Steward Celebrates Athletic Trainers this National Athletic Training Month
March is National Athletic Training Month – a time to celebrate the expertise and impact of athletic trainers. To discuss the importance of athletic training, Steward sat down with Dr. Drew Rogers – an orthopedic surgeon, who works closely with athletes, sports teams, and athletic trainers to promote the health and wellbeing of his patients.
Drew Rogers, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist practicing in Raynham, Mass. He is the Chief ofOrthopedics at Morton Hospital and has a special interest in hip arthroscopy. Dr. Rogers also serves asthe team physician for multiple national and local sports organizations, including the USA National U18 Hockey Team, Boston College and Taunton High School.
A graduate of the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Rogers completed residency training at McGill University Orthopedics in Montreal and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed a sports medicine fellowship at Boston University and Lahey Clinic.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of working with athletes?
A: One of the reasons I chose to become an orthopedic sports surgeon was to give people an opportunity to get back to their sport or activity following an injury. Whether it’s a 60-year-old patient or a college athlete, I’m fortunate to be working with incredible athletes looking to optimize their body and function. My work wouldn’t be possible without athletic trainers – especially for my college-level and professional athletes. My patients’ day-to-day interactions with athletic trainers, who work with them to try and avoid, diagnose, and manage initial injuries, is invaluable.
Q: Can you describe the intersections of athletic training and orthopedic medicine?
A: There are multiple different roles for athletic trainers in the orthopedic world. Athletic trainers can become invaluable to an orthopedic practice as they help patients with physical training and recovery. The majority of my interactions with athletic trainers is through my work with sports teams. The teams that I work with are fortunate to have incredible athletic trainers, who are on call 24/7 to support athletes’ well-being. As an orthopedic surgeon, we can’t take care of athletes without athletic trainers being the first line of defense.
Q: How can physical therapy and athletic training help prevent more serious injuries in athletes?
A: In the last 10-20 years, preventing injuries has become the main focus in orthopedic sports medicine. We still treat injuries the best we can, but the main goal is now making sure that the injuries never happen in the first place. If patients improve their bodily mechanics through strong athletic training, we will see far fewer injuries that prevent athletes from playing at the top of their game.
Q: Can you describe one of your best patient success stories?
A: As a surgeon, it is easy to remember patients I’ve operated on who have been able to go back to their sport and have a successful career post-surgery. But, just as important are those patients who have avoided surgery through strong athletic training, been treated quickly, and were able to heal without needing my surgical skill.
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