint biomechanics, biomaterials, articular cartilage injury and repair and clinical outcomes after joint replacement.

Vail graduated from the Duke University School of Engineering cum laude with a degree in mechanical engineering and materials science in 1981. He then attended the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago, where he earned a medical degree in 1985. He completed an internship, residency and fellowships in orthopedic surgery at Duke and joined the faculty of Duke University Medical Center in 1992. In 2007, he joined UCSF as chair of orthopedic surgery.

Vail is a national leader in orthopedics, serving on several professional committees. He has been inducted into scholarly societies, including the Knee Society, Hip Society, Association of Arthritic Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, and Interurban Orthopaedic Society.