UAMS Names Nicholas Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Richard W. Nicholas Jr., M.D., a nationally known expert in orthopaedic tumors, has been named chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).


Nicholas, who joined the UAMS faculty in 1989, has served as the department’s interim chairman since the death of Carl L. Nelson, M.D., in January 2005. He is a professor of orthopaedics and currently serves as the director of clinical services for the Arkansas Cancer Research Center (ACRC).


Nicholas developed the state’s only program dedicated to the study of orthopaedic tumors. He gained wide recognition as a specialist in limb salvage surgery in the treatment of bone and soft tissue cancers. Since 1996, he has been consistently named to the annual “The Best Doctors in America” list.


Nicholas serves clinical duties at both the UAMS Medical Center and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, treating adults and children with malignant and benign orthopaedic tumors. He also is involved in developing biologic techniques to study the cells of bone and soft tissue cancers.


“Dr. Nicholas will build upon the wonderful legacy of Dr. Carl Nelson in working to continue the growth in academic excellence in orthopaedics,” said UAMS College of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. “He will work to expand key areas of expertise, expand adult joint reconstruction services, maintain and grow UAMS’ hip and knee joint replacement programs and develop mutually beneficial programs and services at ACH, the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and with other areas of UAMS.”


Nicholas is a five-time recipient of the Red Sash Medical Student Teaching Award at UAMS. He received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award and recently served as a visiting professor at both Wake Forest University and the University of Florida


Nicholas received his medical degree in 1981 from the Medical College of Virginia. He completed his internship and residency at the University of California in San Francisco and a fellowship in orthopaedic oncology at the University of Chicago. He is a member of the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, the Orthopaedic Research Society, the Children’s Oncology Group, the International Society of Limb Salvage, and the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 9,300 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.5 billion a year. For more information, visit