The opening of the Olympic games marked the beginning of a special experience not just for the athletes competing, but also for the doctors that care for them. Like the athletes, volunteer Olympic doctors make many sacrifices to fulfill Olympic dreams. An American Medical News story today provides a closer look at the dedication of several U.S. team physicians, who all agree that sacrifices are worth the rewards. Carolyne Krupa writes:
Among them are physicians from around the country who are volunteering their time to support the U.S. team. To do so, they must be willing to leave their practices for weeks at a time, to work long shifts under grueling, high-stakes conditions for little or no pay.
Physicians working the games say it’s all worth it for the chance to be part of a global event and work with some of the world’s most elite athletes.
“It’s worth the sacrifices,” said Peter Donaldson, MD, a U.S. team physician, sports medicine specialist and assistant professor at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Mich. “I’ll be grinding away in clinic for the rest of my life, but there are few opportunities that come up in life that are as unique as this.”