What teams ARE you currently with?
Currently, I am the official team physician for the Dallas Sidekicks professional
indoor soccer team and have been for the past four consecutive seasons.
I look forward to returning to the Sidekicks’ sideline after their
break this season. I also serve as the foot and ankle consultant for the
Texas Legends NBA D-League team and the Allen Americans professional hockey
team. Beyond that, I also treat many athletes from all over North Texas;
from kids to professionals.
What does being a team physician entail?
Most people think a team physician’s job is done at the end of each
game, but in reality they play a much bigger role beyond the game. All
team physicians are required to provide ongoing medical care to the athletes
before and after the game; and even during the off season. Team physicians
also provide additional care by providing education on injury prevention
to the athletes, coaches and administrators in order to maintain the overall
health of the team and individual athlete.
What type of relationship do you have with the players?
A good team physician has to be close to the team and its players in order
to establish a trusting relationship to treat injuries. As the team physician,
it is very gratifying to see players that I have treated heal and get
back to the game. When one of my players is injured, I feel their disappointment
just as I feel their happiness when they heal and return to the game.
What is game day like?
I typically get to the venue well ahead of the game so that I can touch
base with the team’s athletic trainers. We will discuss any players
with existing injuries and make sure they are healing well so they can
get back on the field. During the game, I am responsible for taking care
of any injured athletes including the visitor’s team. As the team
physician, I have to watch the game through a different lens, unlike a
regular spectator. I am constantly keeping a close eye on players in case
an injury occurs. It is important for me to identify how the injury happened
because this tells me a lot about potential structures that could be injured
and other factors regarding the injury itself. During the game, I am also
keeping a close eye on how previously injured athletes are performing.
Once the game is done, I will perform post-game evaluations on the players
and meet with the team’s athletic trainer to make sure we have a
plan until the next game.
What makes someone a great team physician?
Being available and flexible for the players and the team is a big part
of the job. Sometimes that means adjusting your clinic or surgery schedule
to work an injured player in. When and where injuries will occur is unpredictable
by nature, and being available and flexible is important when you are the team
physician. It is my job to be there for the players, when they need me,
so they can get back into the game. Most importantly, being the team physician
means that I must stay up to date and educated on the current procedures
and technologies in orthopedics in order to provide the athletes with
the best care available.