Jefferson University Hospitals

Jefferson Mourns Beloved Surgeon, Dr. Richard H. Rothman


Richard H. Rothman

We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Richard H. Rothman, MD, PhD, founder of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, and long-time Jefferson colleague, friend, board member and supporter. Words cannot express how profound this loss is to the Jefferson family and to the field of orthopedic surgery

Dr. Rothman will be remembered for his amazing accomplishments, his surgical skill, his entrepreneurial spirit and his inspirational mentorship. Beyond all those aspects of his life, there are thousands of doctors and patients whose lives have been positively altered because of Dr. Rothman’s presence.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Rothman and his team of exceptional physicians have served as Jefferson’s Department of Orthopedics. Dr. Rothman, for many years, served as the Department’s Chair. During that time, he changed the face of orthopedics with his groundbreaking treatments and his discipline around service excellence and innovation. Today, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, ranks second among orthopedic groups in the number of research grants awarded from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Rothman was a true pioneer and icon, and many of us have had the distinct pleasure of working side-by-side with him and witnessing firsthand, the evolution of his vision – Rothman Orthopaedic Institute – into one of the nation’s largest orthopedic organizations. His commitment to his field and to delivering outstanding patient outcomes is evident in the consistently high rankings Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Department of Orthopedics have received from U.S. News & World Report. We have been ranked among the nation’s Best Hospitals for Orthopedics for many years, and have ranked fourth in the nation the past two.

Anyone who knew Dr. Rothman immediately recognized that he was a rarity. He was a doctor who exceled at teaching, research, clinical care — and business. Just five months ago, after 50 years in the operating room and performing as many as 50,000 knee and hip replacements, he decided to stop operating at age 81. Many of us didn’t think he would ever stop. This was his passion, his life’s work. 

You can read the full obituary and more about the life of Dr. Rothman at