Bucks County Courier Times

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A long time ago, Patricia Cautilli outlawed work talk at the dinner table.

That rule is more important today, now that her husband and three grown sons are all orthopedic surgeons who share a medical practice in Lower Makefield.

The Cautillis -Richard Sr., 76, Richard Jr., 48, and 48-year-old identical twins David and George -have worked together since David joined the practice in 1994, two years behind his twin . (Sister Anna is in desktop publishing and graphic design.)

Over the years, the brothers and their father have had their fair share of yelling and screaming -over business or otherwise. But they've also built what's become known as one of the leading orthopedic surgery practices in the area.

They credit their success as a family and a business to their mother's rule.

"At the end of the day, there's no hard feelings," George said. "That's the way we grew up. We experienced this over a lifetime. We all have similar goals."


At Cautilli Ortho, the family business can get a little confusing. So to help, Richard Sr. is the only one referred to as Dr. Cautilli. The brothers -who, until Richard Jr.'s birthday next month, are the same age -are known as Dr. Rick, Dr. George and Dr. Dave.

The brothers arrived at their chosen career paths in different ways. George said he always knew he wanted to be a physician. David, however, received his civil eng ineering degree before changing his mind to go to medical school.

"[Civil engineer] was what I wanted to do," he said. "About halfway through it, I didn't see myself progressing. "

Richard Jr. had plans to become a nuclear physicist. "Nobody wants to do what their dad does," he said. "How good a job can it be when your dad does it?"

But when Three Mile Island had its accident during his junior year, and he spent time working in a corporate setting, he changed his mind and was the first to join his father's practice, in 1991.

When the brothers finally did get on the same career path, they agreed to specialize in different orthopedic areas. David is a hand surgeon, while Richard Jr.'s specialty is sports medicine and George's is total joint replacement. Richard Sr. is in the office twice a week to see patients; he no longer performs surgeries.

"To me, [working with family is] quite a tight fit," George Cautilli said. "To me, it makes perfect sense."

Crissa Shoemaker DeBree can be reached at 215-345-3186 or

Northeast Living

Northeast News Gleaner Wednesday, September 17, 2003

It's 'All in the Family' at northeast Philly orthopaedic practice

"All in the Family"..."My Three Sons"..."Family Affair." For Northeast Philadelphia residents of a certain age, these phrases are instant TV nostalgia . But for Richard A. Caut illi Sr., M.D., they describe his modern life. He is a father who operates Cautilli Orthopaedic Surgical Specialists, a Nazareth Hospital-affiliated orthopaedic practice with his three sons at two offices in Rhawnhurst and Langhorne.

Dr. Cautilli, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who has been practicing for more than 40 years, and his wife, Patricia, spent the better part of the 1960s and 1970s raising sons Richard Jr., twins George and David, and daughter, Anne, in Abington.

Although the three brothers pursued their bachelor's degrees at different universities, they merged back after graduation onto the same path that their father had taken, receiving their medical degrees from Jefferson Medical College. They all completed residencies in orthopaedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Finally, by 1994, due to hard work and a little luck, their father had the privilege of working with all three of his sons at the independent orthopaedic practice he formed in 1969.

"I always encouraged my sons to reach for the goals that meant the most to them," says Dr. Richard Sr. "Of course, I was pleased that they were all eventually interested in medicine and orthopaedics, but to be able to share a practice with them and spend time with them as adults like this is a blessing, a pleasure that I know too few parents ever get to have."

The family members agree that one of the reasons they work so well together to benefit of patients is that their areas of expertise complement each other and make for a comprehensive practice unlike most found throughout the region.

Eldest son Dr. Richard Jr. is considered one of the tri-state area's most qualified experts in "patellofemoral disorders," or knee pain and disorders. He learned cutting-edge techniques in treating such problems while working with NHL players and university team members at the University of Connecticut, where he completed his fellowship in sports medicine and arthroscopy.

Twin son Dr. George developed an interest and advanced expertise in treating joint problems through a fellowship at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, where he learned how to perform total knee and hip replacements for arthritic joints and to correct painful, worn or unstable prostheses. By successfully performing major joint replacement surgery, he has helped greatly improve patients' quality of life and their abil ity to return to daily activities. Due to his skill in the operating room and at the bedside, in 2002 Dr. George was voted one of the "Top Docs" in orthopaedics by Philadelphia Magazine's annual readers' survey.

Dr. David, twin to Dr. George, has developed specialized expertise with treatment and surgery of problems involving the hand and wrist, including carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures and complex tendon, nerve and vascular disorders. Through a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the internationally renowned Christine M. Kleinert Institute in Louisville, Ky., Dr. David is able to apply precise, specialized surgical techniques that maximize patient's ability to function.

"We share similar philosophies about the importance of listening to patients, getting to the root of their concerns, educating them and understanding how their orthopaedic problems impact their daily lives," says Dr. Richard Sr. "But our different experiences and areas of expertise have also given us a broader collective well of information to tap into, especially since we pride ourselves on working as a team, consulting with each other, sharing information and performing procedures together. Given our extensive capabilities, we are able to handle the treatment of the most complicated orthopaedic conditions."

Despite the malpractice crisis in the state that has sent other orthopaedic surgeons packing, the Cautillis plan to remain true to their roots.

"I am very proud of my sons' commitment to clinical excellence, their advanced skills and their dedication to the community of Northeast Philadelphia," says Dr. Richard Sr. "We think of our practice as our family taking care of your family