Yale Orthopedics & Rehabilitation Welcomes First Total Joint Fellow

Yale’s Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation welcomes Erik McDonald, MD, as the inaugural Fellow in Adult Reconstruction (Total Joint Replacement Surgery).

McDonald joined Yale via California, where he completed his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, before working as a mechanical engineer in the Biomechanical Testing Laboratory at the University of California. in San Francisco (UCSF).

It was in this laboratory that he discovered Yale Orthopedics for the first time. McDonald worked alongside associate professor Michael Leslie, DO, who was completing his own fellowship in orthopedic trauma at the University of California, Davis.

McDonald then attended UCSF medical school while completing a master’s degree in clinical research, graduating with distinction. Most recently, he completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at UCSF.

During his residency, he also worked with Lisa Lattanza, MD, who at the time was professor of orthopedic surgery at UCSF before becoming department chair at Yale in 2019. “I’ve known Dr. McDonald since that time. he was an undergraduate engineering student. in the UCSF biomechanics lab, ”said Lattanza. “I then had the pleasure of participating in his training as a resident in orthopedic surgery at UCSF. We are fortunate to have matched him here at Yale for our Outstanding Joint Replacement Fellowship led by Dr. Lee Rubin.

In May 2020, McDonald was selected as the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award for Cherished Housestaff (TEACH) from the UCSF School of Medicine, reflecting his exceptional teaching skills and enduring commitment to the education of medical students and residents. Recipients of this award are selected based on their dedication to teaching excellence, student experience, and exemplifying UCSF’s PRIDE values ​​of professionalism, respect, integrity , diversity and excellence.

Thomas Vail, MD, president of orthopedic surgery at UCSF said: “Dr. McDonald’s is an exceptional clinician and educator. He goes above and beyond for his patients, colleagues and medical students. He inspires others with his compassion, exceptional attention to detail and strong work ethic. Congratulations to Dr McDonald for this well-deserved recognition. “

“I am thrilled to be the inaugural Fellow and hope I can live up to the Yale standard and create the legacy of a much respected fraternity,” said McDonald. “I wanted to follow a path in adult reconstruction because I loved how predictable and good the results are for the patients. We really make people better.

As a 2021-2022 Joint Replacement Fellow, McDonald will be directly involved in the division’s clinical care, teaching and research activities, and will be accredited as a Clinical Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery. The scholarship is overseen by the clinical faculty at the Yale School of Medicine and is sponsored in close partnership with Yale New Haven Hospital. More information about the Yale Arthroplasty Scholarship is available here.


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Norma A. Roth