Richard I. Burton, M.D.

Richard I. Burton, M.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 706
Rochester, NY 14642

Appointment: (585) 276-3000

  • Admits to Strong Memorial Hospital Admits to Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Admits to Highland Hospital Admits to Highland Hospital

Patient Care Bio

Dr. Burton is an orthopaedic surgeon with special expertise in surgery of the hand and wrist. He led the team of orthopedists that developed a breakthrough surgery for patients with a common type of arthritis of the thumb. Known internationally as the "Burton procedure," the technique is now the gold standard therapy for this condition and is taught to orthopaedic surgeons throughout the nation. Dr. Burton has performed the procedure on many well-known people.

Dr. Burton earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School and then completed two years of general surgical training at Strong Memorial Hospital. He served two years in the United States Air Force assigned to the Strategic Air Command. Then, after an Honorable Discharge, he received his orthopaedic residency at Massachusetts General, Peter Bent Brigham, and Boston Children's Hospitals. He also completed a fellowship in hand surgery at The Roosevelt Hospital with J. William Littler, MD, and Richard G. Eaton, MD.

Throughout his career, Dr. Burton has authored more than 80 medical textbook chapters and journal articles on topics such as orthopaedic problems of the hand and wrist and surgical techniques to treat them. Dr. Burton is listed in Who's Who in America, in The World, and in Education; he has given many invited lectureships and visiting professorships, including those at Brown's RI Hospital, The Ochsner clinic, Washington University, The Curtis Hand Center, The Mayo Clinic, The Hand Center of San Antonio, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The University of Washington, and The Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre of Oxford University in England.

For several years as Director of The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, he was responsible for overseeing the certification of hand surgeons in orthopaedic, plastic, and general surgery specialties across America.

In 1992-93, Dr. Burton served as President of The American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Dr. Burton was department chair and Wehle Professor of Orthopaedics from 1988 until 2000. During that period with his leadership, patient care services expanded as URMC Orthopaedics became the Rochester, NY region's largest provider of Orthopaedic care, the residency educational programs greatly improved and expanded, and the department emerged as one of the nation's best-funded Orthopaedic departments for research.

Since 2002, Dr. Burton has served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Who's Who in Finance and Industry 2001 - Present
Who's Who in the East 2001 - Present
Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare 1996 - Present
Who's Who in Science and Engineering 1993 - Present
Who's Who in Education 1993 - Present
Best Doctors in America 1992 - Present
Who's Who in the World 1991 - Present
Who's Who in America 1990 - Present
Executive of the Year 1981
Henry C. and Bertha Buswell Distinguished Service Fellow University of Rochester 1980 - 1981

Current Appointments

Emeritus Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs - Department of Dean's Office M&D - Administration (SMD)
Special Advisor to the Sr. Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs - Department of Dean's Office M&D - Administration (SMD)
Emeritus Marjorie Strong Wehle Professor in Orthopaedics - Department of Orthopaedics (SMD)
Professor (Part-Time) - Department of Orthopaedics (SMD) - Primary
Emeritus Chair - Department of Orthopaedics (SMD)


Hand Surgery - American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery - American Board of Orthopedic Surgery


MD | Medicine | Harvard Medical School1962
BA | Embryology, Developmental Anatomy | Amherst College1958

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in Plastic reconstructive hand surgery at St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center-Roosevelt Divi09/01/1970 - 06/30/1971
Residency in Combined Harvard Orthopaedic Residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital09/01/1966 - 06/30/1970
Residency in General Surgery at University of Rochester Medical Center01/01/1963 - 06/30/1964
Internship in General Surgery at University of Rochester Medical Center07/01/1962 - 12/31/1962