Named for Alfred R. Shands, Jr., MD, this award is presented in odd numbered years to a United States or Canadian citizen who has made significant contributions to orthopaedics. This award recognizes the devotion of a significant portion of the professional lifetime to furthering knowledge in the fields of musculoskeletal disease. The Alfred R. Shands, Jr., MD Award is sponsored by the Orthopaedic Research Society. The ORS President chooses the award recipient. The ORS Board of Directors gives the final approval.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Alfred R. Shands Jr., M.D. presented this proverb as a cautionary reminder of the need for orthopaedists to look to the future of the profession in his presidential address at The American Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting on June 9, 1954. In his address he stated: We of this generation should be doing as our forefathers did for us; we should be sowing the seed to bring forth the harvest of the future for the oncoming generations. Committed to this mission of investing in the future of orthopaedics, Alfred R. Shands Jr., M.D., along with Joseph S. Barr Jr., M.D., James A. Dickson, M.D.; Francis M. McKeever, M.D.; Harold A. Sofield, M.D.; and Philip D. Wilson Jr., M.D., founded the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation in 1955. The accomplishments of Alfred R. Shands Jr., M.D., are many. Born into an eminent family of physicians in Washington in 1899, he graduated with his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1922 and received his internship and residency training at Johns Hopkins. In 1930, while serving at Duke University School of Medicine, he founded the orthopaedic department and developed the first orthopaedic resident training program. During his last two years with the university he wrote the Handbook of Orthopaedic Surgery.
From 1937 to 1969, he held the position of Medical Director of the Nemours Foundation for Crippled Children. He was not only instrumental in helping to establish the Alfred I. duPont Institute, but also served as its Surgeon-in-Chief from 1940 to 1962.
In 1941, he accepted the position of Visiting Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. During World War II, he served in many capacities with the United States Army Air Force, i.e., Senior Consultant on Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of the Surgical Branch. His commitment extended after WWII, as he served on the Armed Forces Medical Policy and Advisory Councils from 1951 to 1954.