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Dr. Derek Ward is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult reconstruction of the knee joint. He sees patients with all types of degenerative disease of the knee including osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis), post-traumatic arthritis and avascular necrosis. He is an expert in knee replacement in addition to specializing in revision surgery treating patients with complications from previous joint replacements.

Ward takes a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and management of knee pain, incorporating the latest advancements in perioperative pain management, surgical reconstruction, and recovery including robotic surgery, partial knee replacement and complex revision surgery.

Ward completed his undergraduate training at Williams College and then spent several years working in Washington D.C. in health care policy and in Africa working in global health. He completed his medical training at UCSF in 2010 where he spent an extra year studying health care policy. He remained at UCSF to complete his residency in orthopedic surgery in 2015 followed by a fellowship in adult reconstruction at the prestigious Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. He joined the UCSF faculty in 2016.

Ward has won multiple awards for patient care, teaching, and research including the James A. Rand Award from the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and the John Charnley Award from the Hip Society, as well as the Maxine Papadakis Award for Professionalism and Respect and the James Morris Award for Physician Compassion.

Ward is also affiliate faculty at the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. His research interests include health care policy and cost effectiveness, perioperative risk assessment and optimization, medical education, and revision hip and knee replacement. He is a fellow of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and the American Orthopedic Association, and reviews research for several major journals.

Ward serves in multiple leadership roles at UCSF including as the executive medical director for the UCSF-MarinHealth Orthopedic Department at MarinHealth Medical Center and as the orthopedic medical director for the UCSF Hip Fracture Initiative. He is dedicated to educating the next generation of physicians and is actively involved in all levels of medical education. In addition, he is co-director of an annual continuing medication education course at UCSF, Arthroplasty for the Modern Surgeon: Hip, Knee and Health Innovation Technology.

  • Education

    UCSF, 2010

  • Residencies

    UCSF, Orthopedic Surgery, 2015

  • Fellowships

    Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Adult Reconstruction, 2016

  • Board Certifications

    Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

  • Academic Title

    Associate Professor

Helping patients is an honor and a privilege. I approach my career as a mission to improve their quality of life.

