MNI Athletes Turned Doctors HERO


From College Athletes to Physicians: Three Doctors Share Their Stories

Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute



(Watch now: After repeated injuries as college athletes, these three young men went on to become pain management and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute. Video by Eduardo Morales.)


After going up for a dunk against a larger player during a college basketball game, Radomir Kosanovic came down hard on his back. “I had radicular pain going down my legs,” he recalls. Doctors suggested surgery, but it wasn’t an option he was ready to pursue.


Rehabilitation and a turn of events sent the student down a different career path. “I went overseas to Serbia and met an older gentleman who was a silver medalist in the hammer throw. He was also my anatomy and physiology teacher,” he says. “He sparked my interest in the field of medicine.”



Radomir Kosanovic, M.D., pain management specialist at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute


Today, Dr. Kosanovic is a pain management specialist at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute. His colleagues, Armando Alvarez, M.D., and Richard Morgan, D.O., pain and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians with the Institute, were also inspired to become doctors after their years as college athletes.


“My freshman year, our second baseman and shortstop collided. They went head-to-head,” Dr. Alvarez says. “The shortstop actually got airlifted. Our captain, a senior who was studying to be an athletic trainer, delivered first aid and stabilized him enough to get him airlifted. He saved his life. I felt super helpless. I never wanted to feel that way again.”


It was suffering their own injuries ― and watching their teammates in pain, as well ― that made the three physicians particularly empathetic toward their patients, they agree.


Armando Alvarez, M.D., pain and physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute


“I was injured almost every year in college,” says Dr. Alvarez, who began playing baseball at the age of 5 at Miami’s Tamiami Park and played Division II in college. “The most helpful part for me was when providers, whether it be physical therapists or doctors, encouraged me and spoke to me as a person. Having somebody understand me and make it relatable was what impacted me and I’m now trying to impact other people.”


Dr. Morgan grew up playing football in the Pop Warner league at Suniland Park and Division 1 college ball. “My experience over the years opened my eyes to a lot of different sports-related injuries, including concussions, spinal cord injury and musculoskeletal injuries,” he says. “I love working with patients with various neurological or sports-related injuries and helping them overcome their challenges and regain their ability to live their lives like they were prior to injury.”


As pain management and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, the doctors work with patients individually to find the right therapy for their needs ― whether they want to return to a professional level of sports, hit the golf course for fun or get down on their hands and knees and play with their grandchildren.


Richard Morgan, D.O., pain and physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute


Among the treatments offered at Miami Neuroscience Institute locations throughout South Florida are platelet-rich plasma injections, facet joint and epidural steroid injections, prescription and over-the-counter pain medications, and lifestyle modifications and rehabilitation or physical therapy.


Additionally, the pain management program offers neurostimulation, neurolytic block, radiofrequency ablation and other techniques for acute and chronic pain.


The three doctors believe their ability to collaborate is a skill they learned as athletes. “As a doctor on a team, you always have to help each other out and make sure that everybody is working together to get the best outcome for the patient,” says Dr. Kosanovic, who recovered fully from his back injury and still plays basketball when he can.


“I had a coach who said baseball is a team sport played by individuals. If you have one person who is the weak link, you can either blame that person or work together to make them better. In medicine, it’s all about the team. I can’t do it by myself no matter how smart I am. The nurse can’t do it alone, no matter how smart they are. In medicine, you must work together to accomplish the same goal of bettering the patient experience and getting the patient better,” says Dr. Alvarez, who loves to surf, run and play softball.


Dr. Morgan enjoys kayaking and hiking and still likes to play football. “Football is commonly called the game of life,” he says. “I was able to learn discipline. I was able to learn how to invest my time and efforts for better outcomes on the field. There’s no hiding, there’s no cutting corners. All of this really translated into my career in medicine.”


At Miami Neuroscience Institute, Drs. Alvarez, Kosanovic and Morgan collaborate with a variety of specialists, including neurologists and neurosurgeons, therapists, nurses, nutritionists and others who treat neurological injuries and conditions.


To request an appointment at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute, call 786-596-3876 or fill out an appointment request form.

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With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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