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Dr. Derek Ward is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in caring for adults who need hip or knee reconstruction for arthritis. He treats all types of degenerative hip and knee diseases, as well as complications from past joint replacement.

He takes a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and managing hip and knee pain, incorporating the latest advances in pain management during every stage of surgery and recovery. His expertise encompasses the direct anterior approach (a minimally invasive hip replacement technique), outpatient surgery for hip and knee replacement, partial knee replacement, complex revision surgery (surgery to restore joint function when an implant has failed or developed complications) and robotic surgery.

He is affiliate faculty at UCSF’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. His research interests include health care policy and cost effectiveness, peri-operative risk assessment and optimization, medical education, and revision hip and knee replacement.

After completing his bachelor's degree, he spent several years working in health care policy in Washington, DC, and a year volunteering in Africa. He then earned his medical degree at UCSF, where he devoted an extra year to health care policy research. He remained at UCSF to complete a residency in orthopedic surgery. He completed a fellowship in adult reconstruction at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and then returned to UCSF as faculty.

He serves in multiple leadership roles at UCSF, including as the executive medical director for MarinHealth Orthopedic Care and the orthopedic medical director for the Hip Fracture Protocol. He is dedicated to educating the next generation of physicians and is actively involved in all levels of medical education. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, California Orthopaedic Association and Western Orthopaedic Association.

  • 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
    357 Ratings
    About our process
    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.
    Jan 25, 2022
    First time visit everyone made me feel at ease.
    Dec 18, 2021
    I had hoped for an opportunity to discuss the condition at the visit
    Nov 20, 2021
    Dr. Ward is the best doctor I have ever had. His approach attitude spirit should be an inspiration to all doctors. It shows in the team and how they answer / react to patients.
    Nov 05, 2021
    My visit was predominantly with dr Ward's assistant prior to his entry
    Oct 26, 2021
    I've had a TKR by Dr Ward and could not be more impressed and happy with the care and treatment I've received. The whole experience has been wonderful and I look forward to the next TKR. Dr Ward and the nurses are wonderful as are all the nurses I saw at MarinHealth.
    Oct 25, 2021
    I've had some bad experiences with medical care so I'm quite anxious now about trusting care providers. However I have to say that my visit with Dr. Ward renewed my faith that excellent medical care can still be found.
    Oct 23, 2021
    Excellent experiences with the care team!
    Sep 25, 2021
    Dr. Ward was excellent he listened to all my questions and responded clearly and with great insight. I really appreciate his level of care and communication.
    Jul 04, 2021
    I had many questions and Dr. Ward answered them all.
    Jun 18, 2021
    Dr. Ward is a miracle worker the most amazing surgeon. He has enabled me to walk again when I never thought I would after being in a wheelchair for over two years due to a knee surgery that did not work in another hospital. My knee was a mess Dr. Ward fixed me. He is the most compassionate caring and kind doctor. My new knee is like the knee I was born with unbelievable.
    Jun 05, 2021
    Doctor and his assistant were both excellent
    May 10, 2021
    Dr. Ward is a uniquely good listener and very attentive communicator. I have seen a number of medical care practitioners for potential treatment of my problem (knee) and he is the first orthopedic surgeon to demonstrate genuine care and a lack of ego about my options.