Orthopedic surgery has been my career goal since middle school. Breaking various digits while playing sports introduced me to an orthopedic surgeon who subsequently became my mentor throughout medical school, residency, and fellowship. Growing up playing sports and even playing football in college, I initially thought I would specialize in sports medicine. While I still love sports, especially my Cleveland Browns, I realized during my residency training that arthroplasty was my passion. Since entering the field of medicine, I have always enjoyed interactions with patients. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and I felt being a total joint surgeon gave me the chance to hear patients’ stories from all different walks of life. The preoperative optimization, the surgery, and the important rehabilitation aspect of total joints offer several opportunities to relate with patients while truly getting to know them and their families. Being a part of someone’s journey out of pain and back to an active lifestyle is by far the most rewarding aspect of total joints.
The technical aspect of total joints interested me from the start, and I think my background had a lot to do with it. I grew up in a small town in northeast Ohio on a big family farm. So, I was no stranger to working with tools while on the farm fixing or building fences for our cattle and hogs. For years, my summers were spent working with my 4-H project animals to show at the Portage County Randolph Fair. I hope to begin raising animals again in the future and maybe my children will show animals someday.
When I wasn’t working with the animals, I was playing sports. I played football, basketball, and baseball growing up and I continued playing football at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. I started at tight end for three years after converting from the quarterback. While my competitive playing days were over after college, I have always enjoyed watching Cleveland sports and The Ohio State Buckeyes. I am a pretty big Browns fan and I’ll never turn down a chance to chat about the Browns. While I never played golf growing up, I have come to enjoy it even though I am not very good. During my training in South Carolina and Mississippi, I was introduced to sporting clays and loved it!
As an avid Cleveland sports fan, it was difficult being away from my teams for so long. I had to endure Clemson fans during my residency training in Greenville, South Carolina. Then, I had to contend with Saints fans, Ole Miss fans, and even Mississippi State fans in Jackson, Mississippi, for my year of total joints fellowship. My family and I could not be more excited to be back in Ohio! I met my wife in 7th grade, and we’ve been together ever since. We now have two children. Our son Xavier is 3 years old and our daughter, Alayna, is 8 months old. I wouldn’t call us foodies, but my wife and I are huge fans of trying new restaurants and other places to eat. I am especially interested in craft beer. Home-brewing has been intriguing, but I have not gone all-in on that hobby just yet. Trying the various Ohio craft beers since we have moved to Sandusky has been a lot of fun, however. We are excited to explore Sandusky, see the Lake Erie shores, get involved within the community, and finally put down roots at our new home!