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Alexander R. Vaccaro, M.D., Ph.D., Elected President of Rothman Institute & Appointed Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University


August 11, 2014 – Alexander R. Vaccaro, M.D., Ph.D., has been elected the new President of Rothman Institute and appointed Chairman of Orthopaedics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. In this dual role, Dr. Vaccaro will oversee the clinical, educational, and research enterprises for both Rothman and Jefferson. A world-renowned spinal surgeon and educator, Dr. Vaccaro previously served as Vice Chair at Rothman Institute and Vice Chair of orthopaedics at Jefferson.

“Dr. Vaccaro’s demonstrated leadership as a clinician, medical educator, researcher, and administrator made him an ideal candidate for both positions,” said Mark Tykocinski, M.D., Dean of Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. “Over the past 25 years, he has changed the lives of thousands of Jefferson patients and trained generations of physicians. We look forward to his continued commitment to the patients of not only Philadelphia and the region, but those who seek care at Jefferson from all across the country and world.”

Dr. Vaccaro was selected from a pool of outstanding candidates after an exhaustive six-month-long, internal and external search.

“I have known Alex since the first day of his orthopaedic training and over the years have watched him develop into one of the finest spine surgeons in the world,” said Richard H. Rothman, M.D., Ph.D., Founder of Rothman Institute. “His dedication to his patients and to the training of medical school students, residents, and fellows is unparalleled. He is a preeminent researcher, who has added volumes to the academic literature of spinal care. I am sure that both Rothman Institute and Jefferson orthopaedics are in the best hands to transition into the future of modern healthcare.”

“I am honored to be selected from among my peers for these two leadership roles,” said Dr. Vaccaro. “I look forward to the privilege of leading both Rothman and Jefferson through this challenging period of health care reform. We are entering into a period of clinical transformation where we will continue to provide the best evidence-based medicine for all orthopaedic conditions. We will do this continuing the principals of quality, service, and cost effectiveness established by Dr. Rothman.”

Dr. Vaccaro has authored 560 peer reviewed articles, 300 book chapters, co-edited 47 textbooks, and received the Leon Wiltse Award for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care from the North American Spine Society, the largest international spine society in the world. He was recently ranked as one of the top-three cited authors in SPINE Journal, the leading peer-reviewed academic spine journal in the world from 1990 to 2009, and completed countless research studies presented at academic medical conferences across the globe. He is also president of the Association of Collaborative Spine Research, a society dedicated to evidence-based medicine research of the spine and was the 17th elected President of the American Spinal Injury Association, the largest North American society dedicated to injuries to the spine. One of his most notable achievements was his election as the first full-time orthopaedic surgeon to be elected co-chair of the Editorial Board of Journal of Neurosurgery Spine.

He is currently a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Philadelphia Orthopaedic Society, the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society, the Philadelphia College of Physicians, the Cervical Spine Research Society, the North American Spine Society, the American Orthopaedic Association, the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, the American College of Physicians and Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the Scoliosis Research Society, and the American Association of Neurologic Surgeons.                             

Dr. Vaccaro earned his Bachelor’s of Science, graduating summa cum laude, from Boston College in 1983. He continued his education at Georgetown University School of Medicine where he graduated with honors in 1987. He completed his residency in orthopaedics at Thomas Jefferson University in 1992 and did a fellowship in spinal surgery at the University of California-San Diego. He then returned to Jefferson where he has remained and is now the Everett J. and Marian Gordon Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Neurosurgery. In 2007, Dr. Vaccaro completed his Ph.D. in spinal trauma. He is currently a candidate for his Master’s of Business Administration at the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

He lives in Gladwyne with his wife Lauren and children Alex and Juliana.

About Rothman Institute

Rothman Institute is a private orthopaedic practice dedicated to providing communities with high-quality, compassionate, and affordable musculoskeletal care that is grounded in evidence-based medicine, the results of which will exceed expectations. Rothman Institute orthopaedists treat patients at 19 locations in the Philadelphia-region, including an orthopaedic urgent care clinic in Marlton, NJ. With experts in orthopaedic sub-specialties including spine, hip and knee, foot and ankle, shoulder and elbow, hand and wrist, sports medicine, physical medicine and  rehabilitation, orthopaedic oncology and trauma, the Rothman Institute is internationally recognized for excellence in clinical treatment  methods, research, education and technology.

Consistently recognized as national and regional “Top Docs,” the Rothman Institute is proud to be official team physicians for several professional, college and high school teams.

For more information about the Rothman Institute please call 1-800-321-9999 or visit

About Jefferson — Health is all we do.

Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (TJUH) are partners in providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educating the health professionals of tomorrow, and discovering new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care. Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,600 future physicians, scientists and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC); Jefferson Schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health; and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Jefferson University Physicians (JUP) is TJU’s multi-specialty physician practice consisting of SKMC full-time faculty. Established in 1825, TJUH is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia. Services are provided at five locations — Thomas Jefferson University Hospital  and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; Jefferson at the Navy Yard; and Jefferson at Voorhees in South Jersey.