Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Retirement Celebration in honor of Professor Niek van Dijk

A retirement celebration was held for Professor C. Niek van Dijk in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on December 9, 2016.

Prof. Dr. C. Niek van Dijk started his orthopaedic career almost 40 years ago in het “Wilhelmina Gasthuis” and subsequently at the “Academic Medical Center” in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He started as junior faculty and followed the academic tenure to become chairman of the department in 2002.

His contributions to orthopaedic surgery are countless, starting with his innovating concepts regarding osteochondral defects of the talus, which later earned him the nick name “King of the Ankle”. He is famous all over the world for treating many national and international soccer players and dancers. However, he was also always available to see “the average Joe” for any orthopaedic problem big or small. He taught numerous residents and fellows and always made sure they learned: ‘listen to the patient, the patient is always right!’

It was this mindset which led him to become the chairman of the Nederlandse Orthopaeden Vereniging (NOV) Nordic Orthopedic Federation (NOF) and the European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy (ESSKA).

However, the highlight of his career was mentoring his PhD students, several of whom he sent to various of his orthopaedic friends all across the globe to establish international collaborations. Therefore the theme of his Valedictory Symposium was “Tutors and PhDs’, where he invited several of his PhD’s with their international mentors. Some of these mentors included: Prof. Dr. Jon Karlsson from Sweden, Prof. Dr. James Calder from England, Prof. Dr. Beat Hintermann from Switzerland, Prof. Dr. David Ring from Boston, as well as Prof. Dr. Freddie Fu. Dr. Fu’s lecture was entitled “Walk like a Man” inspired by the song by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, one of Prof. van Dijk’s all-time favorites. Dr. Fu was accompanied by his mentee, Dr. Carola van Eck, who lectured on “The American Dream: an Orthopaedic Resident in Pittsburgh”.

Please click HERE to view Dr. Fu's tribute.

Congratulations to Professor van Dijk on his retirement!