In Memoriam Professor Jacques Duparc – EFORT Founding Father

Prof. Pierre Hoffmeyer, EFORT Past President:
“Jacques Duparc was the last of the great French chiefs of orthopaedics. You never said no to Duparc. When he was Editor in chief of the SOFCOT Instructional Lectures, he was relentless, and he personally chased tardy writers and if things did not go well, he would call their boss.”

Professor Jacques Duparc passed away on 15 April 2022 at the age of 98. The entire EFORT and orthopaedic community worldwide have lost a teacher and great visionary, who will be sadly missed.

Professor Jacques Duparc

The Department of the Bichat Hospital that he created was known for the quality of its training and teaching, attracting many French and foreign surgeons. From the very beginning of his career, Jacques Duparc has been a pioneer, helping to educate orthopaedic surgeons. Rigorous and demanding, all his students owe what they have become to him.

He was the co-founder of the “Groupe d’Etude de la Main”, later President and Honorary Member of the French Society of Hand Surgery, SFCM. Jacques Duparc was also the Secretary General and then President of the SOFCOT, the French Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, being awarded a lifelong Honorary Membership.

Having understood, very early in his career, the importance of international relations, he was an active participant in the creation of EFORT, being one of the Founding Fathers of the Federation.

Prof. Paolo Gallinaro, EFORT Founding Father and Past President:
…all started from when Jacques and Mike met in the USA and started to speak about the European National Orthopaedic Societies. Then Jacques told Mike that we had COCOMAC, the Association of the Societies of Western Europe. They called me as President at that time of COCOMAC proposing to organise a meeting of all Presidents of the Societies from west to east to found a new bigger Association or Federation. I did what I was told, and the rest is known to all of you.”

It was at a meeting of the International Hip Society (HIS) in New York, April 1989, that he and Professor Michael Freeman† first discussed the concept of a combined European Orthopaedic meeting. As Michael Freeman once said: “You cannot organise anything of this kind unless it includes the French. They are a key part of the orthopaedic world. It would be like a doughnut with no jam in the middle if the French were not on board.” So the idea took root and Jacques was instrumental in pushing developments on two fronts – firstly to organise a combined meeting and secondly to put in place a structure to organise the meeting and coordinate academic activities in Orthopaedics and Traumatology across Europe. At a meeting of COCOMAC (Comité des Sociétés d’Orthopédie du Marché Commun) held in Paris, November 1991, it was decided to convene a meeting of the Presidents of the Orthopaedic Associations of the 12 European member states at that time, which was then held in Marentino, Turin, later that month. Those at the meeting agreed to form a Federation of the National Societies and set up a second meeting, held in Munich in April 1992. At this meeting the statutes of EFORT were written and the first General Assembly was set up, to be held at the Palais des Congrés in Paris in November 1992. That meeting elected Jacques Duparc as the first President of EFORT 1992-1993.

Prof. Hakki Sur, Chair EFORT Ethics Committee:
“He was the mentor of everyone in Paris, but so humble at the same time. Once during a SOFCOT Board meeting, where I was a member, our meeting ran late and he waited one hour in the corridor without knocking the door to not disturb till someone noticed and let him in.”

After his term as President of EFORT, Professor Jacques Duparc remained part of the Executive Committee as Editorial Secretary, responsible for publications. In that position, he worked together with the British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery and its Journal, which later became EFORT’s official publisher for scientific presentations, lectures and the Bulletin.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends and it should go without saying that he was held in highest esteem by the EFORT leadership and the entire orthopaedic community.

Prof. Wolfhart Puhl, EFORT Founding Father and Past President:
“Jacques Duparc did give us all wonderful memories and with his grand personality, he did give us a line of thinking… may he rest in peace.”

The EFORT Board

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