When David C. Young, MD , came to Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center 16 years ago, he became the first medical sports medicine physician at the center’s Orthopedics Department.
Since then, together with orthopedic surgeon Christopher R. Lehman, MD , Dr. Young built a sports medicine department to meet the needs of patients in the area.
“Our goal was to create an environment where anyone, whether they are a pro athlete or a 70-year-old with joint pain, can get quality care with us quickly and efficiently,” said Dr. Young, the department’s chief.
Now, the South San Francisco Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Department includes a team of sports medicine specialists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and medical assistants who work together to take care of the Golden State Warriors, athletes from College of San Mateo and other nearby high schools and junior colleges, as well as anyone else who exercises or wants to pursue a particular sports goal.
Dr. Young said South San Francisco’s team is smaller than other sports medicine departments in the region, so the team’s offices are next to each other, allowing for frequent collaboration.
“Many of us have known each other for over 15 years,” noted Dr. Young. “This translates to a seamless integration between nonoperative and surgical sides of the department.”
Over the years, the department’s patients have also benefited from partnerships with local athletic teams. For example, Dr. Lehman is the head orthopedic surgeon for the Golden State Warriors, while Dr. Young and Gregory Summerville, MD , a medical sports medicine specialist, work with College of San Mateo’s sports teams. Their team also includes Elizabeth Watson, MD and Aaron Schwartz, MD .
“The experience of managing complex injuries in professional athletes increases our effectiveness in applying those same skills to other patients,” Dr. Lehman said.
In recent years, Dr. Young and his team have also been working to create unique online content for patients recovering from sports injuries and surgeries. These rehabilitation documents are continuously updated and are tailored to every sports activity.
“I’m excited about continuing to incorporate wellness, prevention, and nutrition into our work,” Dr. Young said. “Sports medicine is not just about fixing a broken shoulder. It’s about taking care of the whole individual. Kaiser Permanente understands and supports this, which I appreciate.”
Visit South San Francisco Medical Center’s sports medicine website for more information.