Michael R. Baumgaertner, MD, is one of five recipients of the 2022 Yale Medicine Distinguished Clinical Career Award. The award was created in 2020 to recognize and honor the careers of physicians marked by significant accomplishments, exemplary dedication, and important contributions in advancing Yale Medicine, the overall medical profession, and the community.
Dr. Baumgaertner, professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, has been a full-time faculty member at Yale for 33 years. He is an internationally recognized fracture surgeon, treating patients with severe fractures and fracture complications. In 1992, he established and has nurtured the Yale Orthopaedic Trauma Service into a clinical, educational, and scholarly resource known for its standard of excellence. Dr. Baumgaertner is known for his surgical planning and technique, his creative approach to problem-solving, his talent for teaching, and a genuine concern for his patients and mentees. He has taught the fundamentals of fracture care around the world and has served in numerous leadership roles in the largest international foundation focusing on the care of orthopaedic trauma.
In 1995, Dr. Baumgaertner’s curiosity and scientific rigor led him to define the optimal placement of the internal fixation screws used for immobilization of hip fractures, now the standard of care across the globe. This landmark contribution has resolved enormous numbers of clinical hazards and reduced morbidity and mortality associated with hip fracture to the benefit of countless patients. Dr. Baumgaertner was the driving force at Yale and Yale New Haven Hospital in creating a co-managed medical-surgical team care approach for hip fracture victims. This program resulted in reduced time to medical clearance for the operating room, reduced time to initiation of surgical management, improvement in early rehabilitation and more timely hospital discharge, reduction in co-morbidities and complications, and improved quality and extent of life.