2024 AOA Award Winners

Each year, AOA members select two renowned peers for special recognition. Congratulations to our 2024 winners!

Louis U. Bigliani, MD, FAOA

2024 Winner of the Distinguished Contributions to Orthopaedics Award

Paul Tornetta, III, MD, PhD, FAOA

2024 Winner of the Distinguished Clinician Educator Award

About the 2024 Award Winners

Dr. Louis U. Bigliani was the Frank E. Stinchfield Professor and Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University and the Director of the Orthopedic Surgery Service, New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia campus, and Chief of the Shoulder and Elbow Service. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in shoulder surgery.

Dr. Bigliani was President of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons in 1998 and was founding Secretary, then Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2002-2005. In 2008 he became the 121st President of the American Orthopedic Association. From 2010 to 2016, he was Chairman of the International Board of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.

In 1972 Dr. Louis Bigliani graduated from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and received the Outstanding Student Award, in 2002 the Stritch AOA Alumnus of the Year, and in 2022 the Stritch Alumnus of the Year Award for Excellence in Education.

Dr. Bigliani completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at The New York Orthopedic Hospital Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center followed by a Fellowship in Shoulder Surgery with Charles Neer II and a Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Fellowship with Frank Stinchfield.

During his Chairmanship, 1998 to 2014, Dr. Bigliani served as President of the Medical Board of New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2008. From 2011 to 2014 he served as President and Chairman of the Board of Columbia Doctors, the Faculty Practice Plan of Columbia University Medical Center. He received the Physician of the Year Award from New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2011.

As Chief of the Shoulder and Elbow Service from 1990 to 2013, Dr. Bigliani trained over 50 fellows and 30 international fellows. Through peer-reviewed publications, he contributed to advances in the treatment of shoulder instability, subacromial impingement, rotator cuff tear, nerve injuries, and reconstructive arthroplasty.

Dr. Bigliani’s family includes his wife, Dr. Anne Krementz, two daughters and sons-in-law, Anne-Louise and Tom Nieto, Suzi and J Hlavacek, and three grandsons, TJ, Andrew, and Ward.

Paul Tornetta III, MD is an orthopaedic trauma surgeon whose career has focused on improving patient
care and orthopaedic education. He describes himself as a “blue-collar surgeon” who takes pride in
promoting a shared decision-making model with his patients, the process of lifelong learning, and a
reputation for fairness and transparency. Dr. Tornetta has been named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor
annually since 1999 and Boston Magazine Top Doc since 2006.

He has published over 300 papers, edited over 25 textbooks and book series, and taught or chaired
over 350 courses. He has an interest in large scale studies, leads a multicenter research consortium,
and was a steering committee member of trials that have won the OREF Clinical Research award and
the Kappa Delta Award twice. He is a Past President of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA)
and served on the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) executive committee for over 10 years.
Dr. Tornetta is the recipient of the Bovill Award on four occasions, the Leach teaching award four times,
and was an AOA ABC traveling fellow.

Dr. Tornetta was the Program chair for both the AOA and the OTA as well as serving as the Chair of
the publications and critical issues committees for the AOA. He has chaired the AAOS Evaluations
Committee, ICL Committee, Annual Meeting Committee, and most recently the Education Council. He
is most proud of the strong collaboration between the AAOS, ABOS, AOA/CORD, and the AAOS
Resident Assembly that has led to the new Resident Orthopaedic Core Knowledge (ROCK) curriculum
that he created and co-edits with Dr. Carol Morris, that is now fully released. This living program
represents a major commitment of multiple groups to support resident education. He is currently the
President of the AAOS.

Dr. Tornetta received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics from Franklin and Marshall
College in Lancaster, Pa. He earned his medical degree from SUNY-Health Science Center at Brooklyn
(NY), where he also completed his internship and residency in Orthopaedic Surgery, followed by a
fellowship in Acetabular/Pelvic Fractures at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan in Los Angeles under
Joel Matta, MD. He earned his PhD at the University of Groningen, Netherlands.

Dr. Tornetta is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Boston
University School of Medicine and the Director of Orthopaedic Trauma at Boston Medical Center.

View the AOA Award Winners Hall of Fame. Learn more about the Awards criteria, including how to submit a nomination.