A. Lee Osterman, MD, FAOA
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Dr. A. Lee Osterman is the Professor of Hand and Orthopedic at Thomas Jefferson University and President of the Philadelphia Hand 2 Shoulder Center. It is one of the largest hand and upper extremity centers in the USA with over 18 attendings and 8 ACGME hand fellows /year. The center treats all problems of the upper extremity including Brachial Plexus reconstruction, Replantation and all other types of microsurgery, Joint Arthroscopy and Joint Reconstruction of all upper extremity joints, all variations of upper extremity trauma, tumor management and reconstruction and congenital problems. The center sees over 70.000 patient visits a year and performs over 15,00 surgeries. It also has a world renown Hand Therapy Department.
Dr. Osterman grew up in West Virginia before attending Yale College where he majored in photography. After graduation, he traveled on a Guggenheim fellowship photographing original stained glass in Europe. Subsequent to that, he traveled to Tanzania where he photographed doctors working with native tribes people on an UNESCO project that eventually became a book, Jungle Doctor Panorama. That experience, combined with a family medical background, set him on a course to medical school.
He spent the next 10 years of training at the University of Pennsylvania where he did his medical school, orthopaedic residency and hand fellowship with Dr. F. William Bora. It was in his first few weeks in the anatomy lab that his realized his future passion. “The most human part of a cadaver is its hand.” The only time away was an internship at Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York City where he met his future wife, Elissa Topol, and a microvascular fellowship with Dr. Jim Urbaniak at Duke University.
He returned to Penn where he practiced and taught until 1993. Then the two Philadelphia hand groups from Penn and Thomas Jefferson merged to form the Philadelphia Hand 2 Shoulder Center, a practice that encompasses the full gamut of shoulder to hand problems. He divides his academic time between teaching locally, nationally, and around the world. He has lectured in over 241 countries, writing (he has edited one of the most popular hand surgery texts, Rehabilitation of the Hand) as well as over 150 peer review articles, and an active clinical practice. He is the director of the Hand rehabilitation Foundation which supports research, hand education, and global outreach. He recently returned from a Brachial Plexus mission in Rwanda.
He finds enjoyment in the mountains of Colorado where he spends part of the summer biking, hiking, and absorbing good music in the natural beauty of the area. His oldest daughter, Meredith, is one of the partners in the PH2C. His middle daughter, Alexis, lives in Denver and is a practicing psychologist. His youngest daughter, Zoe, is a lawyer at the University of Colorado.
He was past President of the Eastern Orthopedic Association, and the American Association of Hand Surgery. He is an active member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand for whom hi is chairman of the Fellowship Directors. He is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, The Reconstructive microsurgical Society, the Peripheral Nerve society, and others.