I’m the head orthopedic team physician for
James Madison University. So, we have a number of high-level collegiate
athletes in a number of different sports. It’s a different environment than taking care
of patients in an office. So, you’re often on the sidelines of the events,
watching the patients as they get injured. There’s also a lot of different people that
you interact with. So, there’s primary team physicians, primary
care team physicians as well, and then each sport has their own athletic trainer, and
some of the sports have multiple athletic trainers. So, you’re interacting with all these, in
addition to the athletes, when you’re taking care of them. When working with high-level collegiate athletes,
there’s definitely a number of interactions between myself as the team physician, the
athletic trainers for the player themselves, the player’s parents, as well as their coaching
staff, and trying to help each of these people who have different educational backgrounds
and different understanding of the injuries, learn what the injury is, learn what the treatment
is, and then learn what the expected recovery is. And everyone has different expectations for
when that athlete is going to be back, and how that athlete is going to be managed. So, it’s actually a very challenging thing
to do to get these athletes back to play, and help all of their different people that
are involved in their life understand the injury, and understand why it’s taking longer
for them to get back, or why it requires a surgery or doesn’t. Athletes are a very unique population to take
care of. They’re very demanding. So, if we need to do surgery for them, they’re
very demanding. They’re trying to get back to a very high
level of sports. So, they challenge us, but they are also very
good rehab candidates. They work really hard with their rehab. But they also really have unique injuries
that are very difficult to manage sometimes. So, it’s a very interesting field. They’re very fun to work with, and you get
to see them recover throughout their entire college careers.