Orthopedic Surgery

Nicholson Visiting Professorship

The Jesse T. Nicholson Fund at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) sponsors research and teaching activities including an annual visiting professorship. Nationally and internationally recognized physicians specializing in pediatric orthopedic surgery are invited to visit CHOP in order to share their experiences, accomplishments and endeavors.

The Nicholson Visiting Professorship provides a unique opportunity for our medical staff to gain exposure to alternative methods of care and treatment. It also offers a didactic forum where new insights and enriched understanding are gained. 

Among the many topics discussed are: new and improved surgical techniques, alternative methods for improved evaluation of orthopedic anomalies, and alternative theories of care and management of the pediatric orthopedic patient. The knowledge gained from these forums is invaluable to our medical staff in their efforts to find the optimal means of treating and caring for our patients at CHOP.

Since 1986, CHOP has hosted 30 Nicholson Visiting Professors. Visiting professors are nominated by current CHOP staff, as well as past visiting professors, and are ultimately chosen by the division chief.

The 2014 Nicholson Visiting Professor will be James O. Sanders, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY. Dr. Sanders specializes in pediatric and adolescent orthopedic disorders and spinal deformity. His clinical practice includes scoliosis and other spinal deformities, hip, limb and foot abnormalities and neuromuscular disorders. 

About Jesse T. Nicholson, MD

The Nicholson Fund was founded to honor Jesse T. Nicholson, MD, the longest-tenured chief of CHOP's Division of Orthopedic Surgery (1936-1968).

Born in 1903 in Camden, NJ, Jesse T. Nicholson was raised in a medical family. His father, Joseph L. Nicholson, was a chief surgeon at Cooper Hospital in Camden. 

Nicholson was educated by Camden's public schools and attended Harvard College, graduating in 1925. He was admitted into the second year at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and awarded his MD in 1928. Nicholson joined Deforest Willard, MD, at the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1935, Charles Merrill, MD, CHOP's first orthopedic division chief, recruited Dr. Nicholson to CHOP. After Merrill's death,  Nicholson was named orthopedic division chief. For the next three decades, Nicholson continued to grow and develop the hospital's pediatric orthopedic program. 

An orthopedics pioneer in the Philadelphia region, Nicholson also served in leadership positions at Graduate Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia General Hospital and Lankan Hospital.

Nationally, Nicholson served as president of the American Osteopathic Association, chairman of the orthopedic section of the American Medical Association, and treasurer of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Nicholson died in 1987.

Nicholson Visiting Professors


Reviewed by: Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Date: October 2013

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