Meet Dr. Erik Dorf

Erik Dorf, MD

Photo of Erik Dorf skiingBorn and raised in the Vail Valley, Dr. Erik Dorf is thrilled to be serving our mountain community. As an avid skier, hockey player, and cyclist himself, Dr. Dorf takes pride in collaborating with like-minded patients eager to get back to their activities. As a team physician for the US Ski Team, Dr. Dorf understands how important your care and treatment plan are in helping you safely and quickly return to sports. Whether you are a competitive or recreational athlete, enjoy summer or winter sports, reside here in Colorado or outside the state or country, Dr. Erik Dorf and his team look forward to offering you the best in evidence-based care to achieve your optimal outcome.

Erik Dorf completed undergraduate studies at Middlebury College, and during this time, founded and directed Building with Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to constructing schools in underserved areas of the world. Between 1992 and 1995, he constructed schools in Nepal, Brazil and Malawi, Africa. He attended medical school at the University of Colorado and did his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Virginia. He then completed a hand and upper extremity fellowship at Wake Forest University. During his fellowship, he performed over 1,000 shoulder, elbow and hand procedures. Dr. Dorf joined Vail-Summit Orthopedics in 2008, and has since performed over 10,000 operative procedures.

Dr. Erik Dorf is a team physician for the US Ski Team, he volunteers as the Medical Director for Team Summit Colorado, serves on the Board for the Vail Summit Foundation, and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. He has a passion for education, and mentors students pursuing careers in the medical field. Dr. Dorf enjoys spending free time with his wife and two children, traveling with the US Ski Team, and training for mountain bike and ski competitions.

My Philosophies

  • “I have an active and intelligent patient population. I work with my patients to understand and appreciate their injury. Together we devise a treatment plan that will put them back on the road to recovery.”
  • “My goal in treatment is to get you back to the activities you love. I never shoot for 95%. I shoot for 100%, because most of my patients have that expectation as well.”
  • “Regardless of age, I want you to continue to stretch your athletic boundaries. My goal in your treatment is to help provide you with that opportunity.”
  • “I have been there. I have suffered injuries. I know what it is like to want to get back to the playground. Together we will work to achieve this goal.”
  • “Therapy is often the most important part of your success as a patient. Together we will devise a therapy protocol that optimizes your outcome.”
  • “I am looking for three characteristics from surgical management of an injury: Reproducibility, Reliability and Durability. If surgery doesn’t offer my patient the best possible outcome, without undue risk, I will offer up an alternative treatment.”
Colorado Orthopedic Specialist Ski Team

My Background

I grew up in Vail, playing in the mountains of Colorado.

My hockey coach (an orthopedic surgeon) convinced me to go to medical school and join Vail Summit Orthopaedics.

CV Highlights

  • Battle Mountain High School, Avon Colorado
  • Undergraduate at Middlebury College in Vermont
  • Founder of Non Profit, Building With Books
  • Medical School at University of Colorado
  • Residency in orthopedic surgery at University of Virginia
  • Fellowship in upper extremity surgery at Wake Forest University
  • US Ski Team physician
  • Colorado Pro Cycling Challenge physician
Orthopedic Specialist Family Skiing in Colorado

My Family

My wife, Sue Dorf, is a transplanted New Yorker who moved west shortly after college to experience life in the big mountains of Colorado, and has never looked back. Sue is an involved mom and wife and shares her passion for the outdoors with the family. She is a keen cyclist, hiker and skier and five knee surgeries haven’t slowed her down too much (although she skis uphill more than downhill these days). Sue is also a busy professional in that she’s represented over a dozen professional and Olympic athletes during her 20 year career as an athlete agent, marketing consultant and event marketer for IMG, the global leader in the talent management and sports marketing business. Ms. Dorf has negotiated myriad rights and licensing deals for properties and Olympians in the world of skiing, snowboard, triathlon, cycling, gymnastics and figure skating. Sue’s current focus is within World Cup Skiing, as she represents Lindsey Vonn, the most decorated US skier of all time.

My daughter Annabel is an incredible student and soccer player. Her touch on the snow makes her one of the best young skiers I have ever seen.

My son Mack reads more than anyone I know. He rips the ski hill to shreds and is a killer defenseman on his soccer team. I can still beat him on the bike, but perhaps not for long.

My dad is not as famous as Lindsey Vonn but he does have a trail in Beaver Creek named after him. Bob and Patty Dorf moved to Vail in 1968 and raised my sister and I with a deep appreciation of our environment. My family still lives in the Vail Valley and we are passionate about life in the mountains.

Orthopedic Specialist Kids in Colorado

Apart from my patients and my family, my own health is my next priority. I love to ski, ride mountain and road bikes and play hockey. I believe that by staying active myself I can not only appreciate my patients better but also perform at a higher level in clinic and in the operating room.

Orthpedic Specialist Mountain Biking in Colorado

CV Highlights

Current Employment & Affiliations

  • Upper extremity and Trauma Surgeon:
    • Vail Summit Orthopaedics, 2008-present
  • Visiting Assistant Professor:
    • University of Virginia, 2014-present
  • Medical Director:
    • Team Summit Colorado
  • Team Physician:
    • US Ski Team

Post Graduate Education

  • Wake Forest University:
    • Fellowship in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, 2008
  • University of Virginia Health System:
    • Chief Resident Orthopedic Surgery, 2007
    • Resident in Orthopedic Surgery, 2003 - 2006


  • University of Colorado - Denver, CO
    • Doctor of Medicine, 2002
  • Middlebury College - Middlebury, VT
    • B.A. Feb. 1993
  • University of Stockholm - Stockholm, Sweden
    • 1991
  • Battle Mountain High School - Vail, CO
    • 1984-1988

Foreign Service & Languages

  • Founder and Director, Building With Books. Directed construction of three schools in Brazil, Malawi Africa and Nepal. Building With Books which has now evolved and become BuildOn:
  • Fluent languages:
    • Spanish
    • Portugese
    • Swedish

Athletic Accomplishments

  • 2015 - 2nd place Age 40-50
    • Leadville 100 mountain bike race
  • 2013 - 4th Place Age 40-50
    • Leadville 100 mountain bike race
  • 2013 - 1st Place
    • Mount Evans Hill Climb Bike race
  • 1998 - First Place
    • World Alpine Synchro Ski Championships

Non-Profits that I Support

  • Vail Summit Orthopedic Foundation Specialist in Colorado
  • The Cycle Effect and Colorado Orthopedic Specialist
  • Team Summit Colorado Orthopedic Specialist
  • BuildOn and Orthopedic Specialist in Colorado
  • UV Health System and Colorado Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Dorf has over a decade of experience treating hand, elbow, shoulder and traumatic orthopedic injuries. To discuss your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dorf today.