PHILADELPHIA – Kristy Weber, MD, chief of Orthopaedic Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Sarcoma Program in Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, will become the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ first female president, officially taking the helm today during the AAOS 2019 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. She will serve until March 2020.
With more than 39,000 members, the AAOS is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. It was founded in 1933 and provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons and health professionals in the field. The Academy seeks to advance musculoskeletal health and facilitate the delivery of the highest quality of musculoskeletal care.
“Leading the AAOS is truly an honor. Ever since I started my career as an orthopaedic surgeon, there have been many times when I was the only, or one of only a few, women in the room. But that has not deterred me from pursuing orthopaedics and, in fact, has propelled me forward,” Weber said. “I hope to utilize this role to execute the new AAOS Strategic Plan which focuses on personalizing the member experience, especially in the area of digital learning, equipping members to thrive in the new value based environment, advancing the quality of orthopaedic care, and evolving the culture to become more innovative and diverse.”
In a career spanning over two decades, Weber has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of bone and soft tissue tumors in children and adults. She is focused on complex limb salvage techniques around the hip, knee, shoulder and pelvis. She has also done research work on metastasis to the bone from breast and kidney cancer as well as sarcoma metastasis to the lung.
In addition to her clinical and research work, Weber has long spoken out in favor of removing barriers for women and minorities in the orthopaedic surgery field. Last year, when she began her term as first vice president of the AAOS, Weber reiterated her commitment, urging colleagues to do more recruiting and mentoring because “physicians who mirror the larger society provide optimal patient care.”
“This is an incredibly well-deserved position for Kristy. Over the years, I have seen her lead and advocate for others in the field, inspiring those who follow in her footsteps and setting an example for any physician,” said L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, chair of Orthopaedic Surgery and a professor of Plastic Surgery at Penn Medicine. “Not only is she a tremendously skilled care provider and surgeon, her leadership abilities rival that of her clinical talent. I have no doubt Kristy is primed to successfully lead the field as she takes the helm of the AAOS.”
Weber joined the AAOS’ leadership as second vice president in 2017 and advanced to first vice president in 2018.
A professor and vice chair of faculty affairs in Orthopaedic Surgery and the Abramson Family Professor in Sarcoma Care Excellence, Weber received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia before earning her medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1991. She completed her orthopaedic residency training at the University of Iowa and then moved on to a two-year research and clinical fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. She joined the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013.
Weber has been involved with the AAOS for many years. In 2006, she won its Kappa Delta Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award for her research on metastatic bone disease. She also served as the chair of the AAOS’ Council on Research and Quality for four years. In that role, she oversaw initiatives related to items such as clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based medicine, patient safety, and biomedical engineering, among others.
Additionally, Weber has served on the boards of directors of organizations including the Orthopaedic Research Society, American Orthopaedic Association, and the Connective Tissue Oncology Society. She has also been president of two others: The Musculoskeletal Tumor Society and the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.6 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $494 million awarded in the 2019 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.
Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 43,900 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2019, Penn Medicine provided more than $583 million to benefit our community.