Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers services and programs through the following Divisions. Use these links to directly access all our Department sites.



  • Mission Bay
    Orthopaedic Institute
  • 1500 Owens Street
    San Francisco, CA 94158
    Phone: 415-353-2808
Thomas Parker Vail MD
Professor and Chairman
Thomas Parker Vail MD


Dr. Vail is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a specialist in surgical treatment of conditions of the hip and knee. His research focuses on performance and outcomes of surgical procedures and devices, delivery of care in adult reconstruction, and cartilage repair strategies.

After graduating from the Duke University School of Engineering cum laude with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, he earned his medical degree at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University, Chicago. He completed his internship in General and Thoracic Surgery and residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center, and then went on to complete a fellowship in Adult Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Vail was part of the faculty at Duke University Medical Center where he advanced from Assistant Professor to Professor and Director of Adult Reconstructive Surgery. In January of 2007, he was named Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Vail has published several hundred scientific articles, abstracts, book chapters and educational materials. He is presently in the Presidential line of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, and was recently named to the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. His wife, Lisa, also received her medical degree from Loyola. They have two children, Brennan and Parker.


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