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John P. DiFiori, MD, FACSM

Primary Sports Medicine

About Dr. DiFiori

Dr. John DiFiori is Chief of the Primary Sports Medicine Service and Attending Physician at Hospital for Special Surgery. Prior to HSS, Dr. DiFiori was Chief of the UCLA Division of Sports Medicine and Non-Operative Orthopaedics. He was Head Team Physician for the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, overseeing the care of more than 650 athletes in 24 NCAA sports. He spent more than 15 years on the sidelines with the Bruins football and basketball teams.

Dr. DiFiori's expertise in treating sports injuries in competitive athletes is internationally recognized. He serves as the Director of Sports Medicine for the NBA, where he is involved with the League’s research initiatives, and the development and implementation of all policies related to player health and safety. He has also been appointed to the FIBA (international basketball federation) Medical Commission where he serves to work with basketball federations across the world in setting standards for player health.

Dr. DiFiori speaking at the 2020 Scandinavian Sports CongressHe is a former President of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the largest organization of sports medicine physicians in the US. He is distinguished as being named a fellow of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Dr. DiFiori recently presented at the 2020 Scandinavian Sports Medicine Congress, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was honored to be the only American physician invited to provide scientific presentations at the three day event. He spoke on youth sports injuries, injury prevention  and the hot topic of early single sport specialization in young athletes.

Dr. DiFiori is the lead author for the recently published NBA Youth Basketball Guidelines, and the AMSSM Position Statement on Overuse Injuries and Burnout in Youth Sports. He serves on the editorial boards of Current Sports Medicine Reports and the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

Dr. DiFiori has served as a medical consultant for the NHL Players Association. He has also served for the USOC as a US team physician for several international competitions, including for US Soccer, USA Basketball, and the XIII Pan American Games.

Dr. DiFiori’s sports medicine practice at HSS focuses on the care of competitive athletes and active individuals of all ages.


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Fellow of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (FAMSSM)


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Chief, Primary Sports Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery
Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery


MD, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 1989


Lancaster General Hospital, Department of Family Medicine, Lancaster, PA, 1992


UCLA Department of Family Medicine, Clinical Instructor and Sports Medicine Fellow, Los Angeles, CA, 1994


Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine, 1995, 2005, 2015
Diplomate, American Board of Family Practice
Diplomate, National Board of Medical Examiners


Castle Connolly Top Doctors in New York Metro Area, 2018-2021
New York Magazine Top Doctors, 2021
Castle Connolly Regional Top Doctor, 2011-2020
Hollywood Reporter Top Doctors, 2014-2015

State Licensure



For My Patients

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Directions to The Pavilion

As of 8/23/18 my office will be located at The Pavilion at 541 East 71st St, Ground Floor. Please call the office with any questions.

Pavilion map The main entrance to The Pavilion is on the north side of 71st Street underneath the sky bridge that connects the main hospital to the Belaire Building. Please see directions from other HSS locations:

  • From the Main Hospital (535 East 70th St):
    Enter the Hospital lobby and take the West elevators to the 2nd Floor. Upon exiting the elevator, turn right and continue down the hallway and over the sky bridge. Once across the sky bridge, you will see a set of elevators on your left. Take the elevator to my office.
  • From the Belaire Building Main Entrance (525 East 71st St):
    Enter the Belaire lobby and take the front elevators to the 2nd Floor. Upon exiting the elevator, turn left and follow the hallway around until you see another set of elevators on your right. Take the elevator to my office.
  • From the Belaire Building 72nd Street Entrance (524 East 72nd St):
    Enter the Belaire building and walk down the stairs. Follow the hallway around, past the first set of elevators on your left. Continue down the hall and past the windows until you see another set of elevators on your right. Take the elevator to my office.


Selected Publications

DiFiori JP, Green G, Meeuwisse W, et al. Return to sport for North American professional sport leagues in the context of COVID-19. British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 23 September 2020. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103227

DiFiori JP, Güllich A, Brenner JS et al. The NBA and Youth Basketball: Recommendations for Promoting a Healthy and Positive Experience. Sports Med (2018) 48: 2053. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0950-0

Selected Presentations

Invited speaker 40th Anniversary Ironman Triathlon Medical Conference, Kona, HI (October 7-11, 2018)

Invited keynote speaker 2018 FIBA Medical Commission Meeting, Geneva Switzerland (October 16, 2018)

Invited keynote speaker 2018 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Meeting (October 26, 2018)

Invited keynote speaker Major League Soccer Medical Symposium, Orlando, FL (January 2, 2019)

Invited speaker 13th annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Boston, MA (March 1-2, 2019)


Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

As of June 13, 2019, Dr. DiFiori reported no relationships with healthcare industry.

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Dr. DiFiori in the News