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Anthony F. DePalma M.D.

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DePalma, Anthony F., M.D., Emeritus Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Emeritus Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the NJ College of Medicine & Dentistry died on April 6, 2005. Dr. DePalma was born in Philadelphia on October 12, 1904 to Italian immigrant parents. He earned his bachelors degree at the University of Maryland and his Doctor of Medicine from Jefferson Medical College in 1929. He served his orthopedic residency at the NJ Orthopedic hospital in Orange, NJ. During WWII, he was a Commander in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946. He served aboard the USS Rixey, a hospital combat ship. Following his discharge he joined the faculty of the Jefferson Medical College. He rose rapidly through the ranks and was appointed the James Edwards Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Chairman of the Department in 1950. During his years as head of the department he established a Ph.D. in anatomy. He also established an Orthopedic Research Department. Residents were required to spend part of their training period in this facility, which produced much original work. He also started "Clinical Orthopedics & Related Research" which was published biannually at its inception. By the time he left Jefferson, it was being published in 10 issues a year. Today it is one of the most popular orthopedic journals. Besides running his department, teaching and doing research, Dr. DePalma was a prolific writer. He is the author of over 70 manuscripts and 5 textbooks. Some of which are classics and have been translated into several foreign languages. He also held memberships in many professional and honorary societies, such as Alpha Omega Alpha and Sigma XI. He has received many honors and awards. In 1975 Jefferson's Alumni Association bestowed on him the Alumni Achievement Award and he received an honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the 1975 commencement exercises. The Jefferson class of 1962. who commissioned the painting of his portrait, also honored him. Following his retirement from Jefferson in 1970, he was invited by the NJ College of Medicine & Dentistry to head their Orthopedic Department, which was in its infancy. He agreed to do this for a period of 5 years. During this time, he trained 30 residents and developed a thriving department. When the 5-year period ended, he returned to his home in Florida. But he was not ready to retire. In 1976, he opened an office in Ft. Lauderdale. In no time he had a large solo orthopedic practice. In late 1983, he gave up his private practice. In 1984, he was invited to conduct orthopedic-radiological sessions for radiology residents at Jefferson Medical College. He commuted to Philadelphia twice a month for 8 days of teaching. In January 1989 the rigors of traveling were getting to be too much so he decided it was finally time to retire. He was 84 years old. In 1988, the Orthopedic Alumni Society of NJ commissioned the painting of his portrait and also in that year he received the Dean's Medal of Honor from Jefferson. He spent the final years of this life pursuing his main interests gardening, reading, and writing. He has completed several novels, which have not yet been published. His loving wife, Trudy; 2 sons, Barton and Brian; and 4 grandchildren survive him. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Orthopedic Research Professorship Fund at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia or the Gold Coast Hospice. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2005 at 10 AM at Assumption Catholic Church, 2001 S. Ocean Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL 33062. Arrangements by Forest Lawn Funeral Home North 200 West Copans Road Pompano Beach, Florida 33064 (954) 784-4000.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Apr. 8, 2005
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