UHealth Physicians Ready to Dive into Action in Rio

UHealth in Rio - Part 1

With the 2016 Olympics upon us, about 20 UHealth physicians are wrapping up cases and packing for an extended stay in Rio de Janeiro. They will be part of a 4,000-member medical staff volunteering for the games that is being led by UHealth trauma surgeon Antonio Marttos, M.D.

UHealth doctors will be working at some of the most prominent Olympic competitions, including swimming, diving, gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball and basketball. Sheila Conway, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at UHealth, is coming full circle with her time at the Olympics. She will be returning to the pool, but this time as an attending physician rather than a swim competitor.

Conway was a member of the U.S. National Swim Team at the World University Games in Sheffield, England, and qualified for the Olympic trials in 1988, 1992 and 1996. She was a Division 1 All-American swimmer for the University of California, Berkeley, and served as the team captain in her final year. Now, she will be caring for the competing swimmers, as she cheers on University of Miami swimmer Heather Arseth, swimmers from her alma mater and Team USA.

Conway will be joined on the pool deck by Steven P. Kalandiak, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with UHealth. Kalandiak also swam competitively, representing Brown University and competing at Easterns Swimming and Diving Championship. He also coached for six years during and after college.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the American swim veterans and first-time Olympians like Ryan Murphy (U.S.), Joseph Schooling (Singapore) and Santo Condorelli (Canada), all of whom I saw set numerous national high school records at the Florida State Championships a few years ago,” Kalandiak said.

While being back at the pool will be fun, and Conway anticipates reuniting with many former teammates and coaches, there will be work to do. “Most injuries in swimming are overuse injuries, often affecting the shoulders and knees,” Conway said. “Many swimmers have multiple events and a very intense schedule. With overuse injuries, proper recovery between swimming events becomes essential.”

Conway, Kalandiak and other medical volunteers will work in conjunction with national team physicians, but will be particularly useful to those athletes who do not have trainers with them. With their background in orthopedics, they are ready to treat all athletes at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

“It’s amazing that I will be coming full circle,” Conway said, “this time working on the athletes instead of being one of the competitors. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that my time in the pool and in medicine have brought me to this moment.”

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