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Feb 15, 2016

​Orthopedic Surgeon And Former AMA Pro Superbike Racer Dr. David Kieffer, R.I.P. (Updated)

Dr. David A. Kieffer, M.D., R.I.P. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Dr. David A. Kieffer, M.D., died from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis Sunday, February 14 in a hospice near his home in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was 75.

Dr. Kieffer was originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine in 1967. He did his Surgical Internship and Orthopaedic Surgery Residency between 1968 and 1972 at New York State University at the Kings County Hospital.

In 1973, he founded the Gem City Bone & Joint Center, in Laramie, Wyoming, which still exists under the name of Premier Bone & Joint Center and employs over 120 people. 

In 2003, Dr. Kieffer moved back to St. Louis, accepted the position of Associate Professor and Vice Chief in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the St. Louis University School of Medicine and continued to practice medicine.

Dr. Kieffer was Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and a member of several professional medical organizations, including: ACL Study Group (charter member), American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Sports Medicine, and American Orthopaedic Academy of Sports Medicine, among others. 

His practical experience included serving as the Orthopaedic Consultant/Surgeon for the University of Wyoming Athletic Department from 1973 to 2003; serving as the Team Physician for the St. Louis University Athletic Program from 2003 to 2006; serving as the Team Physician for the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team in 1972; and serving as the Team Physician for the U.S. Alpine Ski Team from 1973 until at least 2005.

Dr. Kieffer was also a motorcycling enthusiast who raced with the Colorado-based Motorcycle Roadracing Association (MRA) and raced several seasons in the AMA Pro Superbike Championship from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. He was named AMA Sportsman of The Year in 1986.

According to friends, Dr. Kieffer had about 50 motorcycles in his collection, but he had been downsizing the collection in recent years.

Dr. Kieffer’s passion for motorcycles and care for his fellow racers led him to perform surgical procedures on several prominent professional racers, including Ricky Johnson, Fred Merkel, Tripp Nobles, Scott Russell and Aaron Yates. Dr. Kieffer performed surgery on Yates as recently as 2010.

According to friend Cliff Nobles, Dr. Kieffer would sometimes accept favors like painting his house in lieu of payment from racers who did not have medical insurance or enough money to pay for his services.

In addition, Dr. Kieffer served on the Medical Advisory Board of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), helped draft the Medical Standards for The Medical Code at the Annual FIM World Congress Meetings 1988-1991, and was certified as a Chief Medical Officer for the FIM in 2005. Dr. Kieffer served in the role of FIM Chief Medical Officer multiple times, including during the MotoGP World Championship event at Laguna Seca in 2008 and during the Superbike World Championship event at Miller Motorsports Park in 2008.

Dr. Kieffer's survivors include his wife Alexandra, of Grand Junction, Colorado; son David (Cerissa) and grandchildren Maximus and Sienna of San Diego, California; son Christopher (Kristen) and grandchildren Lilian and Isabel of Norwood, Colorado; and son Elliott (Julie) and grandchildren Lucille and Abigail of Hohokus, New Jersey.

We will post information on services when it becomes available.

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