(Note: This is part of a new Dayton Business Journal series on former Wright State University athletes in the business community.)
Dr. Drew Burleson believes his career path as an orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon was heavily influenced by his time as a member of Wright State University’s basketball team.
His experience in athletics taught him the value of hard work along with the ability to work as a team, both key factors crucial to elevating the team from an average program to league champions. In order to provide the best care possible to his patients, Burleson took those traits off the court and put it into his field.
Burleson played as a four-year starting forward on WSU’s basketball team from 2003-07. One highlight during the three-time captain’s career that he thinks about “almost daily” is beating Butler University in the conference championship game to earn a bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
“I have always been a huge basketball fan and have always loved watching the NCAA Tournament in March,” Burleson said. “The ability to be a part of it was extremely special.”
His biggest blunder as a college athlete also involves Butler University. During Burleson’s senior year, he was seven points away from scoring the 1,000th point of his career with expectations to fulfill that record during the team’s game against Butler. With his entire family in the stands filled with excitement, Burleson was set on conquering this milestone during that game.
“Not only did I not score seven points to reach my 1,000th career point, but I did not score one single point the entire game,” Burleson added. “And to make matters worse, we lost by about 100 points.”
This blunder actually marked a turning point for the basketball team as a whole. Following that game, the team began a winning streak that ultimately led to them avenging their loss against Butler University during the conference championship game.
One aspect Burleson believes people overlook about being a student athlete is the amount of time put into training and practices.
“I know this is something that I did not appreciate until I was in college,” Burleson added. “With pre-season and post-season workouts, three to four hour practices, film sessions, weight lifting and road trips, it takes a lot of discipline to make time for academics.”
Burleson joined Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in August of this year, following his fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.
During his fellowship, he was able to take care of some of the world’s most elite athletes by serving as an assistant team physician for the Los Angeles Rams, L.A. Dodgers, L.A. Kings, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Galaxy, L.A. Sparks, Anaheim Ducks, Anaheim Angels and University of Southern California’s football team.
Before completing his fellowship, Burleson was a Boonshoft School of Medicine student at WSU and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Loyola University Chicago. As an orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon, he specializes in sports medicine and minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery of the knee, hip, shoulder and elbow.
Since its beginnings, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has always had a strong presence in the Cincinnati area. The company recently opened an additional office in Miamisburg, expanding its footprint further into the Dayton area.
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