California orthopedic surgeon shot, killed at his practice


Orthopedic surgeon David Duffner, MD, was shot and killed Feb. 14 at his practice in Rancho Mirage, Calif., according to a report from the Desert Sun.


A 63-year-old man entered Dr. Duffner's practice, which was located in a strip mall, and shot the orthopedic surgeon several times before shooting himself. Dr. Duffner spent 30 years in orthopedic practice and spent time as the secretary of the American College of Spinal Surgeons in the 1980s.

During his career, Dr. Duffner served as chief of spine surgery at Desert Regional Medical Center and was named to the Pal Spring Life's Top Docs list. Dr. Duffner focused his practice on surgical and nonsurgical techniques, including regenerative medicine.

The Riverside County Medical Association President Bruce Holmblad, MD, and California Medical Association President Peter Bretan, MD, released a statement saying they were heartbroken by Dr. Duffner's death. "He was a community leader, an accomplished surgeon and even better person who moved from Texas to serve the Coachella Valley with distinction for decades. As we grieve for his family, his patients and our community, and come to terms with this senseless act of violence and unbearable loss, we must also ensure we do everything we can to ensure the physician office is a safe place for doctors and patients alike, and to prevent horrible incidents like the one that has rocked our community," the statement reads.

Dr. Duffner completed his fellowship in adult reconstructive orthopedics at the University of Basel in Switzerland and earned an MBA from the University of Houston.

This is the second shooting of a Rancho Mirage-based orthopedics center in the past year; in March 2019, a former patient of an orthopedic surgeon at Eisenhower Health Desert Orthopedic Center opened fire just outside the facility after continuing to experience post-surgery pain due to a knee replacement procedure performed by an Eisenhower physician. Nobody beyond the gunman was injured during the event.

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