For this week’s Making the Rounds, we interviewed Ben Wilson, MD, an orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon with a specialty in pediatric sports medicine. We chatted with Dr. Wilson about what sets his team at UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine apart, why he loves his job and how his own experience as a college athlete has helped him as a surgeon.
Tell us about how you and your team help young athletes compete at their best?
We have so many resources here at our disposal, just being able to collaborate with the athletic trainers, the physical therapists, the medicine doctors, and the radiologists to be able to really treat the patient from multiple angles all at the same time.
A big part of my practice is connecting with the patients on their own level, especially with the young athlete, understanding that it's not always just the physical component – it's the social interactions that they're missing out on and it's the mental aspect, too. Sometimes their reason for getting up in the morning is to be out on whatever field that they are.
How has your background as an athlete uniquely prepared and inspired you?
I played baseball and football in high school and played college football at Kentucky Wesleyan College and had to work through a couple of injuries of my own. I had a shoulder surgery in high school and a wrist surgery in college that both took quite a bit of time to rehab from.
For me, the most inspirational thing is taking in a young athlete and kind of seeing myself sitting on the other side of the table, and then being able to guide them through the rehab process. And then especially seeing them months down the line when they've been back, and they're excited about whatever game that they were in, the championship that they won the other week, and being able to really share that with them is really inspiring to me.
Where can young athletes see you or make appointments?
I have practices both at UK HealthCare at our Turfland sports medicine site and also see patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children. I am available both through a referral from another provider or by calling into the patient access area. At the UK HealthCare – Turfland Sports Medicine clinic, we also have a walk-in clinic that's available Monday through Friday starting at 7 a.m. for acute injuries – even without an appointment.