James A. Goulet, MD

Professor Emeritus of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief Emeritus of Orthopaedic Trauma


Dr. Goulet was promoted to the position of Emeritus Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery by the Regents of the University of Michigan in 2020 after more than 3 decades of service to the University of Michigan. Dr Goulet joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1987, after receiving his M.D. from the Cornell University Medical College, then completing his postgraduate training at Cornell, including residency training at the Hospital for Special Surgery as well as fellowship training in Orthopaedic Trauma at the University of California, Davis. Dr Goulet was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1994, and then to Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2000.

Orthopaedic trauma was just emerging as a subspecialty with advanced training when Dr Goulet arrived in Ann Arbor. Starting out as the only fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma surgeon in the entire state of Michigan, Dr Goulet led a career-long effort to educate Michigan surgeons and to improve fracture care throughout the state. A state-wide orthopaedic trauma meeting initiated and run by Dr Goulet greatly helped to move this effort forward, featuring national and international speakers and attracting 300 surgeon attendees annually. As expertise in orthopaedic trauma expanded in Michigan, Dr Goulet established a statewide orthopaedic trauma quality improvement program, eventually including 32 Michigan trauma centers. Under Dr Goulet’s leadership, Michigan became the leading state for orthopaedic bone health programs that treat osteoporotic bone associated with fragility and falling in elderly patients.

Dr Goulet established numerous collaborative efforts with researchers in the Michigan Orthopaedic Research Lab. He continued to be a prolific investigator, who authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. In addition, Dr Goulet has been invited to give more than 200 lectures as a visiting professor, keynote, or distinguished speaker at conferences, departments, and institutions throughout the country and throughout the world.

In addition to Dr. Goulet’s scholarly achievements, he held various leadership roles in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Association, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, and the Michigan Orthopaedic Society. He received numerous awards and recognition for clinical excellence and teaching throughout his career, including induction into the League of Clinical Excellence for the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr Goulet served as Director of Undergraduate Orthopaedic Education and was recognized with the Senior Award, voted by the graduating class as the best faculty role model of the year as a teacher-clinician for the entire University of Michigan Medical School. On multiple occasions, Dr Goulet was awarded the William S Smith MD Outstanding Teacher Award as well as the Waldomar M Roeser Golden Scalpel Award for technical operative excellence by graduating orthopaedic surgery chief residents, recognizing his outstanding contributions to resident education. Dr Goulet takes great pride in knowing that twenty six of the residents who trained with him continued on to fellowship training in orthopaedic trauma, and to becoming his professional colleagues. Of his career achievements, Dr. Goulet is most proud of his role as a mentor and advocate of students, residents and junior faculty, providing scientific and career development guidance and support.

Despite a high level of contribution to many aspects of university life and a large clinical practice, Dr Goulet has been an active entrepreneur who holds more than 20 patents related to orthopaedic implants currently in use for patient care. He continues to function as an educator and consultant in fields related to orthopaedic medicine, product development, leadership, and research.

Areas of Interest

Orthopaedic Surgery

Clinical Interests

Orthopaedic Trauma - Fractures, non-unions and pelvic fractures.


Medical School or Training

Cornell University, 1981


The Hospital for Special Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, NY, 1986


Orthopaedic Traumatology, University of California (Davis) Medical Center, 1987

Board Certification

Orthopedic Surgery