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In Vivo

Sports Medicine

CUMC Sports Physicians Help Keep CU Athletes
At Top of Their Game

William Levine of CUMC, left, works closely with Dianne Murphy, Ph. D.

William Levine of CUMC, left, works closely with Dianne Murphy, Ph.D., the new director of physical education and intercollegiate athletics at Columbia, and James Gossett, head athletic trainer and his group of trainers at Columbia Athletics at Morningside.

Injuries are an unfortunate reality in the world of sports. At Columbia, student athletes who become injured benefit from the care they receive at CUMC's Center for Shoulder, Elbow and Sports Medicine, which looks after about 725 student athletes who comprise the university's 29 varsity teams.

"We provide the athletes with global state-of-the-art care, including primary and orthopedic care as well as subspecialty referrals to Columbia specialists, when necessary," says William N. Levine, M.D., associate professor of orthopedic surgery and head team physician for Columbia Athletics, who is also director of sports medicine at CUMC.

As a former team physician for the Baltimore Ravens and the University of Maryland Terrapins and a former professional tennis instructor, Dr. Levine has a unique insight into the types of injuries that would sideline an athlete. He has built his own team to treat Columbia athletes, which includes Christopher S. Ahmad, M.D., and Theodore A. Blaine, M.D., both assistant professors of orthopedic surgery.

While the sports medicine specialists perform about 20 to 30 surgeries a year on Columbia athletes, the vast majority of the injuries are lacerations, sprains, and broken bones that don't require surgery – just the right care and treatment.

"The commitment, dedication, loyalty and work ethic of Columbia's training staff is unparalleled," says Dr. Levine. "They do a great job getting the athletes ready to play, so it's very gratifying to work with them to help get athletes back on the field and able to compete."

—Matthew Dougherty