Douglas J. Pritchard MD was a giant among orthopaedic oncologists. His passing reflects the loss of a gentle leader in our field, a founding member of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, and an individual who was instrumental in shaping the modern practice of orthopaedic oncology.

Doug was born on Christmas Day, 1937 in Kewanee, Illinois and raised in Des Moines, Iowa with his two brothers. A voracious reader all his life, he first mastered comic books by age 10 and as an adult effortlessly dispensed with the New York Times crossword puzzle before starting surgery. Growing up in a home filled with music, Doug was an accomplished trombonist by age 12 and leader of his own dance band as a teenager. But the activity during his youth that most changed his life was delivering newspapers.

Owing to his years of outstanding service as a paperboy, the Des Moines Register and Tribune awarded him the prestigious “Paperboy’s Scholarship” which took him from Iowa to New Hampshire for high school at Phillips Exeter Academy. He excelled in academics and was accepted at Harvard College. After completing his undergraduate studies, he remained in Boston at Tufts Medical School and performed his general surgery internship in Hartford, Connecticut.

After medical school, Doug served in the army and attained the rank of captain. Thereafter he began his orthopaedic residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and on completion of his training in 1972, was invited to join the staff of Mayo Clinic. He became a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery in 1984 and led the orthopaedic oncology section at Mayo from 1980 to 1999. He retired from surgery in 2000 and fully retired from clinical practice in 2005.

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