2021 Top Doctor: Bryan Ganter

Editorial StaffMay 5, 2021
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Photography by Steve Craft
Photography by Steve Craft

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Med School/Year Graduated: Oregon Health Sciences University/1993

Years in Practice: 24

You’re board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, but also identify as a sports medicine specialist. What is the overlap between the fields, if any?

I would refer to myself as a musculoskeletal specialist. Physiatrists – which is what we call doctors in the PM&R field – are specialists who see patients with a spectrum of neuromuscular as well as musculoskeletal disorders, and the sports medicine element essentially fits under the musculoskeletal umbrella.

You played baseball in your school days. Did that have an effect on your choice of medical careers?

Most definitely. My initial plan going into medical school was to go into orthopedic sports medicine, however, I eventually found my true interest was more in line with function, rehabilitation and performance, which is better aligned with physiatry.

To those outside of the medical community, “sports medicine” sounds like you’re working only with elite athletes. Can you talk about the full scope of your practice?

We do see many elite athletes at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, but we also welcome patients who would be considered “weekend warriors.” While they are not necessarily competing at elite levels, their desired activity is still a major component of their well-being and quality of life.

What are the most common injuries you see? Any bizarre ones over the years?

The common injuries that I see are those associated with age-related degenerative changes in joints and tendons such as… tennis elbow and Achilles tendinitis. As far as an unusual injury, I saw a rare form of elbow stress fracture in a young baseball player recently.

Are there any new tools or techniques in sports medicine you are excited about?

I would have to say that I’m most excited about the current use and future use of orthobiologics or “regenerative medicine.” I’m also excited about the potential future of gene therapy to treat musculoskeletal disorders.

What was the last book you read?

The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership [about legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden].

What are you watching on streaming TV these days?

My son has my wife and me hooked on watching The Office with him. It’s hilarious! Ozark on Netflix is another favorite.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…

A college or high school baseball coach and strength and conditioning coach. I still love teaching
the game.

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