NewsOct | 28 | 2021
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Celebrates the Retirement of Four Trailblazing Physicians
Pictured above (L-R): celebrated retirees Dr. Fred Mansfield, Dr. David Lhowe, Dr. Jesse Jupiter and Dr. Dinesh Patel
On the evening of Thursday, October 28, 2021, staff, current clinicians, alumni and friends of Massachusetts General Hospital’s historic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery gathered in a ballroom at the Liberty Hotel to honor the distinguished careers of four of its most celebrated surgeons. In recent years, department pioneers Jesse Jupiter, MD, MA, David Lhowe, MD, Frederick Mansfield, MD, and Dinesh Patel, MD, have retired from surgical careers marked by clinical innovation, compassionate patient care and exemplar training and mentorship. After welcoming remarks from department Chief Mitchel Harris, MD, these four surgeons were honored by their colleagues and proteges for their impressive achievements in the field of orthopedics.
Jesse Jupiter, MD, MA—Hand, Arm and Trauma Specialist
Dr. Jesse Jupiter began his academic and clinical career at Mass General in 1981. During his 38 years of service to the department, Dr. Jupiter was chief of the Trauma, Foot and Ankle, and Hand and Arm Services. He is an internationally renowned hand, elbow and wrist and trauma specialist who has been involved in the training of over 400 orthopedic and plastic surgery residents and over 80 hand and microsurgical fellows. He was recently named as the first Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program (HCORP) Distinguished Alumnus.
Chaitanya Mudgal, MD, a longtime colleague and friend to Dr. Jupiter, shares: "I first met Dr. Jupiter in 1991, and was his first AO fellow at the time. Dr. Jupiter has been an outsized influence on my approach to fractures and trauma of the upper limb, and single-handedly inspired my involvement with AO International as well as with AO North America. While his list of accomplishments is innumerable, what always stood out to me was his encyclopedic knowledge—not only of literature, but of his patients—as well as his ability, desire and drive to educate people from all over the world. Led by his example, we all strive to emulate this."
Neal Chen, MD, who also studied under Dr. Jupiter, added, "He was a luminary in orthopedic surgery; an iconoclast who cared for patients other surgeons wouldn’t operate on. He was a pioneer who drove innovation through the development of novel implants and technologies, and a mentor who educated thousands of surgeons across the globe. The world of orthopedic surgery is forever better thanks to his tireless work."
David Lhowe, MD—Hip, Knee and Trauma Specialist
Dr. David Lhowe is an accomplished orthopedic surgeon and educator who specializes in trauma and hip and knee replacement. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency who worked at Mass General for 35 years, serving for a time as chair of the orthopaedic department at Cambridge Hospital, and then as chief of the Mass General Orthopaedic Trauma Service. Dr. Lhowe has worked internationally as a member of disaster response teams, leading a medical response team in Kosovo following the Balkan War, and treating victims of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami aboard the US Navy’s hospital ship the USNS Mercy.
William Tomford, MD, a longtime colleague of Dr. Lhowe, toasted him at the retirement party. "David combined compassion for his patients, competence in the operating room and collegiality among his fellow clinicians. We are fortunate that we have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Dr. Lhowe. He is an inspiration for all of us."
Frederick Lawton Mansfield, MD—Spine Specialist
Like Drs. Jupiter and Lhowe, Frederick Lawton Mansfield, MD, is an HCORP alumnus who has served the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery for decades, coming to Mass General as an attending in 1983. Dr. Mansfield specializes in the treatment of spine disorders, including disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, fractures and infections. During his career, he performed pioneering research on spinal fusion techniques and was active in the AAOS and the NASS.
Frank Pedlow, Jr, MD, who worked with Mansfield as a resident and then an attending since joining Mass General in 1996, commented that, "as a spine surgeon, Fred was an expert in his field—always willing to take on the tough cases and ask the important questions, and he understood the importance of follow-up. He was a teacher and mentor to many decades of orthopedic residents and spine fellows for whom, by their own words, he served as a great example of professionalism, excellence, integrity and patient care."
Lawrence Borges, MD, neurosurgical oncologist and director of Mass General's Neurosurgical Spine Center, was a senior neurosurgical fellow when he first met Dr. Mansfield as a spine fellow. At the retirement event, Dr. Borges shared a diagram of an ad-hoc spinal construct that Dr. Mansfield had developed for a patient in 1987, before pedicle screws were commonly used. This early innovation, according to Dr. Borges, demonstrates Dr. Mansfield’s thoughtful and patient-centered approach. Of his longtime colleague, Dr. Borges said, "Dr. Mansfield has been a consummate physician, surgeon and educator throughout his career. He has cared deeply about his patients, and he clearly knew how privileged he was to provide their surgical care. He taught these points to his residents and fellows. He never entered the operating room without thoroughly considering all possible management options in order to set a clear surgical plan. Fred was an early adopter of the team approach to surgery. It was a great privilege for me to have such a wonderful and experienced fellow surgeon that I could call upon any time to consult on difficult clinical problems. Fred always provided additional insight and expanded my thinking."
Dinesh Patel, MD—Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Specialist
Lastly, but certainly not least, Dr. Dinesh Patel was recognized for his recent retirement after decades of service to Mass General, where he developed and taught arthroscopic techniques that changed the field of orthopedic surgery. Dr. Patel was born, raised and educated in India before coming to Mass General and the HCORP in 1971. In 1976, Dr. Patel co-founded Mass General's Sports Medicine and Runner’s Clinic. While here, Dr. Patel also created one of the first arthroscopy bio-skills laboratories in the country, and integrated the lab with HCORP in order to train new residents in his innovative techniques.
Jon JP Warner, MD, co-chief of the Shoulder Service, explained that his friendship with Dr. Patel goes back more than 30 years: "Dinesh is modest, calm and soft-spoken—qualities that may lead some to underestimate him at first, but which are truly invaluable in a teacher, colleague and caregiver. Throughout his impressive career, he has been a determined innovator whose arthroscopy work has influenced surgical care not just in Massachusetts (where he served as chair of the Board of Medicine, appointed by former Gov. Dukakis), but the world over."