Orthopaedic surgeon and professor Dr. James A. Hill graduated from Lane Technical High School in 1967. He went on to receive his B.A. degree in biology from Northwestern University in 1971 and his M.D. degree from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1974. After completing an internship at Evanston Hospital in 1975 and his residency training in orthopaedic surgery at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in 1979, Hill served a one-year fellowship in sports medicine with the National Athletic Institute of Health.
In 1980, Hill was recruited as an instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Between 1982 and 1994, he was promoted through the faculty ranks at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He was later appointed as a full professor of orthopaedic surgery in 1994. During his tenure at Northwestern University, Hill served on several university committees, including as a member of the Admissions Committee from 1982 to 1989; chair of the Motion Analysis Laboratory Implementation Committee from 1982 to 1984; co-director of the Center for Sports Medicine in 1982; and a member of the Minority Affairs Advisory Committee in 1989. Hill also served as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1985. He has provided medical care for both amateur and professional athletes and was the physician for the United States Olympic Team in Seoul, Korea in 1988. Later, Hill served as an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, at Cook County Hospital, Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. During his tenure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Hill served on the Nominating Committee; as chair of the Medical Executive Committee in 2006; and as the hospital’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2008.
Hill has made hundreds of professional presentations and published papers in more than fifty-five medical journals, including Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. He has received numerous awards, including being honored in 2006 by Health for Humanity for leadership in improving cultural competency within the medical profession and global health. Hill was inducted in the inaugural class of the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association Hall of Fame (2007). He also received the Icon Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club of Chicago (2008), and was honored by The Monarch Awards Foundation of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s Xi Nu Omega Chapter (2009).
Hill and his wife, Sandra Hill, have three children and one grandchild.
Dr. James A. Hill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2013.