Thomas Parker Vail


Chair of Orthopedic Surgery
Leader in innovative hip and knee care

About me

Dr. Thomas Parker Vail, chair of orthopedic surgery at UCSF, is a specialist in total joint replacement and preservation of the hip and knee, as well as surgical treatment of arthritis and osteonecrosis (a bone disease in which tissue dies from lack of blood supply). He oversees the department’s activities in patient care, research and education.

In his research, Vail investigates innovative bone implant techniques. He also studies clinical outcomes of devices used in reconstruction and repair of cartilage in adult patients.

After graduating from Duke University with a degree in mechanical engineering and materials science, Vail earned his medical degree at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Duke University Medical Center, then went on to complete a fellowship in adult reconstructive surgery.

Vail is slated to become president of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.

  • Education

    Loyola University School of Medicine, 1985

  • Residencies

    Duke University, Orthopaedic Surgery, 1991

  • Fellowships

    Duke University, Reconstructive/Cosmetic Surgery, 1992

  • Board Certifications

    Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Academic Title


  • Languages


New developments in joint replacement have a huge impact on human life and health, and this inspires me.

Arthritis and Joint Replacement Center

1500 Owens St., Suite 430
San Francisco, CA 94158