The Dr. David Drez Chair in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine

The Chair will Carry on the Legacy of one of the Center for Orthopaedics’ Founding Physicians

The Center for Orthopaedics and the LSU Health Foundation in New Orleans are pleased to announce the endowment of the David Drez, Jr., MD, Chair in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. The Louisiana Board of Regents announced a matching a gift of $400,000 to complete the funding for an endowed Chair, an effort started by residents and fellows mentored by Dr. Drez, Dr. Drez’s colleague Dr. Clark Gunderson, several orthopaedic surgery device manufacturers and the Committee of 100 Champions of Excellence.

The Chair is a permanent testament to Dr. Drez’s innovation and dedication to academic excellence. He inspired and continues to inspire generations of young sports medicine doctors in his career that spans over 50 years.

Dr. Drez is originally from DeQuincy, Louisiana, and earned his medical degree from Tulane University in New Orleans before completing a general surgical and orthopedic residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. He returned to Southwest Louisiana in 1971 to begin private practice and soon established a reputation as one of the country’s leading knee, shoulder and sports medicine specialists. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Drez was involved in medical research leading to many “firsts” in treatment advance. He has published a large body of research that focuses primarily on athletic injuries and their prevention and treatment options. Dr. Drez is co-author of Orthopedic Sports Medicine, the highly acclaimed guidebook for sports medicine physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers; and was co-editor of Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine, as well as a multitude of journal articles. In addition to his clinical contributions, Dr. Drez is well-recognized as an educator, playing a key role in training hundreds of orthopaedic specialists across the country. 

Dr. Drez served as head team physician at McNeese State University for 37 years and was inducted into the McNeese State University Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Honors.  In further appreciation of the countless hours he donated to the university, the rehabilitation area of the university’s Sports Medicine Center was also named the “David Drez, Jr., MD Rehabilitation Facility.”  In 2017, Dr. Drez received the Jack Weakley Award of Distinction from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), which is given to honor one individual each year for a lifetime of outstanding contributions that directly impact health care in the area of athletics, athletic training, or sports medicine and are of major and lasting importance.

Dr. Drez was one of the five founding members of Center for Orthopaedics in 1994, setting a standard for hard work, ethics, and a dedication to his patients that has guided the group for 27 years. He continues to serve as a senior advisor to the group’s medical staff.

The specific charge of the Drez chair holder will be:

  • Educate and supervise residents and medical students in the clinical delivery of services to treat and prevent sports injuries;
  • Develop multidisciplinary and interactive research programs complementary to the clinical aspects in Orthopaedics, with particular emphasis on sports medicine and injury prevention, and with the intent of involving resident physicians and medical students in research;
  • Expand and develop clinical activities about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sports-related injuries;
  • Coordinate with the existing programs/chairs to develop the expansion of educational opportunities and promote cross-training and diverse curriculum opportunities to students in other disciplines at the LSU Health New Orleans campus;
  • Foster the Department’s upward path and incorporate one of the most rapidly growing fields in medicine and in the business world by adding new and different sports medicine and injury prevention topics to the existing curriculum to strengthen the educational program and raise the existing level of awareness and familiarity with sports injuries and prevention;
  • Advance local, national, and global collaborative efforts among multiple LSU Health disciplines and across campuses, like the partnership with the LSU Athletic Training Department, the Department of Kinesiology at LSU Baton Rouge, and the Musculoskeletal Scientific Research Consortium; and
  • Chair the newly approved Sports Medicine Clinic of the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence at University Medical Center, slated for inclusion in the 2022 business plan.

A search committee for this position will initiate the search for a chair holder who will exemplify the characteristics of Dr. Drez and his work. It will be housed in the Department of Orthopaedics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans.

Pictured at the luncheon celebrating the full endowment of the Dr. David Drez Jr. Chair at LSU are Dr. Drez and colleagues, as well as former residents he has taught and mentored.
From left to right: Dr. Clark Gunderson, Dr. John Noble Jr., Dr. David Drez, Dr. Brad Edwards, former Chairman of the LSU Department of Orthopaedics Dr. Andy King, and Dr. Charles Beck.

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