Residency Program History

Historian: Mark Hoffer, M.D.

The Orthopaedic Surgery Program at UCI began with the County Hospital of Orange, and Dr. Sanford Anzel was the first chairman in the early 1970’s. The program at the Long Beach Veteran Affairs Healthcare System began a decade before and required many outside rotations. Dr. Anzel eventually merged the two programs together in a combined program between the Orange County Hospital and the Veterans Hospital. Later in that decade, the University of California, Irvine took over the Orange County Hospital and took over the residents training program. A full time chief of the program was selected.

That first full time chief was Dr. Theodore Waugh from New York. He firmly established the University relationship to the training program. The second Chief of the Division of Orthopaedics was Dr. William McMaster. He helped develop the laboratory and research program on the main campus and coordinated research programs at the Veterans Hospital. Dr. Mark Hoffer began a long tenure as Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1983. On two occasions, one in the mid 1980’s and again in late 1991, Dr. Robert Baird served in the capacity of acting chief when Colonel Mark Hoffer was called to active duty in the U.S. Army. Through Dr. Hoffer’s efforts the division became a department in 1992. Dr. Hoffer retired from UCI in 1993. Dr. J. Pierce Conaty served as acting chairman until the arrival in late 1994 of Dr. Harry B. Skinner, the first full time Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Skinner retired in 2007, and Dr. Ranjan Gupta assumed the Chairman role. Under the guidance of Dr. Gupta, the department has continued to improve and grow on the building blocks that were already created. The future plans of UCI Orthopaedics include developing a freestanding musculoskeletal center of excellence to serve the Orange County Community and be national and internationally renowned.