C. Benjamin Ma, MD, a highly regarded orthopaedic surgeon and advanced imaging researcher, has been appointed as chair of the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Ma will assume his new role on Jan.1, 2024.

Ma specializes in diagnosing and caring for patients with sports medicine injuries, including arthroscopic shoulder surgeries to repair rotator cuff tears and ligament instability, shoulder replacements, knee ligament reconstruction, and procedures to address meniscus and other cartilage injuries. His research focuses on improving the outcomes following soft tissue musculoskeletal injuries. 

In 2018, Ma assumed the position of vice chair of adult clinical operations at the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. In 2020, Ma was appointed as the surgical director at the UCSF Mount Zion campus. From 2007 through 2019, he served as the chief of the division of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at UCSF, growing the faculty fourfold and earning recognition in clinical practice, locally and internationally. Ma has been a professor in the department of Orthopaedic Surgery since 2003.

Ma is involved in research on cartilage imaging and dynamic MRI scans of knees with injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). His work has focused on early detection of cartilage injuries following ACL reconstruction surgery and improving ACL reconstruction outcomes. He is one of the founding members of the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcome Network (MOON) shoulder group. He has published extensively on the improvement of outcomes following rotator cuff surgeries and replacements.

“I have no doubt that Dr. Ma’s history of exceptional clinical care and research, devotion to mentoring and supporting future leaders in musculoskeletal care, and commitment to diversity and equity in the field, position him well to lead the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery as they work to pioneer musculoskeletal discovery and innovative care to transform lives,” said Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine.

Patient care, mentorship, diversity and inclusion

In 2022, he was appointed as the Research Chair of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). He currently serves on the board of AOSSM and the editorial board of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

He has received many awards for his patient care, teaching and research, including the UCSF Health Exceptional Physician Award; UCSF Excellence in Teaching Award; O'Donoghue Award from ASSOM; Patellofemoral Research Excellence Award from the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine; Kappa Delta Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the Charles S. Neer Award from the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons society.

His peers have placed him on the “Top Doctors” list in San Francisco and Marin counties for the past 10 years. He is also a physician for MLB’s San Francisco Giants and UC Berkeley’s athletics teams.

Ma, a native of Hong Kong, earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also completed a fellowship in musculoskeletal research. He subsequently completed a fellowship in shoulder and knee surgery and sports medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Ma is passionate about educating the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons, being a 
a long-time member of UCSF’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Education and Selection Committee and has served as the director for the residents core lecture series for 10 years. In addition, he has mentored more than 30 residents who have pursued fellowships in sports medicine and shoulder surgery, and more than 70 residents and fellows on their research and career choices.

He has also worked with the department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, helping to recruit and hire diverse faculty members and residents, resulting in the department’s receipt of the inaugural Carl L. Nelson Award for the Advancement of Women in Orthopaedics.

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