Olympia Orthopaedic Associate’s (OOA) has been helping South Sound residents to live a life in motion for more than 40 years. In fact, “Life in Motion” is the group’s motto. Striving for a life in motion looks different for each patient and in each department. In OOA’s Sports Medicine Center a “Life in Motion” involves helping active people get back to an active life, as quickly and effectively as possible.
Throughout Pierce County, people are running, hiking, biking and playing their way through life. And with the high level of activity so common in our beautiful neck of the woods, comes a need for specialized treatment when things don’t work out just right. The Sports Medicine Center at OOA offers talented physicians Dr. Tracy Hamblin and Dr. Dominic Femiano with specialized training in sports related injuries. And the duo are excited to welcome a third member to the team – Dr. Bradley Christ.
Dr. Christ brings new skills to the team, including his training as an orthopaedic surgeon. Born in upstate New York, Dr. Christ was raised in southern California in the San Gabriel Valley. He attended Claremont McKenna College for his undergraduate degree in management engineering and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree at University of California, San Diego in biomedical engineering.
After graduation, Dr. Christ’s options for work were slim. “I had a chemical engineering focus and most of the available jobs [during the recession] were on oil rigs in the middle of the ocean and my wife wasn’t interested,” he recalls. The poor job market coupled with his growing interest in medicine turned Dr. Christ’s eye toward medical school. However, he needed some time before he could apply to get his ducks in a row. Luckily he had a solid option to fall back on.
“During grad school I started playing cards just for fun with friends. Turns out, I’m pretty good at it,” he laughs. “By the time I graduated, I was making money at it and decided to play poker professionally for a couple years while I studied for the MCAT and took a few additional classes, getting all those boxes checked, before I applied to med school.”
Two years later, Dr. Christ entered medical school at the University of Southern California (USC). With a focus on orthopaedics, Dr. Christ travelled to the busiest trauma center in the state of California for his residency – UCSF Fresno. He followed his orthopaedic training with a Sports Medicine Fellowship at UCLA.
Now done with his schooling, Dr. Christ is ready to settle down and build a career caring for active patients seeking his help to get back in motion. He, his wife Carol and their cocker spaniel Dottie have chosen Olympia as their home. Dr. Christ’s love of the outdoors – and for hiking, fishing and snowboarding – contributed to his decision to move to Washington, but ultimately, the reputation of OOA is what caught his eye. OOA’s unique structure of a Sports Medicine Center housed within a larger orthopaedic group was unique and appealed to Dr. Christ’s broad training.
As an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Christ is bringing services not directly available in the Sports Medicine Center before. As family practice physicians, Dr. Hamblin and Dr. Femiano are excited to have an in-house surgeon to round out the team.
With the well balanced trio leading the clinic, OOA’s Sports Medicine Clinic is perfectly positioned to care for local athletes of all ages. “Being in clinic will increase appointment availability and free up Drs. Hamblin and Femiano to do more therapeutic medicine,” explains Dr. Christ. “Together, we can give a broader scope of treatment for sports medicine patients offering non-operative modalities from Drs. Hamblin and Femiano and I can handle the more surgical cases.”
Part of the role of each sports medicine doc is to work directly with local high school and college teams. In their role as advisor and sideline medical support, the physicians are able to help athletes stay healthy and address concerns quickly when they do occur.
Sideline help is nothing new to Dr. Christ. “I partnered with the training and coaching staff at UCLA to ensure from start to finish – during practices, in-game and after game – proper precautions were taken and injures were promptly cared for,” he explains. “Part of that is having a plan – an ambulance in place, equipment on the field – in the event someone is injured so we can take care of them.”
Dr. Christ is in clinic now at the West Olympia Clinic. “My interest and passion in sports medicine lies in helping get people back to a high level of activity, back to doing the things they love,” he says. And, when surgery is necessary, he opts for minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures. “It’s easier to get people moving again when there is minimal trauma to the surgical site.”
Now, when patients choose Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Sports Medicine Center they will work with a team of physicians meeting surgical and non-surgical needs right within the Center. “We are focused,” explains Dr. Christ of the team. “Sports Medicine is our life. We intimately understand sports injuries and have trained specifically to treat them. We have a narrower focus and it serves our patients well.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Christ or any of the physicians at the Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Sports Medicine Clinic, call 360-709-6230. To learn more about OOA’s services, visit Olympia Orthopaedic Associates online.