Geisel School of Medicine Professor Receives American Orthopaedic Association Distinguished Educator Award

Vincent Pellegrini, Jr. D’77, MED’79, FAOA, is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Clinician Educator Award given by the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) during its annual leadership meeting. 

Vincent Pellegrini
Vincent Pellegrini, Jr. D’77, MED ’79. Photo by Mark Washburn

Nominated by peers within the AOA for their leadership, accomplishments, and contributions to the specialty, the award emphasizes the critical role that clinician-educators play within academic health centers, where state-of-the-art educational programs require faculty time devoted to training medical students, graduate students, residents, and other health professionals. 

“The AOA is the home and principal advocate of academic orthopaedics in the United States, and I am honored and humbled to be recognized by my colleagues with this award,” Pellegrini says. “As physicians, we are all inherently educators of our patients while practicing medicine. In academic medicine, in particular, it is yet an additional privilege to be engaged in this work in a way that makes caring for each of our patients an educational opportunity for the next generation of physicians. This is our opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ as appreciation to our own mentors and teachers.” 

Pellegrini received the Dean’s Valedictory Medal while a medical student at Dartmouth and has served as chair of academic orthopaedic departments at Penn State, the University of Maryland, and the Medical University of South Carolina from 1992 to 2019. Since 2019, he has been professor and vice chair of education and research affairs in the Department of Orthopaedics at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. At Geisel, he is also professor in The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, chair of the Faculty Council, and a faculty member in the “On Doctoring” program.  

His leadership roles include past president of the American Orthopaedic Association and The Hip Society, chair of the Council of Faculty and Academic Societies of the AAMC, and a member of the AAMC Board of Directors. He is currently an examiner for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. 

"I am very pleased that Dr. Pellegrini is being recognized by his peers with this award to celebrate his commitment to medical education," says Dean Duane Compton. 

Pellegrini’s clinical interests focus on arthritis surgery and surgery of the hand; his research interests include basal joint arthritis of the thumb, venous thromboembolism complicating total joint arthroplasty, heterotopic ossification, and the biology of fracture healing. Funded by the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, and PCORI, his research has resulted in more than 200 peer reviewed publications and numerous awards for his work. He has been an AOA North American Travelling Fellow and an ASSH Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellow. 

An avid mentor and active supporter of the AOA, and the mission of academic medicine, Pellegrini has trained more than 100 orthopaedic residents and 20 resident research fellows. 

Founded in 1887 as the first orthopaedic association in the world, the AOA is a small, select organization of elected orthopaedic leaders. Membership is earned following a stringent peer-reviewed process—fewer than 10 percent of practicing orthopaedic surgeons have achieved AOA Membership.