09. April 2019

AO remembers Jeffrey Welling Mast, MD

The AO community is saddened to learn of the passing of Jeffrey Welling Mast, MD. For many in the AO, Jeffrey Welling Mast, MD, was an outstanding mentor. Able to criticize while also encouraging, to inspire and motivate, Jeff was always ready to offer friendly advice and support.  

Jeff’s career focused on developing, learning, and perfecting new techniques. In 1989, Jeff co-authored the book “Planning and Reduction Techniques in Fracture Surgery”. On publication it sparked fierce criticism for deviating from rigid AO doctrine, but it went on to change orthopedic trauma surgery profoundly. Today, the study of this book is essential to the training of the modern orthopedic trauma surgeon.

Jeff’s uncanny ability to draw the skeleton, the perfect osteotomy angle of correction, the appropriate implant size and dimension, (usually a blade plate), and then be able to overlay his preoperative plan on the postoperative radiograph to be exactly perfect to his final surgical result, without using templates, was mesmerizing. The consummate educator, Jeff was frequently the last person to leave the classroom or teaching laboratory, where he had spent time addressing a range of questions, from the easiest to the most complex operative technique. 

"This news comes as a shock and as a profound loss to me personally and to our community as a whole. His contributions to orthopedic knowledge and the educational process through the AO were significant. He will be missed," said Robert McGuire, President of the AO Foundation.

All those who knew him personally, as well as the thousands of students he taught throughout his professional life, are indebted to this man for his erudite, visionary teaching, his pursuit in the achievement of the perfect operative result, and his unending courage to take on increasingly more difficult cases. His impact on the advancement of orthopedic trauma and reconstructive surgery cannot be measured. The entire AO community stands on Jeffrey Mast’s shoulders when treating each and every orthopedic trauma and reconstructive surgery patient. 

Read the full obituary for Jeffrey Welling Mast, MD here​.