Many consider Dr. Russell F. Warren to be the epitome of the physician/scientist. Few if any physicians have achieved the same balance of scientific innovation and true clinical excellence as Dr. Warren. Dr. Warren was a standout running back at Columbia in the early 1960s. He had a tryout and made it to the last cut with the New York Giants as a professional player. He subsequently did his orthopedic training at the Hospital for Special Surgery and initially went into private practice in Lynchburg, VA, for 4 years before going back to do a shoulder fellowship at Columbia. He subsequently joined the staff at the Hospital for Special Surgery where he served as surgeon-in-chief until July 2004. He has served as the head team physician for the New York Giants since 1984 (Fig. 1-4). Dr. Warren is perhaps the most decorated academic surgeon in history having won the O'Donoghue Award for the outstanding clinical contribution to the AOSSM three times and also having won the Neer Award three times for making the most outstanding contribution in shoulder surgery. He was named Mr. Sports Medicine by the AOSSM in 2003 and has a list of scientific publications that is perhaps unsurpassed in the history of academic sports medicine.
Dr. Warren is known to have a completely open mind and is willing to learn from anyone around him. This is in contrast to the majority of us who, over the ages, become narrower in our focus and less willing to learn from others. His fellowship training program has been very heavy in basic science, and he has led the field in innovations regarding cellular level research.
Dr. Warren has also been very altruistic in the use of funding as it comes from his innovations. In many instances, he has directed the royalties from product innovations in the laboratory to support general orthopedic sports medicine research. This research has not only led to many innovations but has also had a substantive impact on education of the next generation of leaders in the field of orthopedic sports medicine. Dr. Warren's fellowship alumni group occupies more team physician positions at the professional level than any other institution. He has also been a tremendous innovator in operative technique and has helped to create many of the techniques and approaches that we use in both shoulder and knee surgery today. He has further created an environment at the Hospital for Special Surgery where fellowship training can and does involve active basic science research with a rigorous clinic exposure. He has created a fellowship program that has provided many of the innovators who represent our generation's best physicians.
In spite of his capabilities in the laboratory and in the operating room, he is perhaps best known for his familiarity on the sideline and in the training rooms with the New York Giants. During my (CTM III) fellowship with Dr. Warren, his happiest moments were on the Wednesday afternoons when we were headed out to the Giants training room at the Meadowlands or on the sidelines at Giants games on Sundays. His relationship with Ronnie Barnes, the head athletic trainer for the New York Giants, has been legendary and a model for those of us who aspire to develop a quality interdisciplinary sports medicine team (see Fig. 1-4).
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