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A Slam-Dunk Success

August 2006

by Tina Luther

David R. Schmidt, M.D.
"I have the opportunity to see athletes come back from devastating injuries. Being a small part of their careers, whatever it may be, is a great experience."
ĖDavid R. Schmidt, M.D., pictured above (left) with former Spurs player Charles Smith
Behind San Antonio Spurs NBA championships stand several famous basketball players: David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and others. Among them is another key player who is just as important to the Spurs. Since 1993, David R. Schmidt, M.D., (1980), has been the team physician and a pivotal player in the success of not only the Spurs, but of countless other athletes.

Although he doesnít play in the game, Dr. Schmidt takes an active role, treating ankle sprains, shoulder dislocations and torn ligaments. Year round, Dr. Schmidt and his colleagues at Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio attend to injured athletes at high school football games throughout South Texas, college football games at Trinity University, Rampage hockey, Silver Stars womenís basketball and Missions baseball games. "I have the best job in the world," Dr. Schmidt said. "I have the opportunity to see athletes come back from devastating injuries. Being a small part of their careers, whatever it may be, is a great experience."

Dr. Schmidt credits much of his success to the Health Science Center. During his time as a student, professor and chairman emeritus Charles A. Rockwood, M.D., took Dr. Schmidt under his wing. "He trained us to be part of the community, not just to take care of knees," Dr. Schmidt said. Those principles have followed him for the rest of his life.

Every Saturday morning during the academic year, high school athletes travel vast distances to see Dr. Schmidt free of charge. "Iím from a small town, so I know that resources are limited," Dr. Schmidt said. "I feel that providing free care to student athletes is a way to give back to communities in need."

But Dr. Schmidtís work doesnít stop there. For the past 20 years, he has been a clinical assistant professor at his alma mater and was instrumental in initiating "Sports Medicine Perspectives," an elective program for medical students that introduces them to what sports medicine is all about.

This next year, Dr. Schmidt anticipates opening the Texas Center for Athletes, a 133,000-square-foot, four-story building that will house a community practice featuring research facilities and a surgery suite, as well as nutrition, rehab and psychology services. All services will fall under the direction of 20 Health Science Center faculty members. No other facility like it in the state is affiliated with a medical school.

"I am honored to have been a part of the Health Science Centerís growth for 30 years," Dr. Schmidt said. Whether he is on the court, field or rink, Dr. Schmidt scores success for not only professional and collegiate sports teams, but the community as well.


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Updated 12/11/14