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Calfee named division director in orthopedic surgery

Hand specialist chosen to lead Division of Hand and Microsurgery Service

by Jim DrydenFebruary 25, 2021

Ryan P. Calfee, MD, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and medical director of the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital Orthopedic Center, has been named director of the Hand and Microsurgery Service in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Calfee specializes in treating hand and upper wrist extremity disease, including nerve compression and injury, arthritis of the hand and wrist, and tendon conditions. His research is focused on the interpretation of patient-reported outcomes and the interrelationship between mental, social and physical health.

“Ryan is a national leader in surgery of the hand, and he has been an exceptional contributor to the department missions in clinical care, education and research,” said Regis J. O’Keefe, MD, PhD, the Fred C. Reynolds Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Our hand surgery program is among the nation’s best, and under his leadership I look forward to continued success and increasing excellence.”

Calfee serves as a schoolwide leader in the School of Medicine’s PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) Initiative. He uses the system himself in clinical practice and research focused on improving patient outcomes.

For the past five years, Calfee served as methodology editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery and is now its deputy editor-in-chief. He also is in his third year on the council for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

“I have a long history here, having attended medical school at Washington University and then returning after my fellowship training to work in the department,” Calfee said. “I hope to maintain the excellence fostered under the leadership of Drs. Martin Boyer and Chuck Goldfarb and to help the department continue to grow our division as a world leader in hand surgery.”

Calfee succeeds co-directors Martin I. Boyer, MD, the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Charles A. Goldfarb, MD, a professor of orthopedic surgery, executive vice chair of the department, and the director of pediatric and adolescent orthopedics.

A 2001 graduate of the School of Medicine, Calfee earned an undergraduate degree in neurobiology and medical ethics from the University of Virginia. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery and a fellowship in orthopedic trauma at Rhode Island Hospital, affiliated with Brown University in Providence, and then a second fellowship in hand surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 1,500 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, ranking among the top 10 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Jim retired from WashU Medicine Marketing & Communications in 2023. While at WashU Medicine, Jim covered psychiatry and neuroscience, pain and opioid research, orthopedics, diabetes, obesity, nutrition and aging. He formerly worked at KWMU (now St. Louis Public Radio) as a reporter and anchor, and his stories from the Midwest also were broadcast on NPR. Jim hosted the School of Medicine's Show Me the Science podcast, which highlights the outstanding research, education and clinical care underway at the School of Medicine. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.