Dr. Milton L. “Chip” Routt, Jr., professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School and Orthopedic Trauma Specialist at Memorial Hermann, said he was “more than overwhelmed” when he found out he received an Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus (ASDA) Award alongside his peers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston School of Medicine (UTMB) earlier this month.

“Several UTH orthopedic colleagues – Dr. Tim Achor, Dr. Andy Burgess and Dr. John Munz – nominated me months earlier, but I never considered actually being named as an Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus,” Routt said.

At a reception held at The Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center June 3, he stood with Dr. Robert Squires, Dr. James Winn, Dr. Ned Snyder and Dr. Bruce Shack as part of 2017’s Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the university’s School of Medicine Alumni Association and honors the memory of Dr. Ashbel Smith, who was the driving force behind establishing The University of Texas at Austin in 1881 and a medical department in Galveston in 1891 that would later become UTMB.

Routt, who graduated from UTMB in 1983, said being a medical student there was a special experience for many reasons and said he was grateful to the committee members who nominated and selected him for the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award. To be eligible, an alumnus must be distinguished in the medical profession, demonstrate integrity and abilities that inspire students and other alumni, make important contributions to the community and medical education, and demonstrate pride in UTMB.

“I was very lucky at UTMB to have numerous attending faculty, house staff and a lot of fellow students who pushed me well beyond my abilities,” Routt said. “I’m so happy that Dr. Walt Lowe and Dr. Andy Burgess allowed me to come back home to Texas and finish my career teaching and working here at UTHealth.”

Nationally and internationally recognized for his pioneering work in pelvic fracture fixation and related pelvic biochemical research, Routt has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and has directly mentored and educated more than 150 practicing orthopedic traumatologists. Following his graduation from UTMB, he completed his medical training in general and orthopedic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and a fellowship in orthopedic traumatology at the University of Washington’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. After serving there as a full-time faculty member until 2012, Routt returned to Texas in 2013 to teach and practice medicine at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

For younger physicians and students, Routt encourages them to always keep pushing the edge for innovative and safer care, and to identify and emulate successful people.