Sports Medicine

Growing up in a family of sports medicine physicians and high-level athletes, it’s little surprise that Dr. Anna Rozman followed a similar path. After playing team sports like volleyball, soccer, basketball, and track and field, Dr. Rozman became intimately familiar with injury and recovery. Now, she helps her patients find their way to health and rehabilitation through a preventive and holistic approach to care.

Dr. Rozman is a dual board-certified fellowship trained sports medicine physician who completed her undergraduate and graduate MBA training at Loyola University Chicago, followed by her medical degree from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and residency and fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center. She has extensive experience in treating both acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries including joint, muscle, and ligament injuries. Dr. Rozman has also participated in ringside coverage for MMA, muay thai, and boxing along with sideline coverage for basketball, soccer, football, and mass events including the NYC marathon and triathlon. She specializes in non-operative orthopedic conservative treatment and prevention of injuries through a multifaceted patient-centered whole body approach for each patient.

Read on to learn how she found her way to medicine, why she’s passionate about holistic and preventive care, and what she’s found to be most rewarding in her work so far at HealthQuarters.

What inspired you to work in sports medicine and how did you get started?

I’ve been around sports and sports medicine my entire life—both as a practitioner and as an athlete. My father is also a sports medicine physician who covered an Olympic swim team and a professional baseball team. Growing up, I was actively involved in sports and my brother was also a high-level athlete.

As an athlete, I was no stranger to injury, physician evaluation, and the rehabilitation process. My own personal experiences with a wide variety of injuries helped me gain an appreciation for the extensive toll injuries can take on an athlete, and their team. Going through the rehabilitation and recovery process was a rewarding and insightful experience in and of itself. It showed me the importance of having a knowledgeable and caring physician and medical team with me through each step. When I was in medical school and discovering the different medical specialties, I was always drawn to those that involved the musculoskeletal system; where I could be an active participant in a patient’s diagnosis, care, and recovery. I’ve always been passionate about helping others and once it came time for me to think seriously about my career path for residency and beyond, I knew that PM&R and sports medicine was the field for me. 

Why is preventive care so important in sports medicine?

Preventive care is important in every part of medicine, not just the sports component. If you're solely treating an illness or an injury as they come in, you're not always able to get to the root of the problem. Instead, our job as physicians is to figure out what caused this patient to have this injury or complication in the first place. Once we figure out the underlying issues, only then can we figure out how we prevent them from causing problems in the future and keep the patient active and healthy.

In sports medicine, this means looking at the biomechanics, ergonomics, and other multidimensional factors that might affect a patient's physical activity level or performance within a sport or everyday activities. These factors help guide the preventive care program which will ultimately help to prevent further issues and damage to the same or associated body parts.

For example, a patient might come in with a sprained ankle, and in addition to looking at the physical injury and the mechanism of injury, we have to look deeper at the dynamics causing them to roll their ankle. Do they have flat feet, are they not supporting themselves in the right shoes, do they have tight calf muscles or achilles tendons, or is the ankle being affected by a different body part altogether? These types of questions enable me to look at all of the possible underlying issues that can help this patient understand their injury but also prevent this or similar injuries from recurring.

What can a guest expect from an appointment with you? What's it going to be like?

I believe mutual discussion between the patient and myself is a key component of any exam, and it helps guide the diagnosis and goals for the patient. Every patient is unique, and the information they provide helps to create a customized plan of recovery. We'll talk about current activity level, what their workout or activities are like, and what factors could be leading them to have their current physical issues. We'll also talk about their goals for returning to activity.

Then, we’ll discuss the injury or what caused their current activity limitations. I conduct an exam where I look at the injured body part and the associated body parts that might be affected. Once we have a diagnosis, I'll discuss my findings with the patient. Most of the time I find it helpful to visualize the injury I am discussing using images or anatomical models to help explain the anatomy of the injury. This allows the patient to better connect the diagnosis with what they're seeing or feeling.

Finally, we'll talk about their goals and options for treatment. Oftentimes, there’s more than one way of treating something, and I believe it’s important to involve the patient in the decision-making process as much as possible when it comes to next steps.

The three best words to describe a patient's visit with me are discussion, education, and collaboration. I believe it is important to work with my patients to figure out what's appropriate for them and their lifestyle and incorporate those goals into the final treatment plan.

Can you talk more about how you see your practice as connected to holistic preventive care?

My practice is centered around holistic, preventive care. My job is to make sure that I help my patients prevent further injury. I believe that if we only focus on the presenting symptom without looking into other factors that might be affecting it, we don't allow the body to heal in a long term way. To do that, I have to ensure that we're correcting the issue that caused the injury in the first place. 

A large part of my practice involves looking into underlying health issues, such as musculoskeletal abnormalities, rheumatoid conditions, and possible nutritional deficiencies. I also investigate whether or not there are other factors that could be affecting their healing pattern and muscle recovery, including hydration status and exercise regimen.

Every single person I see in the office has a different lifestyle, routine, and health goal. In order to provide effective and long lasting care, I have to look at each person as a whole, rather than an isolated part or injury. 

What excites you most about practicing within HealthQuarters?

Ever since my first day at HealthQuarters it's been an incredible experience. I love having both clinical and non-clinical counterparts available to refer to my patients—it really opens up new avenues for patients that they might not have been aware of before. If I want a patient to explore holistic options, or get care for other needs, they  discuss their options within the HealthQuarters staff. It really helps to provide every patient with comprehensive, multidisciplinary care.

I also admire the beautiful aesthetics of the office overall. The environment and design helps everyone to feel welcomed and relaxed from the moment they walk through the door.This is everything that I would look for in a medical office when I am the one being treated as well. 

Finally, can you tell us a bit about your life outside of medicine? What do you like to do with your time? Any passions or hobbies?

My favorite activities include exploring New York City, staying active, and traveling around the world. I love learning about other cultures, and my favorite way to do this is through food.

Whenever I have the opportunity to travel, I always try to take at least one cooking class and shop in the local food markets. When I was in Sicily with my husband, we took a cooking class where we made traditional dishes from scratch using fresh ingredients from the local market, and it’s one of the best meals I have ever had. These kinds of experiences give you an immense appreciation for these cultures as well as a more intimate look at the daily lives of the people who live there. I also enjoy being outside whenever I can and staying active through hiking, surfing, volleyball, and walking around exploring the place I’m in. Additionally, I look for ways to mentor and educate both myself and others. 

I’m looking forward to traveling again in the year ahead, reconnecting with loved ones, and exploring more of the incredible experiences our home city has to offer.

Dr. Anna Rozman helps her patients find their way to health and rehabilitation through a preventive and holistic approach to care. She is a dual board-certified fellowship trained sports medicine physician who completed her undergraduate and graduate MBA training at Loyola University Chicago, followed by her medical degree from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and residency and fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Rozman at HealthQuarters here.

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