Michael A. Simon, MD, FAOA
Honored as the first AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession

Michael A. Simon, MD, FAOA

The honor of being recognized by his peers as the first AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession goes to Michael A. Simon, MD, FAOA. Dr. Simon has contributed many years of education, training, and mentoring orthopaedic surgery residents and fellows and supporting GME Program Directors both at the University of Chicago and through the efforts of the AOA’s Council of Orthopaedic Residency Directors (CORD). The champions for this effort on his behalf are Rex C. Haydon, MD, PhD, FAOA and Terrance D. Peabody, MD, FAOA. All contributors were graduates of Dr. Simon’s Musculoskeletal Oncology Fellowship.


Dr. Simon received his medical education at the University of Michigan College of Medicine, served in the U.S. Air Force and returned to Michigan to begin an Orthopaedic Surgery residency. He began his work at the University of Chicago in 1975 and served as Chief of the Section of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine from 1987 until 2006. Dr. Simon was the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education/DIO at the University of Chicago from 2003-2018.

He has held numerous leadership roles in professional societies, including President of the Illinois Orthopaedic Association, the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, and the Academic Orthopaedic Society (AOC). He was instrumental in the merger of the AOA and the AOC. He has been the Chair of the ABOS, Orthopaedic Surgery RRC of the ACGME, and the JBJS, and treasurer of OMeGA Medical Grants Association. He has received many honors and awards—including the AOA’s Distinguished Clinician Educator Award in 2005.

Dr. Simon has had a strong relationship with the AOA throughout his career. He is a 1983 alumni of the American British Canadian Traveling Fellowship and served as AOA President in 2001-2002. As a past president of AOA, he did much to help his successors create the AOA’s Council of Orthopaedic Residency Directors (CORD). With a generous donation from Dr. Mike and Barbara Simon, the first Michael A. Simon CORD Lecture was presented at the 2018 Summer CORD Conference in Boston. This lecture will carry Dr. Simon’s name for a total of ten years.

The AOA congratulates Dr. Simon on being recognized as the first AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession and extends sincere gratitude for his constant support of the AOA programs and leadership initiatives.


“Dr. Rex Haydon, several former fellows, and I worked together to donate the funds to honor Dr. Michael Simon as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession. For those of us who donated and many others, we owe our career success in academic orthopaedic surgery to Dr. Simon. He encouraged us, by being the model clinician-educator, to take the time and invest the energy in educating the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons and leaders. He has inspired an enviable legacy of Department Chairs, Program Directors, Center Directors and Faculty members.”

– Terrance D. Peabody, MD, FAOA
Dr. Simon’s Champion


“Coming from an institution known to be the “teacher of teachers,” Dr. Michael Simon is the person who best embodies this concept within our field and is central to what makes him an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession. He is the person who has inspired me the most throughout my own career and has been my mentor, as well as the mentor of many others, at all levels of training – medical students, residents, fellows and faculty members. Dr. Simon has trained and inspired many individuals to do great things for the orthopaedic community. His joy for patient care and teaching, and his style of leadership is a lesson that we can all learn from as we face the challenges of the future.”

– Rex C. Haydon, MD, PhD, FAOA
Dr. Simon’s Champion

For a list of those who contributed to this Pillar honor, please click here.

If you are interested in becoming a Champion for an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession, you can find more information here.

Entire listing of AOA Pillars of the Orthopaedic Profession can be found here.