Dr. Derek Ward is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in reconstruction for hip and knee arthritis in adults. He cares for patients with all degenerative diseases of the hip and knee, including osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis), post-traumatic arthritis and avascular necrosis (bone tissue death from lack of blood supply). He is an expert in primary hip and knee replacement and in revision surgery, treating patients with complications from previous joint replacements. He takes a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and managing hip and knee pain, incorporating the latest advancements in perioperative pain management, surgical reconstruction and recovery. His surgical expertise includes the direct anterior (minimally invasive) approach to total hip replacement, robotic surgery, partial knee replacement and complex revision surgery.
After completing his undergraduate degree in history at Williams College, Ward spent several years working in health policy in Washington, D.C. and global health in Africa. He earned his medical degree at UCSF, where he spent an extra year studying health policy. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at UCSF, followed by a fellowship in adult reconstruction at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute.
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, John Charnley Award from the Hip Society, Maxine Papadakis Award for Faculty Professionalism and Respect from UCSF, and James Morris Award for Physician Compassion from UCSF.
Ward joined the UCSF faculty in 2016. He is also affiliate faculty at the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. His research interests include health 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, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Orthopaedic Association, and he reviews research for several major journals.
Ward serves in multiple leadership roles at UCSF, including as executive medical director of the orthopedic department at MarinHealth Medical Center and as orthopedic medical director of the UCSF Hip Fracture Protocol initiative. Dedicated to educating the next generation of doctors, he is actively involved in all levels of medical education, including as co-director of an annual continuing education course, Arthroplasty for the Modern Surgeon: Hip, Knee and Health Innovation Technology.