September 21, 2022 by KiKi Bochi
A Day With A Dolphins Team Physician: We’re Doing Everything We Can for the Players
Primary care sports medicine physician Michael Swartzon, M.D., is one of three team physicians from Baptist Health Orthopedic Care that look after the Miami Dolphins, working with trainers to help the players stay fit and be at-the-ready if injuries occur.
As the Dolphins start off the season with a 2-0 record, Dr. Swartzon recalls growing up a big fan of the home team. His dream was to be a Dolphins starter.
“If I had to go back and talk to my 10-year-old self and say, ‘Hey, you’re going to be the team doctor for the Miami Dolphins,’ I think a small part of me would be upset that I wasn’t one of the players on the team and that I didn’t make it on the field,” says Dr. Swartzon.
(Watch now. Michael Swartzon, M.D., primary care sports medicine physician and one of three leading team physicians from Baptist Health Orthopedic Care, talks candidly about his dream job and the new Baptist Health Training Complex for the Miami Dolphins. Video by Dylan Kyle.)
But looking after the Dolphins at training camp and along the sidelines during the regular season is the next best thing, he adds. Throughout the season, three physicians from Baptist Health Orthopedic Care travel with the Dolphins: John Uribe, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and chief medical executive; orthopedic surgeon Gautam Yagnik, M.D.; and primary care sports medicine physician, Dr. Michael Swartzon. They lead a medical team that conducts physicals and oversees preventative care for both the Dolphin players and staff.
“To say that being a team physician for the Miami Dolphins was a dream is such an understatement because I never even considered it as a possibility to put it in as a dream,” Dr. Swartzon says. “It never even came into consideration.”
The Baptist Health Training Complex at Hard Rock Stadium opened in Summer 2021. It spreads about 217,200 square feet (a 125,000-square-foot training facility and a 92,200-square-foot indoor field). The vast complex includes a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy area, a dedicated recovery area with cryotherapy and isolation tanks, and an athletic training room with plenty of rehabilitation space.
Next year, Baptist Health Orthopedic Care will open a state-of-the-art wellness and medical complex adjacent to the training facility on the Hard Rock Stadium campus that will be open for both the community and the pros. The complex will house an orthopedic practice, physical therapy suite, diagnostic imaging and will include some of the same orthopedic physicians that look after the players. The collaboration with the team is part of an extension of a decades-long relationship with the organization, with the entity serving as the Dolphins’ Official Medical Team and Official Wellness and Sports Medicine Provider.
“This is as advanced as it gets, and then those taller tables are really to save the backs of the athletic trainers taping the athletes,” explains Dr. Swartzon. “This is the best things you can buy. This is a treadmill that’s underwater. Players with an injury can go underwater and start moving, and when you’re underwater, you’re one-fifth of your normal gravity. But they can change that based on the height of the treadmill that’s sitting there …”
Dr. Swartzon and his colleagues help treat injuries at training camp and during all home and road games throughout the season.
“During a game situation when guys are going at 100 to 110 percent, that’s when we see more of the injuries like the fractures, the ankle sprains — all those things that you hear about usually happen more in a game during training camp,” Dr. Swartzon explains. “We always worry about heat-related illness. One of the biggest topics that we always discuss are concussions. Thankfully, we don’t see that many on game day. I think last year the Miami Dolphins only had two concussions, which is great that we’re doing everything we can. Everything you can think of does come up.”
For more information on Baptist Health Orthopedic Care please visit BaptistHealth.net/Ortho or call 833-556-6764.