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Orlando Health Scores Big with Sports Medicine Symposium


Daryl Osbahr, MD, spearheads bar-raising event


It is no secret that Orlando has become a vibrant hub for professional and high-performing amateur athletes in a wide range of sports. So, it is probably no surprise that this part of Florida has also become a center for high-performing sports medicine.

Even so, the enthusiasm with which Orlando Health's Inaugural Sports Medicine Symposium was greeted in June surprised even the event's creator, Daryl Osbahr, MD, the internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon who serves as chief of adult and pediatric sports medicine at Orlando Health

Nearly 300 health care professionals, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength and conditioning specialists and physicians traveled from across Florida and southern Georgia to attend the evening reception and day-long symposium. "The feedback that we are getting from the entire healthcare community is phenomenal," he said in a recent interview.

Not bad for an event that began with the idea of drawing 50 to 100 attendees together. Osbahr and the organizers quickly realized that demand for such a symposium was so strong that there was an opportunity for a much more ambitious program. "We knew we had to really put forward a fantastic meeting," said Osbahr. "Our goal was to provide a top-notch medical symposium to get people excited as well as raise the bar for the quality of sports medicine for our community."

In order to make the event special, Osbahr and the administrative team developed a series of fast-paced, high-energy, panels. Besides discussions on shoulder instability, ACL injuries and concussion management, the symposium featured point/counter-point discussions by experts on emerging topics like regenerative therapies and how much "bang for the buck" nutrition can deliver for elite athlete wellness.

The innovative curriculum on hot topics and streamlined presentation format helped drive up the energy level with both the presenters and the audience, Osbahr said.

Capping the discussion panels was a keynote address from the world's leading sports surgeon, James Andrews, MD. Andrews, who was a pioneer in arthroscopic surgery in the 1970s, has treated scores of marquee athletes, and he was instrumental in Osbahr's career. Osbahr completed an orthopedic sports medicine fellowship at Andrews' American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. "He's a father figure, mentor and friend," said Osbahr. Andrews, 75, provided historical context the for the evolving practice of sports medicine.

Multi-disciplinary collaboration was a recurring theme of Andrews' remarks and throughout the symposium. "It is most important to have a multi-disciplinary approach," said Osbahr. "We need to have everybody on the healthcare team - athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength and conditioning specialists, nutritionists and physicians functioning on all cylinders.

"Our meeting was really set up to have everyone participating in dialogue and sharing knowledge to really give the big picture of sports medicine one pathology at a time. That was our goal going into it."

The imperative of multi-disciplinary collaboration has been growing for decades. And now it is essential to truly be able to provide high quality and effective treatment in modern day sports medicine, said Osbahr. "We have to provide solutions to our sports medicine patients that are not only based on the injury but most importantly on the individual patient. There are so many factors that go into the successful prevention and treatment of injuries which necessitates us taking this kind of approach. When people think about treating an injury they usually think only about the doctors, including how the doctor is going to evaluate and treat that injury and get someone back to play. However, doctors are one piece of the successful sports medicine algorithm which guides successful evaluation, treatment and prevention of injuries. Successful patient and athlete rehabilitation is only as good as the weakest link in the sports medicine team, which is why we work really hard to make sure our entire team has the highest quality training, experience, and goals." And that philosophy guided the structure of the symposium.

Developing the symposium was a logical step for Osbahr, who in addition to leading the sports medicine practice at Orlando Health serves as the fellowship director for the Orlando Health Orthopedic Sports Medicine Fellowship, research director for Orlando Health Sports Medicine, and director of the Orlando Health Orthopedic Sports Medicine Residency Education.

A Florida native, Dr. Osbahr, who is Board Certified in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, was practicing in Maryland, where he treated athletes from Major League Baseball and National Football League teams, when Orlando Health recruited him back to the Sunshine State four years ago. His mandate was to build a nationally and internationally acclaimed sports medicine program that treats all levels of athletes with the highest levels of care.

"I was thrilled," he said. "We are fortunate at Orlando Heath to have a fantastic multidisciplinary team approach that works collaboratively with each other. In addition to treating patients, we have a top-notch education program with primary care and orthopedic sports medicine fellowships. We also have a research program with staff dedicated to pushing the envelope forward for new techniques and that is always questioning what we are doing and how we can improve it."

Osbahr currently serves as the chief medical director and head orthopedic team physician for the Orlando City Soccer Club, including Orlando City Soccer, Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B. In addition, he is a team physician and orthopedic consultant for the Atlanta Braves, USA Baseball, US Soccer, Professional Golf Association (PGA), Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Symetra Tour, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and the Orlando Ballet. "The best part about our relationships with these programs is that they set the tone for our ability to provide the highest quality of care to our sports medicine patients, and we can then provide the same quality of care to everyone who comes into our office, not just elite athletes" he said.

Now, Osbahr and his team will be turning to their next big challenge: Making the June 2019 Sports Medicine Symposium even better than this year's.

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