James E. Bates, MD

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Specializing in Joint Replacement Surgery ‚Äčand Sports Medicine


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James E. Bates, MD

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Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care!

Voted San Diego Magazine's Top Doctors of 2023

James Eric Bates, MD believes that the foundation for your overall health and wellbeing begins with physical health and mobility. Dedicated to providing the most compassionate and the most advanced care available, Dr. Bates places himself at your service to restore or enhance your function and mobility. As a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Bates partners with patients who have conditions such as arthritis and traumatic bone and joint injuries that result in severe shoulder, hip and knee pain, and guides them through the medical and surgical treatment options to restore their mobility and independence.

As an inventor and clinical scientist, Dr. Bates has devoted time to developing and advancing joint replacement implants, and surgical instruments and techniques designed to improve outcomes in joint replacement surgery. His current specialty interests include minimally invasive surgical techniques, the use of computer-based surgical navigation, and advancing the application of robotic-assisted devices in orthopedic surgery. He remains on the cutting edge of technology and research in orthopaedic surgery so as to best serve the needs of his patients.

Captain Bates, United States Navy, remains active in the Navy Reserve, having now served over 30 years between active duty and reserve duty, and serving around the globe supporting troops at times of war and participating in humanitarian medical missions at times of peace. As a Naval Flight Surgeon, Navy Diver, and Diving Medical Officer, Captain Bates has served with various elements of the Navy and Marine Corps, Naval Special Warfare / SEAL Teams, Navy Undersea Rescue Command, US Strategic Command, and even Army and Air Force units. He recently commanded a Forward Surgical Team in Afghanistan.

God, country, and family remain cornerstones of Dr. Bates’ life. He believes that family time and community involvement are vitally important. He lives in Coronado with his wife, two children, and their Boston terrier where they attend Sacred Heart Church and Naval Base North Island Chapel.

Dr. Bates extends his sense of family and community involvement into his work as an orthopaedic surgeon. He is passionate about his profession and applies this to the care he provides to his patients. His greatest satisfaction comes from seeing the restoration of function and mobility to his patients thereby facilitating their return to ambulation, recreation, and sporting activities.

  • Computer Assisted Surgery
  • Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Sports Medicine


  • Undergraduate: Amherst College, Amherst, MA
  • Medical: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH


  • Surgical Internship: Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • Orthopedic Surgery Residency: Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University Medical Center, New York, NY
  • Orthopedic Surgery Visiting Professorship: Landeskrankenanstalten, Salzburg, Austria
  • Aviation Medicine/Flight Surgery: Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, Pensacola, FL
  • Diving/Undersea Medicine: Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, Panama City, FL

Professional Affiliations

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • California Medical Association
  • California Orthopedic Association
  • San Diego County Medical Society

Professional Appointments

  • Chief of Staff, Alvarado Hospital Medical Center
  • Chief of Orthopaedics, Alvarado Hospital Medical Center

Medical Staff Membership

  • Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, California
  • Sharp Coronado Hospital, Coronado, California
  • Sharp Grossmont Hospital, La Mesa, California