Written By Tanya Tecce
Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi III’s father, Arturo II ( Junior, or Secondo), monitored the safety and chemistry of the water as health officer of Trenton, N.J., while his mother Maryann became renowned for her talent at knitting. She turned her gifted hands to cooking as well, crafting pasta in the finest shapes for a dinner she and her mother Maria hosted for family and friends every weekend. She was also adept with a knife, and eventually worked at their family store as a butcher, filleting steaks, chops, and ribs with precision.
Grandfather Arturo Bartolozzi I (Senior) was born in Montefiascone, Lazio. At age 17, charged with caring for his two sisters ages 13 and 15, they emigrated to America via Ellis Island. His first job was at Ajax Tire Co., earning $7 a week. Settling in Trenton, N.J., Arturo Senior met and married Dr. Bartolozzi’s grandmother Lella Lucidi and had two children: the doctor’s father, Arturo II, and his aunt Gloria. Lella’s parents were from Montefranco in the Umbria region. Grandparents Maria and Fabiano Palombi were also from Umbria, Maria from Gavelli and Fabiano from Casteluccio di Norcia.
As in so many immigrant families, improving the quality of life was paramount. Dad Arturo II blazed a trail when he became the only person in his entire community to ever go to college – Georgetown no less. Not too shabby for a child of immigrants who didn’t speak English on his very first day of school.
Dad Arturo II went on to thrive working in his father’s auto business and was loving his time in Los Angeles, where he delivered automobiles, when he was called back home to Trenton for his sister’s college graduation. As luck would have it, family friend Maryann Palombi needed a date for her prom where the couple were named king and queen and L.A. would become a memory. They married and had a family of their own. Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi III, his two sisters – Elyse, a nurse who works with him, Maria, an anesthesiologist – and his brother Fabian, an attorney.
Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi III’s star kept rising. He received a degree, with honors, in chemistry at Brown University, where he also played baseball and won an award in Italian studies. Like his father before him, he answered the call of California where he completed his medical school training at the University of California at San Diego.
When I ask him what drew him to orthopedics he tells me “facilitating life dreams.” He was moved by the ability of surgery to restore the ability to play sports after a devastating knee injury and more poignantly, to help a person crippled by arthritis to walk again.
He was an orthopedic resident at University of Pennsylvania when he met Terry, an artist and teacher who spoke fluent Italian. Although he had to return to his fellowship in sports medicine at UCLA, and working as a team doctor there was exciting (the Rose Bowl, band playing, clear blue sky, an audience of 100,000) – like his father, family and his future legacy would call him back home.
Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi III and Terry had two sons, Arthur IV (also an orthopedic spine surgeon) and James, a software engineer and technical director at Pixar.
Life accelerated professionally as well when upon completing his training Dr. Rothman invited him to join Reconstructive Orthopedics (which would evolve into Rothman Institute) as a sports medicine specialist in orthopedic surgery. He then went onto become team physician for the Flyers, Rowan University, the United States National soccer team and head team physician for the Philadelphia Eagles; all while serving his private patients. Over the years he has trained nearly 100 physicians in the field of sports medicine.
“My patients have desire, excitement, passion and enthusiasm, just like our athletes. It’s their resilience and desire to recover, to not give up, the willingness to keep trying. The experience of someone being crippled and unable to walk, and after an operation they walk out of the hospital with their quality of life back!”
he tells me. “It’s an honor to help people in a space in their life where they’re in pain and struggling. To help them feel better and whole and get active again is my privilege.
Through it all, the threads of art and science run strongly through Dr. Bartolozzi’s family and practice, built on the undeniable foundation of family first.
Dr. Bartolozzi adds that his sons would tell you that having dinner with the family is his favorite thing to do. “My wife and I carry on the family tradition that all the friends and family members are welcomed any time in our home.”
As for helping to facilitate his patients’ dreams, just one example is the athlete who wanted to play professional baseball. Dr. Bartolozzi fixed his knee and then the player got a tryout with the Phillies. “I derive so much satisfaction being able to help patients walk again, knowing how appreciative they are. They get to play golf again. They get their life back. My one patient sends me a thank-you note on her date of surgery every year. It’s that meaningful to her, and to me.”
“The main thing I help patients with is improving quality of life, being able to enjoy things they like to do like going for a Sunday walk. La dolce vita, enjoying life like Italians do, it’s really just such a miracle,
it’s pretty amazing.”
Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi has treated athletes in every sport, from wrestling to rowing, from the NHL to the NFL. He serves his patients from both his Philadelphia and Bucks County locations, using minimally invasive techniques and a diagnostic capability honed by decades of experience.
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