Oscar H. Allis, M.D.

   H. Augustus Wilson M.D.

   James T. Rugh, M.D.

   James R. Martin, M.D.

   Anthony F. DePalma, M.D.

   John J. Gartland, M.D.

   Richard H. Rothman, M.D., Ph.D.
James T. Rugh, M.D. (1867-1942)
Second Chairman (1918-1930)
First James Edwards Professor (1930-1939)
James Torrence Rugh (Jefferson, 1892) succeeded Wilson as Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1918. At the time of his appointment Rugh was on active duty with the Army Medical Corps and did not return to Jefferson until 1919. Originally appointed to the Orthopaedic faculty by Wilson in 1905, Rugh brought extensive clinical experience to the Professorship. He had been the first orthopaedic surgeon appointed to the Methodist Hospital in 1905. He was appointed to the orthopaedic staff of Philadelphia General Hospital in 1912 and in 1914 became Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. At one time he was consulting orthopaedic surgeon to six Philadelphia-area hospitals. In addition to these obligations, Rugh worked closely with Wilson at Jefferson during the period 1905 to 1918.

Rugh had gained valuable experience with the surgical treatment of battle casualties during World War I. He rapidly applied these surgical lessons to patient problems at Jefferson. During Rugh's term as Department Chairman the treatment of orthopaedic disabilities gradually shifted from the mechanical methods used by his predecessors to modern open surgical correction. Between 1920 and 1930, Rugh operated several times at Jefferson on a young boy to correct severe bilateral clubfoot deformity. As fate would have it, this same young patient would grow up to become Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1970.

J. Torrence Rugh was an open charismatic man, greatly admired by his colleagues, students, and patients. The Class of 1934 presented his portrait to the Medical College. In making the presentation the students said: "To the students on the benches, Dr. Rugh presents his thoughts with clearness, simplicity and a forceful manner so desirable in teaching and his clinical demonstrations afford a lasting visualization of the principle he sets forth."

Rugh was assisted in his work at Jefferson by Arthur J. Davidson (Jefferson, 1907), an Associate Professor, and James R. Martin (Jefferson, 1910) as Assistant Professor. Martin had served as Chief Resident Physician in Jefferson Hospital before joining the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. For many years he functioned as Rugh's assistant in the private practice of orthopaedic surgery.

In 1930 the Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery was endowed by a gift of $100,000 in memory of James Edwards, a manufacturer of children's shoes in Philadelphia. Rugh became the first James Edwards Protessor of Orthopaedic Surgery and, since 1930, each succeeding Department Chairman has received that title.
An associate of the time described Rugh in these words: "Dr. Rugh is a hard-working, democratic man, strongly conservative by nature, temperate in his habits, always kindly, pleasant and optimistic and with a keen sense of humor. As a teacher, he is practical and straightforward, strongly reliant upon experience and his presentations are clear and concise. He is revered by his staff and associates and beloved by his patients."

Rugh was a frequent contributor to the orthopaedic literature and was well regarded nationally. He was a member of both the American Orthopaedic Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He served as Vice President of the American Orthopaedic Association in 1917 and again in 1929. During his time as Chairman both the Thompson Annex and Curtis Clinic buildings were opened. The orthopaedic patient load increased, and the corrective work carried out in the hospital and outpatient clinic developed to a high degree of efficiency. Rugh retired as Chairman in 1939 at the age of 72 years and was succeeded by Dr. James R. Martin. He died in 1942.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.