Where I see patients (2)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    378 Ratings
    About our process
    Nov 23, 2023
    Recommend Dr Ward often.
    Nov 18, 2023
    I will definitely recommend Dr. Derek Ward to my friends and family.
    Nov 18, 2023
    I'm so impressed with how well all my questions and concerns were answered and in language that I can understand.
    Nov 18, 2023
    He was great!
    Nov 04, 2023
    Dr Ward is an excellent provider. He suggested if I ever have issues to my other joints that were performed by other surgeon other hospitals he can look into it as well not just the left knee that he replaced. I like that.
    Oct 29, 2023
    Dr. Ward and his assistants did everything wonderfully. There's not a single criticism I could make.
    Oct 23, 2023
    Dr. Ward went the extra mile to inform me of my options. I have total confidence in him.
    Oct 19, 2023
    Dr. Ward made me feel so good about my wanting to do a bilateral knee surgery. He listened and helped me make the decision. I made the right decision for me and he helped make it happen.
    Oct 14, 2023
    Very friendly
    Oct 14, 2023
    Very empathetic clearly detailed options made sure that I understood and responded thoughtfully to all questions and concerns.
    Oct 14, 2023
    Dr Ward explained the process of hip replacement surgery as well as alternatives to my pain.
    Sep 09, 2023
    This was my first time meeting Dr. Ward and his assistant. I was very impressed with his knowledge of post-polio and his compassionate directness and care.
    Sep 09, 2023
    Very pleased with Dr Ward and his team
    Sep 07, 2023
    Very impressed with his knowledge of orthopedic problems. His skill as a surgeon was Impressive. Our whole experience from being diagnosed to the surgery was a great experience. We were so happy that we were referred to Dr Ward and the UCSF system.
    Sep 04, 2023
    Love Dr. Ward!
    Aug 12, 2023
    Aug 08, 2023
    Doctor Ward was great in advising me on the different ways for treatment for my knee.
    Aug 05, 2023
    Dr Ward is very good.
    Jul 29, 2023
    Dr. Ward was so gentle and kind to me. He was encouraging and gave me time.Such an excellent surgeon!
    Jul 22, 2023
    Dr Ward does a great job -skillful empathetic patient good communicator.
    Jul 17, 2023
    Jun 19, 2023
    Dr. Ward and his extended team have been fantastic in dealing with my health issue. Just an overall great experience so far
    Jun 12, 2023
    Care provider was beyond expectation
    Jun 10, 2023
    Excellent encounter feel so lucky to have access to such high quality care. Dr. Ward was warm professional and thorough. Couldn't be happier with my visit at UCSF ortho.
    Jun 10, 2023
    I found the care of the Care Provider and his Assistants to be excellent.
    May 27, 2023
    Excellent doctor.
    May 17, 2023
    I DO refer Dr. Ward to everyone I run into with knee or hip issues. As a matter of fact I just recently referred you to my son the wildcard fire fighter because he has just been diagnosed with severe arthritis in HIS right hip
    May 06, 2023
    Overall it was a wonderful and satisfying experience
    May 06, 2023
    Very good
    May 06, 2023
    I have another knee and it will probably need replacing in a couple of years. I plan to return to Dr. Ward' practice for that if possible.
    May 02, 2023
    Dr. Ward is very attentive knowledgable and empathic. He listens carefully to my concerns answers questions fully and always seems genuinely concerned about my well being. I would highly recommend him to anyone seeking the necessary surgery he provides.
    May 01, 2023
    There was a lot of down time betreen initial interview and Doctor's entry!!
    Apr 30, 2023
    If you are going go double and triple book anyone they will not give the best care and will burn out.
    Apr 08, 2023
    Apr 01, 2023
    Mar 26, 2023
    I feel so blessed to have Dr. Derek Ward as my Orthopedic Physician. Gratitude comes off the tip of my tongue when I think of Dr. Ward and his staff.
    Mar 20, 2023
    So far I've had only good things to say everyone has been very nice telling me what was wrong and what it need to fix it.
    Mar 20, 2023
    Dr. Ward was excellent in every way. He was the first of three surgeons and nurses to accurately access my medical condition causes and remedies. He was extremely knowledgeable warm and accessible. I felt like I was in excellent hands.
    Mar 18, 2023
    Best ever!!
    Feb 18, 2023
    Despite having to wait longer than usual to be seen my doctor gave me his full attention and as much time as needed to discuss my concerns and options. My previous experience with Dr. Ward is that he is a warm compassionate person and skilled surgeon and this visit was consistent with that.
    Feb 14, 2023
    I have recommended Dr Ward numerous times. He's an absolute gem of a doctor and a person. My tkr's were actually a lovely experience and I can't say enough about the perfect results.
    Feb 12, 2023
    Feb 04, 2023
    Excellent experience.
    Feb 04, 2023
    Dr. Ward is a top notch physician. Competent caring and efficient. The best!
    Jan 23, 2023
    Dr. Ward is the most caring friendly understanding and brilliant surgeon.
    Jan 21, 2023
    Dr Ward staff is to be commended on it effort to provide patient care. The UCSF hospital care was very poor.
    Dec 17, 2022
    Dr. Ward is an exceptional physician. He is clearly very knowledgeable and is also very personable and a great communicator. I always leave feeling heard and clearly understanding the path forward in my knee recovery.
    Dec 17, 2022
    Dr Ward was very personal knowledgeable
    Nov 26, 2022
    Dr. Ward was so professional & caring. He listened to my concerns & answered all of my questions. He made me feel valued & respected as a human being!! What an awesome Doctor!
    Oct 30, 2022
    Dr Ward always makes me feel good and I appreciate his patience and professional approach.
    Oct 30, 2022
    Dr. Ward has good patient management skills. He chose in this appointment not to address anxiety about surgery but did provide good information about risks and benefits. It may be helpful for him to ask prospective patients if they have any anxiety about surgical interventions.
    Oct 22, 2022
    Sep 26, 2022
    Very good experience
    Sep 24, 2022
    Dr Ward is exceptionally professional well informed and kind.
    Sep 10, 2022
    Thorough and thoughtful review and good presentation of options and possible outcomes. I was involved and had information to help in decisions. Follow-up encouraged. Very pleased with my visit. Also all staff introduced and set forth his/her function.
    Sep 10, 2022
    Absolute professional on every level
    Sep 10, 2022
    Dr Ward and his team are very thoughtful and pleasant.
    Sep 10, 2022
    Dr Ward and his staff are outstanding. We have and will continue to refer others to him.
    Sep 09, 2022
    I felt very comfortable with both the PA and the doctor and both explained things well.
    Sep 02, 2022
    Appreciated his time expertise and explanations of my problem. He was friendly courteous and feel very fortunate to have been referred to him.
    Aug 31, 2022
    Dr. Ward is an excellent Care Provider! He's extremely thorough in his explanations about the successful surgery with my right hip and seemed very happy I was doing so well. My continued care was clearly communicated and results of the surgery and healing of my hip were shown to me through x-rays taken earlier that day. He and his assistant were professional kind and willing to listen to my comments. I feel very comfortable talking with him.
    Aug 30, 2022
    Very good
    Aug 26, 2022
    He was great!
    Aug 20, 2022
    Dr ward said exactly the right things. He said it's a privilege to help me walk better. I'm not sure about that but he certainly has amazing skill at remodeling my knees. ( he is now doing my 2nd knee.). I'm so grateful to him.
    May 21, 2022
    Dr. Ward is a wonderful person and doctor! I've told all my friends that I've done the homework if you need a hip replacement call me! I'll be sending them straight to Dr. Ward
    May 06, 2022
    Dr Ward was the best Dr I have seen in my past12 yearsmade me feel better by just being a Dr that does a wonderful job with the entire process and I will be able to now implement his plan for me.
    Apr 30, 2022
    I could not be more pleased w Dr Ward and his team
    Apr 02, 2022
    Experience with Dr.Ward was great! He listened to all of our concerns and addresses all of our questions.
    Apr 02, 2022
    Very nice and explained things in a way I could understand
    Feb 26, 2022
    Dr. Ward is competent attentive and kind. I feel lucky to have found in him not just an excellent surgeon but also a doctor who makes me feel respected and included in deciding what is best for me. He is great!
    Feb 19, 2022
    Feb 13, 2022
    Very happy with every thing that Dr. Ward talk to me .
    Feb 08, 2022
    Dr. Ward is an excellent surgeon. He is also an attentive listener & very patient. He gave detailed professional explanations of the outcome of my hip revision surgery thru xray & observation & let me know when I shld return for checkup.