This is a different type of post than my normal Ask Dr. Geier columns. In this one, I answer a reader’s email asking about my typical week. I wrote it in list form and added comments occasionally.

You will see that the part of my job where I serve as Director of MUSC Sports Medicine involves a lot of meetings and administration work. I despise meetings, but unfortunately this week they were necessary. I prefer one-to-one communication by phone or email (or occasionally in person) to create partnerships or resolve problems. I have never believed that large group meetings are terribly effective. Unfortunately at MUSC, I seem to be in the minority with that opinion.

Also, I am intentionally vague about the content of some of the meetings, as a few of them deal with negotiations with teams and schools that haven’t been finalized or other sports medicine issues. And since we know that some of our competitors read this blog, I will just mention them in generalities.

I hope you enjoy this post, and maybe it will offer a little insight into what I do.

Happy Memorial Day!

David

LaTimberly in Demopolis, Alabama asks:

Hi, my name is LaTimberly Washington. I am 15 years old, and I am interested in becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon. The reason why I am e-mailing you today is because I really do not know much about it. What is the typical day for someone in this profession? Is it hard? I am up for any challenge. It is just that I have been trying to find the perfect career for me. Being so young, I have a lot of time to think but I could not help but to research. I am a sports fan, so it means a lot to actually have a career in that setting. It breaks my heart to see a player get hurt and to think his or her career may be over. I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I just happened to have seen some of your blogs and conversations. If you can by any means help me gather information, it would mean the world to me. I’m really pleased that I found you! Thank you so much……….

Ok, here is a list of the major activities of the past week. I just discuss work activities to keep it short.

Monday, May 23
Lifted weights – Good way to start the week
Clinic in Mount Pleasant – This was a fairly steady day of new patients and mainly postoperative return visits. Mount Pleasant clinics are usually busy, and this one was no different.

Football players were among the West Ashley High School athletes undergoing their yearly physicals today.
Physicals at West Ashley High School – There are over 400 athletes here, so we offer a mass screening for physicals.
Preliminary work on my regular column for The Post and Courier – The sports editor felt my soccer referee column was too long for print, so I decided to try to write about physicals. I started writing about mass screening physicals versus private physicals with regular doctors. It was already 8:00 PM when I got home, so I was exhausted. I decided to finish this one at a later date.
Posted the soccer referee evaluation column on my blog
Took trauma call for MUSC – It was relatively good call night. I didn’t have to go in for surgery. Only one admission and a few ER consults. I couldn’t complain about that.

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Tuesday, May 24
Interview with Megan Senger – She was writing an article about general orthopaedic surgeons versus surgeons with a sports medicine fellowship and advice to give fitness trainers when they recommend their clients see a physician.
James Island clinic – This clinic is our all-in-one clinic, where I see patients in the physical therapy office. It’s nice to be able to walk into the PT gym and see how my patients are doing in their rehab. I can talk to the therapists and make suggestions and get feedback. I scheduled three athletes for ACL surgery today.
Meeting with Michael Barr, DPT – Mike is our sports medicine coordinator. We had a lot to discuss, especially about athletic trainers and contracts.
Meeting with Dr. Trudie Milner, Vice Chair of Finance and Administration of the Orthopaedic Surgery department

Examining the knee of a Battery player in the team's training room
Faculty meeting, Orthopaedic Surgery department – I missed most of this one because of the next two events.
Gymnastics event in Mount Pleasant
Charleston Battery game vs. Richmond – A 2-1 win for the Battery. It wasn’t a terribly busy game for me (one physical for a player just signed, 2 players with injuries, and a long talk with the coach discussing expected times for returns of several players). Also talked to Don Wilbur, who I interviewed for my soccer referee column. He told me that the National Director of the US Soccer Federation liked the column, and we discussed ideas for columns that I might write for the NCAA.
Got home at 10:30 PM – Answered emails and blog comments while eating dinner (still want to go into orthopaedics, LaTimberly?)

Wednesday, May 25

Arthroscopic surgery in Rutledge Tower is one of my favorite aspects of what I do.
Surgeries in Rutledge Tower – Highlights included a clavicle fracture on a student that had previously broken it in a different location. Rutledge Tower, and specifically Room 7, is often the highlight of my week.
Meeting with Sally Potts – Director of Therapeutic Services at MUSC
Meeting with Dr. Trudie Milner, Dr. Langdon Hartsock, and Dr. Shane Woolf – We discussed incorporating more physicians into the primary-care sports medicine component of MUSC Sports Medicine and the Orthopaedic Surgery department.
Rescheduled interview with Linda Melone for WebMD due to the above meetings. I hate rescheduling media interviews, but fortunately Linda and I have worked together on articles in the past. She is a fantastic writer, and I know we will get this one done.
Prepared presentation for Musculoskeletal Service Line about primary-care sports medicine
Invited to serve on an advisory panel for women’s boxing

Thursday, May 26

Preparing the graft in an ACL reconstruction, one of the most common operations I perform
Surgeries in Rutledge Tower – Highlights included two ACL reconstructions
Conference call with Dr. Jonathan Edwards – neurologist who leads the MUSC Sports Neurosciences program
Conference call with Dr. Jana Upshaw – We discussed some recent and upcoming community outreach events for MUSC Sports Medicine and some updates for a sports urgent care clinic.
Presentation to Musculoskeletal Service Line
Boxing!!! – I very much needed to take out some frustration, so it was perfect timing for my training.

Friday, May 27
Lifted weights
New patient clinic in Mount Pleasant
Called this week’s surgery patients to see how they were doing
Called patients with their MRI results
Reviewed articles for the AOSSM Public Relations committee to help draft the press releases for the upcoming Annual Meeting
Interview with Chris Martin – He was writing an article on high school physicals and screening for sudden cardiac death.
Worked on some bullet points for an upcoming series of community talks
Answered routine work email

Saturday, May 28

Watching the Battery warm up before a match
Mainly a personal day, as I try to make most Saturdays
Triaged calls about sports injuries – Our athletic trainers covered a rugby tournament and soccer tournament at multiple sites. They called me with a few injuries that we sent to the ER or arranged follow up with us.
Charleston Battery game vs. Harrisburg City Islanders – Another 2-1 win for the Battery. I had no major injuries to treat except to sew up a laceration on a player’s ear.

Sunday, May 29
Mainly a personal day on the holiday weekend, especially since I am on trauma call for Memorial Day Monday

One of our trainers who covers sporting events and evaluates and treats athletes' injuries
Triaged sports injury calls from our athletic trainers
Wrote an article for Cover 2 Cover Magazine about the transition in jobs toward more sedentary ones and how it correlates to national obesity.
Finished this Ask Dr. Geier column about my week
Researched my column for next Wednesday’s The Post and Courier – I am writing about Buster Posey’s injury and the movement to ban collisions at home plate in baseball.

I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into my work schedule. Keep sending in your questions for the Ask Dr. Geier columns!