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Meet Our Team

David J. Chao, MD

  • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Diplomate, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Subspecialty Certified in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
  • Founder/President, San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation

David J. Chao, MD is a board-certified Orthopaedic Surgeon with a Subspecialty Certification in Sports Medicine, who has been engaged in an active San Diego practice since 1995. He is a member of the international ACL Study Group, the NFL Physicians Society, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and is an Assistant Clinical Instructor at UCSD.

In addition to his San Diego practice, he serves as a team physician for multiple sports teams and events, including being the Former Head Team Physician for the San Diego Chargers. Dr. Chao is also the former Chief Medical Officer for ESPN’s X Games at over two dozen summer and winter games. He is the former Team Physician for the USA Sevens Rugby Team and served as Team Physician for many local universities and high schools. Dr. Chao has been a medical consultant for the WWE and a host physician for the USA Olympic Committee. Many MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL athletes across the nation have consulted with Dr. Chao to obtain his recommendations.

David J. Chao, MD is the founder and President of The SDSMF (San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation), which was created in 2002 to provide a medical safety net for injured youth with limited financial means, in order to return them back to health, life and sports. SDSMF touches hundreds of youth each year and has performed over 50 free surgeries to date for San Diego students.

Dr. Chao is also an active member of many community organizations including San Diego International Sports Council (Board Member), Junior Seau Foundation (Board Member), Wells Fargo Bank (Community Board Member), and San Diego Chargers Community Foundation (Leadership Team Member).

After growing up in southern California, Dr. Chao attended Harvard University and then received his medical degree from the Northwestern University School of Medicine at Chicago in 1989. He is known for providing cutting-edge orthopaedic care, especially in the sports medicine arena, has lectured nationally and holds patents on innovative orthopaedic products.

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