William F. Enneking, MD, FAOA
Honored as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession

William F. Enneking, MD, FAOA is being recognized as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession for his leadership, mentoring, and lifelong contributions to orthopaedic surgery during his distinguished career. The champions for this effort on his behalf are Mark T. Scarborough, MD, FAOA and Michael A. Simon, MD, FAOA.


Dr. William F. Enneking was greatly influenced by Dr. Howard Hatcher during his orthopedic residency at the University of Chicago.   Dr. Hatcher, considered the grandfather of orthopedic oncology in the US, helped develop Dr. Enneking’ s keen interest and focus on the pathologic basis of disease in orthopedics.  

Early on Dr. Enneking was recognized as an upcoming leader in orthopedics. He took his first department chair position at the University of Mississippi at age 30.  After a few years in Mississippi, he was recruited to start an orthopedic program at the University of Florida’s new medical school in 1960.  His other leadership roles have included serving as President of AOA, ORS and ISOLS.   

Initially his surgical practice encompassed all facets of orthopedics from club feet, trauma, sports medicine, spine surgery, and hand surgery, to tumor surgery.  After spending time with Sir John Charnley in the UK, it is said that Dr. Enneking did some of the first hip replacement surgeries in Florida. Once a stellar cadre of orthopedic faculty was recruited to the University of Florida, Dr. Enneking was able to focus on musculoskeletal pathology and orthopedic oncology.  His research targeted toward allograft transplant science, twice won the Kappa Delta Award for orthopedic research. He was a prolific writer. His paper from 1980, “A system for the surgical staging of musculoskeletal sarcoma” remains today as the most referenced paper in the field of musculoskeletal oncology. This is just one example of how he helped build the cognitive framework of orthopedic oncology.  

Dr. Enneking was dedicated to the education of students at all levels. He took a very structured and Socratic approach to teaching, that was simultaneously pulse increasing and inspiring.  His musculoskeletal pathology seminar and course materials have stimulated numerous young orthopedic surgeons to pursue a career in orthopedic oncology. He was very involved in the development of orthopedic oncology fellowships in the US.  He helped formulate best practices and guidelines to ensure a great educational experience for tumor fellows. 

While he liked to work hard, he also played hard.  As the father of seven and the grandfather of 16 grandchildren, recreation often involved family in fishing and boating activities.   

Dr. Enneking was truly a leader, educator and innovator. His positive influence on students, physicians and patients is far reaching and ongoing. It is an honor to recognize him as a Pillar of the American Orthopedic Association. 

The AOA gratefully acknowledges Dr. Enneking’s lasting legacy and significant contributions to the orthopaedic community and proudly recognizes him as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession. 


“Dr. Enneking was an impactful leader, researcher, author, educator and innovator. His contributions including the staging system, the definition of surgical resection margins and the system for functional evaluation after resection of tumors, helped develop the cognitive framework for orthopedic oncology. As an innovative leader (Department Chair, President AOA, ORS, ISOLS and ABOS) he expected a lot and pushed the envelope to move our field forward. He was an accomplished researcher having twice won the Kappa Delta award. While his list of awards and honors is impressive, one of his greatest personal achievements was helping with integration as a school board member during the civil rights era. Dr. Enneking inspired generations of orthopedic surgeons that knew him and positively impacted all of us.”

Mark T. Scarborough, MD, FAOA
Dr. Enneking’s Co-Champion

“Although William Enneking, MD is best known as a pivotal founder of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, a master educator of over a hundred orthopaedic oncologists, and the creator of the original staging system for bone sarcomas, his passion, perseverance and impact on graduate medical education is even more exceptional. Dr. Enneking was Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Committee twice. He was the inaugural recipient of the AOA Distinguished Clinical Educator Award. He was the President of the AOA and ABOS in the mid 1980’s. He was instrumental in coercing our specialty to recognize the necessity of assessing continuing competence.

A quote from his classic writing on the education of orthopaedic surgery residents is: “the concepts of training is one of repetitive practice until a skill is mastered, while the educational experience embraces the observational outcome of applying rationale principles based on scientific concepts.”

Michael A. Simon, MD, FAOA
Dr. Enneking’s Co-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.