Baylor College of Medicine Names Dr. Douglas Dirschl Chair of the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery

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Baylor College of Medicine Names Dr. Douglas Dirschl Chair of the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery

21 Nov, 2022


Dr. Douglas Dirschl has been named chair of the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, effective April 1, 2023.

Dirschl joins Baylor after serving since 2013 as the Lowell T. Coggeshall Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine and physician-in-chief of the musculoskeletal service line at the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences. Prior to that, Dirschl served for 10 years as the chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, where he spent the bulk of his academic career. He is nationally known as an academic leader, educator, fracture surgeon and advocate for bone health.

“Dr. Dirschl’s breadth of knowledge and experience in the field of orthopedics as well as in healthcare leadership makes him the ideal candidate for this position,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor.

Dirschl has received numerous accolades and awards during his career and served in many roles at the American Orthopaedic Association, including as president from 2011-2012. He was honored as an ABC Traveling Fellow in 2001, an honor provided to five U.S. orthopedic surgeons every two years, and was a founding member of the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone Program. He also is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and the Foundation for Orthopaedic Trauma, where he served as president from 2018-2020. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in chemical engineering and received his medical degree cum laude from Oregon Health Sciences University. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dirschl specializes in orthopedic traumatology, infections of bone and fragility fractures and bone health. His research interests include bone health, evaluating and improving the reliability of classification systems, imaging processing and neural networks and tissue engineering for fracture healing and management of bone infection.

“I am honored to be joining Baylor College of Medicine, an institution with boundless potential for clinical and scholarly growth in the musculoskeletal arena. I look forward to partnering with Baylor, its faculty and its hospital affiliates to help elevate orthopedic surgery to the top tier of academic orthopedic programs nationally.”

Dirschl succeeds Dr. William Granberry, who served as interim chair of the department.

About Baylor College of Medicine: 

Baylor College of Medicine is a health sciences university that creates knowledge and applies science and discoveries to further education, healthcare and community service locally and globally.

Our Vision

Improving health through science, scholarship and innovation


  • Value others and treat them with courtesy, politeness and kindness
  • Promote and support diversity, inclusion and equity
  • Encourage civil dialogue that considers diverse opinions and ideas


  • Interact with honesty, consistency and transparency
  • Operate in ways that demonstrate ethical behaviors
  • Foster personal accountability to build trust


  • Cultivate creative ideas and unique talents across the organization
  • Embrace a culture of continuous improvement
  • Inspire the creation and application of new knowledge


  • Sustain a culture that values collaboration
  • Communicate openly to enhance understanding
  • Establish effective partnerships


  • Promote the highest standards of safety, quality and service
  • Strive to excel in every aspect of our mission
  • Support an environment that inspires the best from our people

About Dr. Douglas Dirschl: 

Douglas R. Dirschl, MD, is a highly accomplished surgeon and an expert in orthopaedics. He specializes in caring for patients with musculoskeletal trauma and fractures, as well as other injuries and diseases of the bones, joints and muscles.

Dr. Dirschl’s research focuses on the assessment of factors that influence reliability in classifying fractures. He has studied the quality of radiographs, as well as the use of decision-making strategies to enhance reliability (the extent to which various physicians classify a fracture in the same way). Dr. Dirschl also studies the biological basis of surgery, including the relationship between hemorrhage in pelvic fractures and pelvic bleeding. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A leader in medical education and health policy, Dr. Dirschl teaches medical students, residents and physicians about orthopaedic trauma, musculoskeletal pathophysiology and fractures. He has authored three books, more than 30 book chapters, and more than 75 peer-reviewed scholarly articles. In addition, Dr. Dirschl sits on editorial and review boards for several notable scientific journals, including the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.  Dr. Dirschl previously served as president of the American Orthopaedic Association.






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