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Elizabeth Gardner, MD

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Associate Professor Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation


Head Team Physician, Yale Athletics



Associate Professor Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

Head Team Physician, Yale Athletics


Dr Gardner is a dual-Board Certified Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, specializing in the practice of sports medicine surgery and arthroscopy of the knee, shoulder and other joints.

Dr Gardner graduated from Yale University in 2001 with a BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. As an undergraduate at Yale, Dr Gardner was a two-sport varsity athlete, playing both field hockey and lacrosse for the Bulldogs. During her career, she garnered recognition as an All-Ivy and Academic All-American player. In her senior year, she was named the sole captain of the Women’s Lacrosse team. It was through these athletic pursuits that Dr Gardner quickly came to appreciate the practice of sports medicine. In fact, she first joined the Yale Orthopaedics family as a surgical patient! She then spent her undergraduate summers shadowing in the clinics and working in the orthopaedic research labs under the tutelage of Dr Peter Jokl.

Following a two-year stint as a field hockey player and coach in England, Dr Gardner returned to the United States to attend Emory University School of Medicine, from which she graduated in 2007. She then came back to Yale School of Medicine to complete her orthopaedic surgery residency. Following her passion for collegiate athletic medicine, she was awarded a fellowship in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at the University of Michigan. There she had the opportunity to work with the student-athletes at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, including their football and lacrosse teams.

Upon completion of her training, Dr Gardner returned to New Haven to join the Yale School of Medicine faculty, as well as working as a staff surgeon at the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital and the Yale Health Center. She is currently Head Team Physician/Orthopedic Surgeon for Yale University Athletics, including supporting the 2018 National Championship Men's Lacrosse team and the Yale Football team. She has also served as a team physician for the WNBA's Connecticut Sun and former National Lacrosse League's New England Blackwolves. She remains active as a member of alumnae networks for both Yale Field Hockey and Lacrosse. She is also a Fellow of Davenport College, and an undergraduate first year and sophomore year advisor.


Other Departments & Organizations

Education & Training

University of Michigan, Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery (2013)
Yale-New Haven Hospital (2012)
Yale-New Haven Hospital (2008)
Emory University (2007)
Yale University (2001)


Research at a Glance

Yale Co-Authors

Frequent collaborators of Elizabeth Gardner's published research.





Clinical Care


Elizabeth Gardner, MD, is a Yale Medicine orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure done with a thin, flexible tube equipped with tiny instruments on the end to view, diagnose, and treat problems inside the knee, shoulder, and other joints.

Dr. Gardner, an associate professor of orthopaedics at Yale School of Medicine, blends her love for medicine and for sports. As a Yale undergraduate, she played varsity field hockey and was captain of the women’s lacrosse team. She was recognized as an All-Ivy and Academic All-American player. After visiting Yale Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation for the first time as a surgical patient, she decided on the spot she wanted to be an orthopaedic surgeon. She spent her undergraduate summers shadowing physicians in the clinics and working in the research labs under the tutelage of mentor Peter Jokl, MD, who participated in the first arthroscopy surgery in Connecticut.

Now, Dr. Gardner uses the latest surgical and nonsurgical tools and techniques to treat Yale Medicine patients of all ages—athletes and non-athletes alike—for everything from ACL tears to shoulder pain. She is also head team physician/orthopaedic surgeon for Yale University Athletics and medical director for the Southern Connecticut State University Masters in Athletic Training program. Her goal is to find the best possible treatment and get patients back to their sports or other activities as quickly as possible.

She also has a keen interest in preventing injuries and surgeries—especially among young people. Even with the most advanced surgical procedures, the best treatment for any injury is prevention. “The importance of exercise and activity cannot be understated, both physically and emotionally," says Dr. Gardner. "My job is to keep patients out there doing what they love!”

Proper training and conditioning can help. Dr. Gardner is working with other Yale Medicine sports medicine specialists to educate and train coaches in Connecticut’s high schools and colleges to help their athletes avoid injuries—or to recover quickly from them. She believes this work will help her meet her goal of providing the most innovative surgeries, while also working to keep as many people as possible out of the operating room in the first place.

Clinical Specialties

Sports Medicine; Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

Fact Sheets

Board Certifications

  • Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgery

    Certification Organization
    AB of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Original Certification Date
  • Orthopaedic Surgery

    Certification Organization
    AB of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Original Certification Date

Yale Medicine News

Get In Touch


Appointment Number
Clinic Fax Number
Mailing Address

Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

P.O. Box 208071

New Haven, CT 06520-8071

United States


  • Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

    Academic Office

    47 College Street

    New Haven, CT 06510

  • Patient Care Locations

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