Terry R. Light, MD, FAOA
Honored as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession 

Terry R. Light, MD, FAOA

Terry R. Light, MD, FAOA has been recognized by his peers as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession. He has mentored orthopaedic surgery faculty and trainees over the last 43 years. The champions for this effort on his behalf are Alexander J. Ghanayem, MD, FAOA and Peter J. Stern, MD, FAOA.


Dr. Light, a graduate of Yale University, received his medical education at the Chicago Medical School, completed his residency and internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and fellowship in hand surgery at Connecticut Combined Hand Surgery Program. He served as faculty at Yale School of Medicine before joining the faculty of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in 1980 as a generalist and hand surgeon. His current practice is focused on pediatric hand care.

He served as Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Loyola for 25 years and is now Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has served on the staff of the Chicago Shriners Hospital for 40 years. A past president of The American Orthopaedic Association, Dr. Light has held leadership roles as president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the Academic Orthopaedic Society, the Illinois Orthopaedic Society, and the Chicago Hand Society. He served as an ACGME orthopaedic Site Visitor and as a member of the Orthopaedic RRC. He is currently chair of the Board of the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand and a trustee of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

As president of the Academic Orthopaedic Association, he and AOA president Dr. Mike Simon championed the merger of the Academic Orthopaedic Society into the American Orthopaedic Association and the establishment of the Council of Orthopaedic Residency Directors (CORD).

He has received many honors—including The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons’ Nicolas Andry Award in 1982 and The Stritch Medal of Loyola University in 2011. Dr. Light has provided volunteer orthopaedic care in Haiti, China, Nigeria, Lithuania, Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam. His medical service trips resulted in his being awarded The Cross of the Knight Medal of Merit “For Services to Lithuania” in 2005 and the Ho Chi Minh City Medal for Service to People of Ho Chi Minh City in 2017.

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


“Dr. Light’s influence on all aspects of health care has been exemplary and has impacted so many lives. He is a master clinician and surgeon caring for some our most vulnerable patients and families—children with congenital hand disorders. Yet his commitment to education spans from the most highly trained specialist to the budding premedical student—all get his full energy and most important, his enthusiasm to provide learners with the best experience.  He has led a great Department, an academic institution, a physician group and our professional societies with the utmost sense of duty and commitment.  We should all strive to make our profession better as he has done throughout his career.”

– Alexander J. Ghanayem, MD, FAOA
Dr. Light’s Champion


“Dr. Light is a rare bird who has made countless contributions to our specialty and has a true passion for hand surgery. He chaired the Loyola residency for 20+ years, and he was absolutely pivotal in his leadership contributions to the AOA, ASSH and even served as Dean of Loyola Medical Center. He is also a renaissance man with in-depth knowledge about Frank Lloyd Wright, Rookwood pottery, MG-B restoration, and old movies. I’ve been privileged to work, learn, and travel with Terry for nearly four decades.”

– Peter J. Stern, MD, FAOA
Dr. Light’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.