James R. Dineen, MD



Dr. Jim Dineen was a superb orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine pioneer. Dr. Dineen taught third-year medical students at UNC one day a week from 1958 until 1992, with the exception of the three years he was Chief of Orthopaedics at the U. S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, California.

When he began his weekly teaching visits to Chapel Hill, Dr. Dineen was Chief of Orthopaedics at the U. S. Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune. He continued teaching medical students after retiring from the Navy and opening Coastal Orthopaedics in Wilmington in 1964.

Initially a Clinical Instructor at UNC, Dr. Dineen was promoted to Clinical Professor in 1986, and in 2003 the Department of Orthopaedics honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jim Dineen was born in Corning, New York, and received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1945. He served residencies at U. S. Naval hospitals and at Children’s Medical Center in Boston. After serving as Assistant Chief of Orthopaedics at the U. S. Army Hospital in Oahu, Hawaii, he was transferred to Camp Lejeune in 1955.

After serving 22 years as a medical officer for the US Navy he retired in 1964 as captain and opened Coastal Orthopaedics in Wilmington, NC, the first orthopaedic group in the area involved in sports.

He was admired and respected by his colleagues, who elected him Chief of Staff of Cape Fear Memorial Hospital in 1972.

Dr. Dineen pushed to get local medical emergency programs off the ground. He played a key role in creating the Emergency Medical Services systems in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, and he worked with the hospital in Wilmington to develop the area’s first training program for paramedics.

James Dineen spent years researching sports injuries and promoting safety on the playing field. He is solely responsible for encouraging coaches to hydrate their players and instituted the wrapping of posts in end zones. He trained coaches how to wrap shoulders and ankles for strength and was instrumental in instituting annual physical exams for all high school athletes in the state. He was the first team director of New Hanover High School.

Dr. Dineen spearheaded the formation of the Medical Aspects of Sports Committee of the North Carolina Medical Society and organized the first of what has become an annual symposium on sports medicine.