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Memoir

James A. Goulet
Regents' Proceedings

James A. Goulet, M.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery in the Medical School, retired from active faculty status on June 30, 2020.

Dr. Goulet received his M.D. degree from the Cornell University Medical College in 1981. He completed his general surgery internship (1981-82) at the St. Luke’s Hospital (Roosevelt Medical Center), his orthopaedic surgery residency (1982-86) at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and his orthopaedic traumatology fellowship (1986-87) at the University of California, Davis Medical Center. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an instructor in 1987, and was promoted to assistant professor in 1989, associate professor in 1994, and professor in 2000.

Dr. Goulet held numerous leadership roles in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery during his tenure. He was appointed the founder and chief of the Division of Orthopaedic Trauma in 1987. In 2012, he was founder and chief of the Bone Health Service. In 2013, under Dr. Goulet’s leadership, the University Orthopaedic Trauma Service expanded coverage to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, creating an integrated citywide fracture service. To improve hip fracture care, he was founder and chief of the co-managed Geriatric Fracture Service in 2015. In addition to leadership roles, Dr. Goulet actively participated in the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory. Dr. Goulet was the recipient of 20 patents related to fracture implants. As the first fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma surgeon in Michigan, Dr. Goulet led decades-long efforts to educate surgeons and to improve fracture care throughout the state. An annual statewide orthopaedic trauma meeting initiated and directed by Dr. Goulet for 33 years was widely popular, attracting 300 attendees annually. Over the past five years of his career, Dr. Goulet established a statewide orthopaedic trauma quality improvement program, including 32 Michigan trauma centers. He held numerous leadership roles in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Association, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, and the Michigan Orthopaedic Society. He received the Medical School’s William S. Smith, M.D. Outstanding Teacher Award (1990 and 2007), the Senior Award (1992), the Outstanding Clinician Award (2011), the Waldomar M. Roeser Golden Scalpel Award (2012-13) and induction into the League of Clinical Excellence (2011). Of his professional achievements, Dr. Goulet was most proud of his role as a mentor and advocate of students, residents, and junior faculty, providing scientific and career development guidance and support.

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member by naming James A. Goulet, professor emeritus of orthopaedic surgery.